Christmas Eve 1987 will forever remain etched in my mind. I was four years old. And it was the first time I witnessed my mom, a strong-willed lady, cry. MGR had died.
I did not understand back then why anyone would feel so strongly about the passing away of another person they had not even met. As I grew older, however, I came to appreciate the treasured place MGR had carved for himself in the hearts of millions of people. It transcended the mere notions of a showman, a matinee idol, a do-gooder, a rebel, or a successful political leader. MGR was an idea, larger than life; he was not just a dreamer, but also a dream; even during his life, people truly believed in his legend, because he was, in their eyes, perfection personified; and hence a God.
I often wonder if MGR had received intimations of his imminent immortality, for he got a lyricist to pen these lines for one of his most famous songs, and then lived them out:
இருந்தாலும் மறைந்தாலும் பேர் சொல்லவேண்டும்;
இவர்போல யாரென்று ஊர் சொல்லவேண்டும்.
Many people exert some kind of influence on our lives. But only a select few revolutionize it to the extent that they cause a shift in the time continuum, thus causing after eras that would have been unimaginable before their advent.
Steve Jobs was one such rare revolutionary. May his soul rest in peace.
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