I can fly, kick bad guys’ asses (however pudgy or huge) and I have unearthly powers that mere mortals like my parents will never fully understand.
That’s what I believed until I was 8. I’ve always had a soft corner for superheroes and my favourite – without doubt – is Superman. Countless times I’ve jumped down from ladders, shelves, veranda railings, window bars and (realistically) anything elevated to experience ‘flying’. I also believed if I concentrated with every neuron inside my brain, I could actually spark fire through my eyes and make objects float.
That’s just one aspect of my imagination. Being part of the TV-addicted generation, my fantasies carried me beyond Krypton. I had a world of my own. Unlike most girls of my age, I hated stuffed toys, Barbie dolls (or, any dolls) and hand-fiddling haari-paatil games. My world was bigger, better and grander. I had ninjas who fought under my command (I was, of course, the Great Ninja who all the mini ninjas worshipped) and we flew on skateboards. Swords, battles, gore, blood – they were all magical to me. The virtual world where I presided was fast-moving and constantly evolving. It had sky-high structures, infinite rain, purple skies and oh yeah, lots of money. Every day, as I grew a bit older, I perfected this world bringing in hints of reality; but keeping the magic of it intact.
I suppose I am a bit of a romantic. My fantasies had love. The kind of love we don’t see much of these days. The man would never speak, yet express divine affection through his actions (no, not sexual action – I meant, other unearthly actions). He would fight wars and bleed selflessly to protect his pride. The woman (which, usually was me and needed to be – essentially – cooler) was a contrast of dignified intelligence and easy-going pace. She was just as strong and powerful as the man; and with the wisdom of a post-modern Socrates, she was never wrong. She was a heaven-sent blessing on the man, who by the way, is a tragic hero and she could heal his wounds with her beautiful smile. We – the great man and fascinating woman – would reign over our dreamworld, fight gory supernatural battles, lose friends and through a story of sacrifice and passion, grow up and grow old.
I was convinced. This world would never understand my connection with the virtual one. My parents would never appreciate what a gift I am to them (you know, with all the supercool powers). I realised, very early in life, this was going to be a journey of my own. With the knight from my dreams, I will have to fight the less bloody, but equally heartless battles of life and there probably will be very few or none beside me.
This was going to be my war to survive.
(Actually it’s Herbert Spencer. Google to confirm)