“Appa!! Superman is wonderful!!! He can fly across oceans!!!”
“Hmmm.. what else can he do??”asked my dad.
“He is big and strong. He thrashes the enemies and tears them apart… boom! Boom! Bang! Bang!”
“Hahaha..” he smiles and folds the newspaper in crisp folds.
“You know something, appa!!! He is very brave and can save people from danger. I wonder how he could do that. He flies across the sky without wings.. and.. “ began my animated conversation, with my fists pumping and small eyes bulging in my sockets.
My dad was listening to me calmly as if hearing this story for the first time, but we both knew that we have been doing this every evening after my school. Every time I said this story, he travelled with me with unabated enthusiasm.
“Appa! Just imaging flying like Superman!!! We can move like birds singing through the canopies!!! How fascinating would that be???”
He was staring at me, but he was in a pensive mood. I saw that in his face with his tightly pressed lips. “Well! Do you want to fly?” smiled my dad.
“ Are you serious, appa??? Can you do that???”
The next moment I was sitting on my dad’s lap holding the bars of his Kinetic Honda. The bars of the rear view mirrors pointing in both directions felt strong in my little palms. I felt like soldier holding the turret in a canyon. The small vehicle struggled initially but soon gave its thunderous sigh and coughed up smoke from its grease stained exhaust. He adjusted his traditional ‘veshti’ and looked at me,”Polamma???” (Shall we go???)
My palms were sweaty and excitement ran in every cell of mine. My eye lashes came down signaling my dad, I was all set to experience this new ride.
The throttle in my dad’s arms pushed the vehicle forward, to herald a new experience in my life. The road was dotted with few vehicles and our Honda moved steadily gaining speed. The wind grew heavier on my face while I tried to look at the odometer. The red needle moved slowly across the 50km mark and my fingers went numb.
When I looked above, the trees were moving at breakneck speed in opposite direction. The birds tried their best to stay in race with us. Their wings fluttered to keep themselves floating in air. The chill air carried the scent of bougainvilleas to hallucinate my brain. For the first time in my life I was experiencing this thrill. With my eyelids coming down at frequent intervals, the tears travelled in a zigzag pathway down my cheeks.
Is this how it feels when you fly?? Oh my God!! It was exhilarating, sending a fusillade of emotions in me. The swelling night and the phenomenal ride finally came to a halt, with our Honda stopping at our door step.
“How was it???” asked my dad.
Perhaps the reminiscence of the ride was still in me, making me immune to the reality. The word ‘goose bumps’ got redefined after this, sending arrows and slings of joy in me. I didn’t know how to respond to him, so my arms went to hug him. I buried my head in his belly with my cheek enjoying the warmth.
He brushed my hair in his palms and looked at me, “You were close to flying, isn’t it? The only thing missing was the Superman suit”.
The world was never big when I was on your shoulders. Superheroes can be a beautiful myth often epitomizing fantasy and zeal. Sometimes realities are draped in this myth and we keep searching for it. Ironically we never appreciate the hero who showed us the world. Heroes are neither born nor created from an alien planet; they never preach, but they live like a hero and make us watch them.
You don’t need a superman suit to pull out gimmicks and stunts, all you need is special gift called ‘Dad’. He will dare to do bend the skies for a tiny smile on our face. I looked at him with my arms around his legs; all I saw was a humble human being with a mighty heart.
“Shall we fly again, appa ??"
Once again I started my flight journey with my Superman :) :)