This blog is about me contemplating and trying to make sense of this fascinating journey called life and penning down various life lessons that I learn along the way.....
So make yourself a nice cup of coffee..pull a chair and sit back and enjoy the little ponderings that I share with you...

Friday, November 8, 2013

My World of Superheroes! A Potent Mix of Science and Spirituality!

Being a mother of a 4 year old boy comes with its own peripherals. Just as my son's world is surrounded by various Superheroes... So is mine! Every birthday party (including my own son's) has to have a theme of either Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Iron Man, Hancock, Avengers, X-Men, even Chhota Bheem and sometimes a mix of all of them. When I go to buy a water bottle, lunchbox, pencil box or anything I have to be aware of the picture of the superhero on it and his current ranking on my son's list of favourites. You just cannot avoid their presence in our lives. And maybe it is for a good reason.
Like they say your outer world is a mirror of your inner world. As a mother either I can get annoyed with all this and get into heated discussions of how this is inculcating violence in young minds or I can try and proactively use these same Superheroes to inculcate the right values that I want in my child. And as I understand that is my role and I can't run away from it and blame the society. But for that I have to first clear my thoughts and love the Superheroes for what they stand for. And when one actually does that you realize what a powerful tool you have in your hand. 
To me, a Superhero movie or a story is a heady and a potent mix of science and spirituality. An adventure filled with pain and loss of loved ones (most of them incidentally are actually orphans), the inner turmoils of a person, the depiction of love more powerful than any romantic flick, the making of choices between how the world sees you and what you really are, accepting the burden that comes with the truth, accepting and discovering your own unique superpowers, living with the responsibility that comes with it, using superpowers for the betterment of humanity, trusting your inner voice and the loneliness that comes with it, sometimes losing some battles to emerge even stronger later,  living without ego...Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne.....none of them feel the need to impress on the world that they are the actual Superheroes. Hulk actually teaches you what anger can do to a person. My son won't listen to me even if I keep harping on this point but the minute I speak about what anger does to Hulk.. he immediately gets it! So fascinating to note what makes a lovable Anakin Skywalker turn to Darth Vader! If you choose to see these stories for what they are...a great number of powerful lessons are stored in here. It doesn't get more spiritual than this.

The eternal debate between free will and determinism is faced by almost all of them.. Just like us. Some have or get the powers unwillingly beyond their control and actually struggle with it first. Its only their free will which decides whether they rise to the occasion, do what is required of them, use it for the higher good of everyone around and in turn fulfil their own destiny. Most of them are even in touch with their shadow self, a dark side which all of us have and sometimes it appears that they are actually on the verge of falling but it is strength of character, clarity of thoughts and their ability to learn their lessons without ego is what usually gets them back on track.
Sometimes it is really funny to see these little kids at 7:30 in the morning, waiting for their school bus and debating about which superhero they are on that particular day and who has better powers. And this gets you thinking and gives a wonderful chance to bring out how each of them is unique and gifted on their own. You become a superhero only if you recognise and accept your own superpower and use it to your advantage. Yes, a Spiderman cannot fly like Superman but he surely can make webs and fly away. Batman infact, has no superpowers!! But he has the resources which he uses to create the tools that he needs to fight the evil. Iron Man has a piece of shrapnel in his chest but he uses his knowledge and intelligence to create an iron suit and becomes the Iron Man. Superman is actually an alien but he doesn't sit and cry about it. Daredevil is actually blind so he uses his other senses to get his job done. Don't we all need to know and accept this in ourselves too? Only if we recognise our strengths and gifts and work on them and develop them rather than cry about our weaknesses will we live a happy and fulfilled life. And who is to say what a weakness is? A weakness in one situation can be a strength in another.
My only bone of contention is the absence of a real Woman Superhero.. who herself deals with the pain of loss, faces the same inner turmoils, has the same commitments, has her own reputation at stake, has her own burden and loneliness of knowing the truth and possesses her own unique superpowers! And moreover because of being in touch with her feminine nature is not afraid to trust or reach out! Now that's a story waiting to be told!
Yes.. there is Elektra but she definitely is not in the same league.
But on an end note my personal favourite is "The Amazing Spiderman" who seems the most real to me who carries his cell phone around in his bagpack and even picks it awkwardly in the underground sewers when it rings. But the best part about him is that he has a mind of his own.. he chooses to trust Gwen with the truth ...and chooses in the end to break a silly promise made to her dying father which never should have been made in the first place ..Now that's refreshing!!

Also this one features one of my son's and my favourite song - "Till Kingdom Comes" by Coldplay. My son calls this "the drummer song" and this was one of the first songs that I had caught him humming on his own...much to my amusement. :)