So superman, is no more. The 1995 horse riding mishap which left Christopher Reeve a quadriplegic, however, brought a new meaning to the word that had become eponymous with his name — Superman. Activities of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation are a legend. What is it about adversity that brings out the best in man? Earlier this year, for instance. Lance Armstrong won his sixth Tour de France — the gruelling 2,428-km event, which is the Holy Grail of endurance sports. His battle to overcome testicular cancer is equally famous.
The winner of the men's 200 m sprint at this year's paraolympics, a double amputee, was a mere 0.2 seconds off the time of the Olympic winner in the same event. Can we forget the image of Stephen Hawking, strapped to a wheelchair, gasping out words through a computer? One of the most famous brains of the 21st century embodied in a brittle case of flesh and blood. What irony!
Or is it? Could it be thai adversity- and the fight against it brings out tlie superman latent in all of us? The other day I was telling
My son, who is batling kidney problems at all of seven years, about Hindu gods. They are portrayed with four hands, carrying 'shankhapushpagada chakra'. The flower signifies blessing. So long as man sticks to what he is supposed to do. the Divine blesses him. Err a little, and the conch is sounded: hey man. you're wandering. If he still doesn't pay heed, wham! comes the club. And if he remains stubborn, off with his head.
Reeve got the club. So did Armstrong and Hawking. So has my son. People who do their hit reap the reward and the obstinate plunge the world into disorder and get their comeuppance.
As Reeve put it, "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."