In the eyes of the world, Pele might mean a great or the greatest footballer of the world; but in my dictionary, Pele was a man of gallant heart possessing a brilliant world view.
Lot of water has flown under the bridge since Pele's childhood days. The simplicity of yesteryears have absolutely yielded place to gross consumerism due to “liberalisation” and “globalisation” which have also brought a drastic change in the lifestyle of the Indian society since 1991.
Individuals, who were careerist and earned high degrees have got flooded with new money. Almost the whole erstwhile middle class have got promoted to the status of rich. Costly cars, high-end villas, air travel, foreign tours --- all norms of luxury have got easily accessible to the “successful” lot.
In contrast, life has become a hell for those who have missed the bus of "liberalisation".
Despite lack of resource, they will have to splurge money on luxurious items on the demand of discontented family members. Right from newspapers to TV to hoardings --- it is call for enjoying luxuries all the way.
Yes, all vested interests have come together to transform luxuries into "necessity" even for those with limited means! And the greatest misfortune lies in the fact that consumerism has no limit. Whenever a consumerist urge gets fulfilled, another item knocks on the door!
Far from appreciating the greatest treasure named contentment, the unsatisfied lot among the middle class are splurging their limited money on luxuries so as to boost the treasury of the advertisers.
In contrast, during his childhood days plagued by acute poverty, Pele's family did not know from where their next meal would come from.
Yet, somehow his mother managed to garner a piece of bread with a slice of banana to feed the family.
Still Pele used to think himself extremely fortunate as unlike millions of Brazilians, at least he never went hungry!
When lesser souls would have landed in extreme frustration and depression or deviated from the right path due to abject poverty, Pele used to remain content and continue to pursue his football skills.
And the end result of his emergence as a legend is known to all of us.
Indeed what a magnanimous, humble and noble personality! Great player, but Greater Human being! But alas the likes of Pele can be found few and far between in this consumerist society. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
(The views expressed are personal)