In the contemporary version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s bewildering but bemusing detective stories, Sherlock Holmes, the ingenious sociopath, is arguably the best known, with Guinness World Records listing him as the “most portrayed movie character” in history. Sherlock Holmes, the star character of the TV series-Sherlock (2010- ), is apparently portrayed as an eccentric sleuth who has a thing for getting kicks by solving often baffling cases under the sun. Sherlock is often depicted as a robotic personality concerned with pushing himself to severe mental extremes for solving crimes that otherwise would not have been solved by the utterly imbecilic Scotland Yard. With an imaginably smarter elder brother, Mycroft Holmes, to look after him, Sherlock makes friends with Dr. John Watson, a veteran of the Afghan War with whom his tales of mayhem and adventure are drawn in a romantic and fantasized way in “The personal blog of Dr. John H. Watson”, a treat to everyone who reads it.
Sherlock, the character that is essentially known for his remarkable skills for a genius intellect, vastly informative brain, balanced and poised persona, sharp wit, quick retention, and a keen sense of contemporary fashion is one of the most beloved criminal detectives the literary world has ever seen. Often portrayed as a cold-hearted, single-minded, workaholic zealot with no regard for sentiments, Sherlock’s secret to his peculiar nature is revealed by Mrs. Hudson, the motherly landlady, in the second last episode of the fourth season. While Mycroft Holmes and John Watson are busy entertaining themselves to the drugs-bust being conducted by the MI6 spooks, Mrs. Hudson sheds light on the actual nature of Sherlock, the eccentric sleuth, and elaborates that Sherlock is more of an emotional disposition rather than that of a genius sociopath. This takes us to the realization closet in which we learn that Sherlock is in actual and by nature an emotion-driven human whose intellectual capabilities are motivated by his nature.
Well this puts us on a realization track. Aren’t we all emotional beings by nature? Aren’t we all highly intellectual beings? Aren’t we all finding antidotes in work and temporary highs to avoid the traumas or emotional setbacks of our lives? Aren’t we all keen on contemporary fashion? Yes, we all are. So, are we all Sherlock Holmes, the eccentrically ingenious sleuth? The answer is yes.
Yes, we all are the same. The same intellect and emotions govern us all and motivate us to strive for whatever ideals we stand for. We are all faced by challenges in our everyday lives that demand the best of our physical and intellectual capabilities. Either its school, college, university, office, matrimonial life, parenthood etc. all aspects of life demand the best of us. Its’ solely and entirely up to us whether to be like John Watson, taking notes and giving tiny inputs of critical praise to the working men as they do their work or jump in, all in all, like Sherlock Holmes and take control of the situation in hand by paying a fastidious heed to everything either important or not.
Sherlock has never been just a fictional character. It’s a real-life portrayal of the late Dr. Joseph Bell, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, whom Conan Doyle met in 1877 and had worked for as a clerk. Like Holmes, Bell was noted for drawing broad conclusions from minute observations. However, he later wrote to Conan Doyle: “You are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it”. This utterance stands above any other deduction about Sherlock’s ancestry. Arthur Conan Doyle was himself Sherlock Holmes who saw the world as little more than what meets the eye. The technique and methodology of making observations and deductions from those observations on the basis of available factual data is like making forensic analysis a layman science. The genius of Arthur Conan Doyle is the simplicity in his portrayal of a scientific method as an acquirable art and skill for any ordinary man.
So why can’t we all be Sherlock Holmes? We all can be surely, rather we all are, in our own ways. A doctor is the Sherlock Holmes to his own profession, a plumber to his, a carpenter to his, a laborer to his, a student to his, a teacher to his, thus everybody is a Sherlock Holmes in his/her own way. But a truly smart and similarly equivalent portrayal of Sherlock Holmes can only be someone who is a pro in almost every field of relevance in general. Sherlock’s prowess in his detective work was enhanced by his vast knowledge-base about almost anything that could ever be of importance to him. With his brilliant memory technique, the ‘Mind/memory Palace’ technique, Sherlock had tucked away all sorts of relevant data that would be of use to him anytime in the future. A little analytical view about Sherlock might suffice to describe Sherlock as a normal human being, far from being a genius, who has worked his mental capabilities through such techniques and short cuts that make him appear as a genius. If Sherlock were a real and absolute genius, he would never have been in need of such memory techniques to enhance his retention. He would simply just blink and have the answer to everything in that lapse of time. Sherlock wouldn’t also be in need of social relations as geniuses are found to have an abhorrence for anything that would steer them away from their work.
But Sherlock is seen having such a platonic bond with Dr. Watson as arouses suspicion on his sexuality. God bless the illustrator. Sherlock also establishes a bond with his brother, John’s wife Mary, John’s daughter, Rosy and last but not the least, with Molly Hooper Sherlock is seen getting along well as friends only. Emphasis on “friends”.
So, the point where I’m trying to get at is that we all can be Sherlock Holmes as we all have the capability and ability to become one. We all are Humans, aren’t we? The best of God’s creation. What is required is a little effort that will help push us through the normal or average intellectual boundaries set by us in general. Once higher than this, everybody is a Sherlock Holmes, hence guiding various John Watsons to paths of learning and mentoring through our own tales of adventure and mayhem.
Its time to be Sherlock Holmes!