THE BURDEN OF PERFECTION The other day I heard someone say that he feels uncomfortable in the company of idiots. This reminded me of William Hazlitt telling his son that if there were no foolish people around who would care for the wise ones. He also said philosophically speaking, foolish people need our empathy rather than ridicule. This particular person, to me, seemed to be one who can never go wrong as he thinks he is perfection personified. Perfectionists are by nature tend to go into minute details before making a decision. They take a deep breath before they speak. They do not trust people on their face value. We find them in offices and at home. They are feared and admired with equal measure. It is not that their decisions do not go wrong but they do not hesitate to own them. People, in general, try to be perfect in whatever they do. Nobody wants to fail or falter. Some of our greats, about whose private life we know little or nothing are the embodiment of perfection in public life. There are many such personalities in the field of art, science, literature, performing arts, music and even families. They are hardworking, balanced and cautious. They spend a whole lot of time in meeting the exacting standards of perfection they have set for themselves. They may not show it but they inwardly enjoy the appreciation and rewards that come with perfection. Perfection must be a huge burden. There can be no improvement on perfection as there is nothing beyond it. The burden of not doing wrong must be keeping them on their toes all the time. They cannot go wrong is burden enough. The pressure must be killing. Failure may be scaring them. The race to perfection may make them recluse as they may not comfortable in the company of lesser mortals. There is no wonder that some of them are not in a position to carry the burden and scum to drugs and alcohol. Not able to hold the failure on other fronts, mainly family and relationships, they may get depressed and commit suicide. But then the world would be worthless without these perfectionists. They have created many benchmarks we can be proud of. They have contributed to the field of science, medicine, art, culture, religion, yoga and many other areas making life worth living. It is rather an irony that many of them could not carry the burden of perfection, the latest being Robins William, the actor, who committed suicide. And other types of Perfectionists can never be wrong. They are the ones who are put on a high pedestal by their 'Spoonos' (a word coined by Salman Rushdie for sycophants). The Wah from the mouth of the Spoonos comes before their idol opens his mouth. They are found in every field-literature, films, politics, social media and so on. The problem arises when some or one of these Spoonos utter 'what?' instead of 'wah!'. That Spoono is asked to either withdraw the word or withdraw from the sight. It happened in the case of Salman Khan, the popular Hindi Movie actor. It is common knowledge in Bollywood that no one can survive without being a Spoono of Salman Khan. I am sure it is a huge burden on the shoulders of Salman Khan to carry favor with so many Spoonos. For the Spoonos it is easy, just keep on blowing wah, wah!!!!