A.K. Hangal saab passed away earlier in the day.

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It struck me that when we hear about the pitiful condition of yesteryears’ personalities, they are either athletes or film industry personalities. I struggled to come up with another field where the same is true. The common factor to the two fields is the disparity between the zenith of their fame and the nadir of their eventual destiny, which makes us feel especially guilty about the whole thing.

But I’m not here to preach that we ought to treat people like A.K. Hangal saab or P.T. Usha better. The fact is we haven’t, and there are several reasons for it. What I do feel is that like so many other things we read, the news of a former celebrity being forgotten and living badly now has become so banal that I find myself moving along when I come across such news.

Let’s say I didn’t. How would I react? Self-flaggelation that we as a society need to treat them better? Then I’d be stuck at how exactly to go about it. Must a nation financially support a prolific actor or a Olympian for the rest of their list? That’s not feasible and we know it.

Or must I not feel guilty because there was nothing unfair about it? That doesn’t sit right with me either—more so when I delve deeper into their lives. We, for instance, have no reference point when someone says A.K. Hangal was forgotten. I was looking for his famous scene from Sholay when I instead came across this video. Now I do have a reference point. And I do feel bad. And I cannot do anything about it. And I will move on in a few hours.

This is another addition to that list of things that I feel bad about, realize I can do nothing about, then feel glad that I felt bad about it which means I’m not deteriorating as a person and my emotional wiring is atleast being lubricated.

There is something very wrong about this.

***

Once again, I have no answers if that’s what you read this blog for.

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