Tomorrow is Monday. But I hope we won’t need to once again feed off of each others’ hardships—in distorted, momentary limelight—for “inspiration”.
Earlier this week, Pradeep Mehra—India’s ‘Running Boy’ and its latest internet sensation—was filmed during his usual 10km-midnight run in Noida. Overnight, the boy who worked at McDonald’s and wanted to join the Indian Army, was lauded by politicians, cricketers and the media for providing the “Monday Motivation" the country needed.
Especially for “those who, even after receiving every comfort,” don’t display his model self-sufficient behaviour.
Mehra could have been quietly aided, but this media storm—with the boy being made to run up and down TV studio corridors for spectacle—serves a larger narrative.
Are periodic viral stories like his why Indians ardently believe in their chances of moving up in life, even as reality points to the opposite?
My interpretation of Mehra’s virality for ThePrint: