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Updated: February 13, 2013 19:07 IST

How to be a superhero...

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Anybody can become a superhero...Photo:AP
Anybody can become a superhero...Photo:AP

..In four simple steps.

After a playful banter turned into a banal mood killer, I did some serious thinking, just as I sipped Appy Fizz and watched re-runs of Doctor Who; not quite burning the midnight oil, but certainly burned a couple of wires in the inverter. It is every kid’s dream (although the odds of being bitten by a radioactive spider are just as high as speedy justice in India), especially ones who grew up on a staple diet of Marvel and DC comics, to want to fight crime and do cool acrobatic stuff.

However, the innocence is lost the moment our education system forces them to vomit what Newton said and with that the only villain they want to fight is the system. Sadly, they move over to the ‘dark side’ the moment they are allotted a college for their ‘education’.

Every movie in the last decade that had a vigilante as the lead follows a template: The Push, The Change, The Act and The End. Since most of our friends believe that movies can be extrapolated to real life and to real scenarios, it is time for an extrapolation and should anyone be pushed over to the Rebel Alliance, it should be noted that, well, you are screwed…

The push: It can be anything from an angry girlfriend, an arrogant boss, public displays of affection, corruption, lethargy, any of the seven sins, something personal to boredom.

The change: Since time immemorial, vigilantes have an alter-ego. Keep it simple to merge with the common man. You can use a mole or a moustache or even a spectacle with very low refractive index. That will come in handy during the “final act”.

As for the ‘persona’, a mask and a cape always come in handy. When it comes to underwear, never go the Superman way. It is downright offensive and punishable! Use a catchy name but kindly don’t go for the shock factor. There is a thin line between awesomeness and outright stupidity which we often tend to cross when inspired.

Use a simple weapon; not everyone can afford an Iron Man suit. Any attempt at self-exposure to a heavy dose of gamma radiation won’t serve your purpose unless you want to die of cancer.

The act: We have had vigilante movies which drew a blank when it came to logical thinking. Actually, coming to think of it, thinking of any kind was conspicuous by its absence in some films of this genre. Keeping your senses open is important, but not as important as having common sense.

Work on basic movies at least to defend yourself. You can build your reputation by taking on harmless victims like petty thieves and lovers on the park (their guilt might help you.)

The end: It is just a matter of time till you become a menace. Anyway, it is always better if you turn yourself in, that way you would be technically undefeated. Timing is important; you can do a ‘Peter Parker’ here by recording your acts of valour and mailing it to all news channels. If your costume offends someone, it is free publicity. You will become a national sensation.

Now, you surrender, preferably to a top cop. Request your hearing to be televised. Although the chances of you getting a ‘Shankar-esque’ “we want him as our CM/PM/ President” chants from public are as bright as Indian Women Cricket’s future. You can always do a “Power Star” and have your friends talk about you.

Sadly, the acquittal works only in movies or if you are a politician. Once in prison, make friends, write a memoir and get it published. That way, once you are out, you have the foundation for a bright political/ criminal career.

SAI SRIRAM S., Madras Medical College

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