The Mythical Overlay
The fictional character of Sherlock Holmes was tour de force of a detective, encrypting the most unsolvable cases with flora-world easiness. Rest all, as they say, is history – bequeathed by a heap of lies.
Aspirants stepping into his shoes have been as original as a STOP sign. Filmmakers and scriptwriters of the current era have redefined Sherlock Holmes to the point of debugging his whole persona. The only respite being – they haven’t put him in holo-suits yet.
So here are the most amusing and absurd myths surrounding Sherlock Holmes:
Sherlock Holmes and His Calabash Pipes
It is difficult to separate the pipe from the Sherlock Holmes persona – it has become so intrinsic. Back in those days, a cigar or a piper was a symbol of swagger (I wager it remains so in this age, but only a few can carry it off). But was that pipe an addition to Holmes’ persona by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Yes. Was it a calabash pipe? No.
The Sherlock Holmes we have come to know was wistful, spirited, he ain’t need no calabash pipe. It was only added to enhance the visual representation for the theatre. An actor back in the early 20th century used a calabash pipe during his performance coz he had no idea where and how to keep his hands. Since then, the pipe became synonym with Sherlock Holmes. But why just him, any mambo jambo of a detective we see on screen flaunts a calabash pipe. Not that we are complaining, but spare Homes.
Watson Was His Best Friend
Let’s go back to the clichéd definitions. Who do you call your ‘Best Friend’? Someone you can trust unconditionally and who keeps the trust unfailingly. And this brings me to the messiah of detectives, Sherlock Holmes and his ally Dr. Watson. Did Sherlock Holmes *really* trust Dr. Watson? Brrr! No. Not even a bit. He was with Holmes because he was good with medicines. Period. Watson’s judgements never impressed Holmes (perhaps, it was never meant to)
Sherlock Holmes’ era was not the one where dressing unkemptly was considered cool and women were seduced by bad boys. Folks with a poor sense of style and bad hygiene were never entertained, leave alone being respected and trusted by the elite society. The latest Sherlock Holmes instalments on the big screen by Guy Ritchie attempts to redefine Holmes’ sense of style in its own ludicrously lurid manner.
Sherlock Holmes belonged to the old school of style – yes, he did live in an old shack, but he made sure he always had rich fabrics and some elements of extravagance in his wardrobe.
Holmes Hid Evidence from the Police
In several movies or TV series, Holmes is shown stumbling upon evidences on the crime scene and concealing them from police just to make sure he is always one step ahead. I don’t know whether it was done to show the smarter side of him or to project him as someone who doesn’t trust police with the evidence – coz it did neither. The Holmes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books always went an extra mile to assist police in their findings.
As the legend of Sherlock Holmes grows, the mythical overlay keeps getting bigger. The legacy of Sherlock Holmes might just look at it and cringe. Through his astonishing eye for criminal evidence, Holmes always aimed for sheer definitude. And ten out of ten times, he delivered. Spare him the lies.
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