Why Superman Cannot Stay in India


Picture This : A fire breaks out at, say, the Dharavi slum in Mumbai. Now, Superman resides somewhere nearby, let’s say Delhi or (I wish) Kolkata. What happens next? Of course, he flies to Dharavi, locates the burning shacks, smashes in and flies away with a bunch of terrified kids on one arm and a pretty babe on the other, flies back, blows supercooled air into the flames and then lands gently, cape fluttering, to a thunderous round of applause, right? Wrong! Here’s 5 reasons why Superman, had he ever tried settling down India , would have flown away to Krypton at twice the speed of light.

Reason 1. Collateral Damage : From what we’ve seen in the movies, Superman
specializes and frequently engages in some serious high-speed, very-low-altitude flight. Folks, when you consider the corresponding Indian airspace, that’s not just extremely hazardous, that’s plain bloody suicide. In superman’s case, since he is indestructible and invulnerable and all that, it would cause a genocide. Think of all the unplanned houses, telephone poles, trees, lamp-posts, tangled cables, clogged streets, narrow lanes, billboards and even cows, for that matter. The poor guy would end up murdering more people (and animals) than he can ever dream of saving. I mean, let him fly through, say, central avenue or park circus on a Monday morning and he’ll have a fair idea of what the bomb did to Hiroshima. Think he’d still feel like acting a hero?

Reason 2. Dress Code : OK, the red and blue looks good on TV and 3D. However,
in the Indian skies, that dress would be causing some serious headaches. For starters, do you really think people like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the RSS and the Shivsena would have nothing to say against a man who wears his red underwear over his blue tights and flies all over the place? The first two would claim that this is an attempt to convert poor Hindus into some alien religion, and the others would say this is disgrace to the ancient Indian nation, a slur on our timeless tradition of land-lubbing and dhoti-kurta wearing, a conspiracy to corrupt the minds of our saintly “bharatiya naari”s with some obscene alien culture and so on. To make matters worse, he might also have a lawsuit slapped on him for, um..indecent exposure. Now that would really thrill him, wouldn’t it: joining the ranks of Yana Gupta, Mallika Sherawat and Rakhi Sawant?

Reason 3. Media : Take my word for it, within a week of his arrival, he would get
so thoroughly sick of the Indian electronic media that he might actually consider burning down the entire country. He would never get any entertainment. All he( and we) will ever see on television is himself. Numerous unfocused and grainy videos of him performing the same trick over and over and over and over again. Eventually,the public would get sick of him and ask him to leave, so that they can watch something meaningful on TV again, like saas-bahu serials or Bigg Boss. If that doesn’t do the trick, the more creative channels would definitely air( a million times a day) some “authentic” sting operation videos showing him taking bribes from someone for vaporizing someone else, throwing his aged parents out of their ancestral home in Krypton, partying and drinking with a Bollywood starlet and maybe even having sex with a goat. He would then be judged, analyzed and commented on by experts on literally everything from homeopathy through astrology to interior designing. After a week of this, he would start crashing as frequently as our MiG 21 planes do.

Reason 4. Politicians : Here’s what will happen. Prakash Karat would say he
works for Mamata and Maoists. Mamata would say he works for CPM. Kishenji would say he works for Government forces. Chidambaram would say he works for separatist elements and terrorists. Arundhati Ray would say he works for the imperial Indian Army bent on re-conquering the non-integral part of India and so on. After a week of this, CPM would say that the red cape proves he is a life long communist and is actually the reincarnation of Lenin. Mamata would say he is, in fact, a Nandigram victim-turned-railway employee who will definitely contest the next parliamentary election in TMC colors. The VHP would say he is Lord Ram reborn and hence is living proof that the Ram Janmabhumi belongs to them. Congress would say his real name is Kal-El Gandhi. And of course, Forward block would say that Netaji has finally returned. As for our poor Man of Steel, I think he will develop a Multiple Personality Disorder, and explode.

Reason 5. India cannot have two Supermans. Rajnikanth is still alive.

p.s : This article was published a few years on a blog of mine that I eventually discontinued. Thought this would be relevant with my piece on the movie Man of Steel, hence re-posting it here.

In case you’re interested, the piece on Man of Steel is here.


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