Thursday, December 02, 2004

Would you rather be a Greek God?

'Greek God looks' screamed Filmfare, when they carried a series of photos on the prodigal Hrithik Roshan when Kaho na Pyaar Hai was nearing completion. Kabir Bedi is often commented upon as having non-Indian Greek God looks in his prime. There are a select few on the list that I have read being complimented similarly: John Abraham, Fardeen Khan (!) ....

It appears to me that Indian Gods never did excel in the looks department. You may be 'sarv gun sampann' but 'nirgun' when it comes to looks. Ram was never a dasher in comparison with Adonis, Indra wouldn't strike a 'vajra' (thunderbolt) in the hearts of women like Zeus would. Our mythology has consigned the average Indian man to a life of indignation about his looks, pushed him to the backfoot with a quicker one, removed all hope of being loved and desired for his tobacco-stained teeth, bushy moustache, absentee muscles and well-rounded belly. Its an attitudinal thing: "Even our Gods never looked good, what chance do we have?"

But all is not lost for us. To borrow and tweak a line from Spiderman, "With great looks comes great fallibility". These poor Greek souls probably had their minds screwed up with their good looks, what with stories of incest, Pandora's boxers (that was the name I used for my quiz team back in my college festival days) and what not. Being surrounded and hounded by women was second nature to them. That may be an inapparent reason why they are revered so much

Our Gods are a study in contrast. The one time a Supanakha approaches Laxman, he cuts her nose off!! Not the winning of hearts by courtship the way our Gods take. Indra sneaked and peeked and disguised himself as Gautam Rishi to get close to Ahilya.

How does one explain this extreme behavior? Is there an inherent inferiority complex here? Are these the role models we have? Do Indian (or any) men have nothing that they can be equated to an Indian God for? Have you ever heard of "Oh, look at his face, it is glowing bright like Lord Rama" or "Look, his biceps are like Hanuman". Is this the best we can do? You see a good looking man, you tag him as good looking ... you see someone better, you tag him as a Greek God? I think Raja Ravi Verma missed the point when he made our male Indian Gods look ... well, Godly. People don't want to just look good, they want to look Godly good ... to be precise, Greek Godly good.

7 comments:

Reshma Sanyal said...

So it's okay Parth :-)
Some men look like Greek Gods...
Others don't even resemble a goddammed Greek.

SilWhoEtte said...

Have you considered the obvious implication of an overemphasis on physiognomy in the Western hemisphere? The (ancient?) Greeks, in fact, were persuaded that looks were a reflection of one's character! Even so, it's hardly a compliment to Hrithik Roshan to be labelled an adonis - to be deemed equivalent of a (albeit god-like) gigolo!
P.S.: Thanks for returning the favor:)

RTD2 said...

Hmm..I believe that cultures come to worship Gods that represent what they deem important (or scarce). Like the one tribe somewhere that worships food items. I guess that explains why we Indians have more gods of rains, wealth, learning, etc. than of beauty! And maybe THAT explains why I prefer Geek Gods to Greek Gods..none of the guys I have been attracted to could ever qualify as anything resembling good-looking but boy, could they crack the Rubik's cube in seconds :)

Avinash said...

Parth, I don't think it's fair of you to say that Indian Gods didn't excel in the dept of looks. Remember every culture has it's own concept of beauty. Our Gods and godesses may not be portrayed as inhumanly handsome or beautiful but they are always depicted as well-proportioned, healthy, strong and attractive (atleast according to our standards) individuals. Every culture may worship different Gods (like food) but they always depict their Gods as what they consider to be the perfect human form. We never use the phrases 'As beautiful as Ram' or 'as strong as Hanuman' because we do not worship the 'outer' qualities of these Gods. We worship their strength, compassion and wisdom.

Parth said...

'This blog entry is in lighter vein' ... I repeat 'This blog entry is in lighter vein'. RT, loved the 'Geek God' concept though. I am doomed to be mortal, unless you are allowed to cheat on the Rubik's cube by pulling and sticking the colored squares to complete it.

phucker said...

Huh, speak for youself! I look like a God, be "he" greek, geek or hindu. :-p

RTD2 said...

Hey Parth, the principle of equifinality states that there are multiple paths to the same end - in other words, go forth and peel off the colors on the Rubics cube all you want, so long as the result is achieved! And Tarun, one of these days we'll call your bluff if you don't include proof of your statements next time!