First Man Of The Universe
First Man Of The Universe5 mins 140 5 mins 140
International Women’s Association after a two-year gap due to COVID announced a prize for women’s empowerment and care targeting exclusively men. It could be men from history, mythology, living or dead. The criteria for the prize were as follows:
Care for women, Giving space for women. Respect for women.Equality with women. Making women’s life comfortable. All these criteria were to be given equal weightage for the rank to be decided. The prize didn’t carry any money but a citation announcing the “First Man of the Universe.” The prize was promoted on all the social media and received phenomenal attention from both men and women folk who follow social media. The IWA had also announced a panel of jury who would scrutinize the shortlist and award the ranking and prize. It had both eminent men and women from different fields.
The response was heartwarming. The shortlisting took some weeks as they had to process over one lakh nominations. Then the panellist met over a few days to decide the ranking and announce the award. A brief summary is presented as it is not possible to summarise the selection process in its entirety.
There was a nomination for Jesus Christ. The panellist reviewed and gave Christ of ranking of 5 on a 0-10 scale. In the comments section, it said that Christ was born to a virgin not very acceptable in society and Christ himself remained a bachelor throughout. He was kind to all beings irrespective of gender. So, a middle score was given.
Then came the nomination of a prophet, mention of whose name can create unsavoury controversy. But the panellists were not impressed. The prophet not only had many wives but it was also disputed in history that he had married an underage girl. For safety measures, the panellists didn’t give any ranking as they felt they were not in a position to judge someone like the prophet. He must have had many reasons not understood by mere mortals.
Then a nomination had come from ISCON for Srikrishna. There was a panellist from India who gave a brief description of Krishna. But some other panellists raised the question that he was supposed to have married some thousand wives and he played pranks with women hiding their dress when they bathed etc. This part of mythology didn’t go well with the panellists and the score was only 3.
Buddha’s nomination also came up but the fact that he walked out of his family was not appreciated by the panellists and he too didn’t get a good score.
Lord Rama’s nomination had come up. A brief of Ramayana was given for the benefit of panellists. But the episode of Rama asking Sita to undertake agnipariksha was voted down. Fidelity works both ways was the overall comment. He too didn’t get a good score.
Then the name of Ardhanareeswar came up. Panellists were wowed by the very concept itself. The panellists were even more impressed to learn that Shakti was given a place on the left side where the heart was located. Of course, the fact that Shiva often left Shakti alone when he went on meditation so much so Shakti had to create Ganapathy her son in a non-sexual way for amusing herself was something that divided the opinion of the panellists. Some interpreted Shakti as in a remote location devoid of any entertainment. Some opined it was Shiva’s way of giving Shakti some space. One of the panellists wondered how Ganapathy was created? Is there some clue in the Puranas? She asked. After some debate, the panellists gave Shiva the best score of seven out of ten.
By this time panellists were quite tired. But one of the panellists intervened and said before we conclude that Shiva is the winner one must take a look at this nomination of a man who has been taking care of his mother for many years now. Although he had walked out of marriage in the service of the nation. There were plenty of photo shoots in the media of the man with his mother: washing her feet, eating with her, feeding her, holding hands, prostrating in front of her, receiving her blessings and so on. To support his deeds his wife (he had never divorced) had no rancour about his walk out. She had not married either. In fact, his wife said that his man was a miracle. Even though he had to take care of the second most populated nation with the attendant poverty and a host of other issues he still found time for his mother. Further, the wife had said that due to his love and devotion alone his mother had scored a century in her age. The panellists were also surprised to learn that it was indeed his wife who had filled up the nomination.
When they were debating what rank was to be given to this miracle man, they received the news that this very same was considered to be another form of Shiva himself called Neelkanth. According to mythology like Shiva who consumed snake’s venom to save the living beings, this miracle man had taken venom allegations and lived with it so long and continued to serve the nation and his mother. In fact, it was just recently the highest court of law dismissed the case against the allegations.
It settled the debate in the favour of the miracle man. As the panellist from India said be it Shiva or the miracle man awarding the living symbol of Shiva was more appropriate than awarding a mythological version. It would aspire mankind to inspire themselves to take care of women in their life. The panellists unanimously agreed with the proposal.
The chairperson announced the award the next day to the media. She also mentioned in the citation about Shiva being as a myth was in a close contest to the living version. And the panellists in unison decided to award the prize to the living version. She wondered who gets the honour: whether it was the IWA to be honoured to award such a person as worthy as the miracle man. The miracle man humbly said in his acceptance speech quoted a Tamil song that there is no better temple than one’s own mother and it was his karma to have been born to such a mother and to serve the nation which to him was also a mother. He profusely thanked his wife for the nomination.