Superheroes don’t die. Not in real world. It is a curse on their community. They’ll have to live to see the worst – which can always worsen. They’ll have to hear the news of someone dying while they were saving someone else from dying. They’ll have to hear the news of someone dying while they they were trying to save them.They’ll have to hear the news of someone dying while they were having a coffee in the next block where that someone was dying. They’ll have to hear the news of someone dying while they were sleeping. They’ll have to hear the news. And they cannot do much. They survive, somehow.

With great power comes great impersonality.

The bad that tears through this silken world like a seasoned tailor’s scissor, requires a heroism of a higher kind which isn’t available to them. They know that they are walking blunders and would do more harm than good. They know that they are nothing but the embodiment of a super-ego. They know that for most of the world they don’t even exist but in comic books. Naturally they’d want to kill themselves. And naturally, they try.

I know of a superhero who almost killed himself. He could not sleep that day, or the day before that, or before that. He could not continue with his vigils at night. He hadn’t gone out for a month. His lose grey flannels were on the verge of giving away, but he kept wearing them. They were as old as his heroism. In his tiny room, this man of gigantic consciousness and super-strength, withered away like a heartbroken teenager. He last shaved when he was last on a date, and since then it seemed a century had passed, every moment hanging on his beard in black and grey, every year stretching like a trench below his eyes. His forehead was becoming unbearable for his brows to lift. His nose had blackheads as if nailed with a hammer to it. His chin had grown to a point where he could see it with his eyes.

Before he was to try killing himself he looked outside. The night was sitting on his wiindow swinging her legs. The wind came gatecrashing like a stubborn journalist. The stars rubbed their eyes in disbelief. It was same as before. Metaphors took place of reality. The ceremeony began.

He started with the fan-rope-stool combination. The ceiling came off, bringing down with it a bewildered couple who would have eventually made love had their bed not fallen down a storey. He looked at them as if it was their mistake. He went out in search of a pistol, which he found quite easily, in hands of a frail man who was out to kill someone. First he took his pistol away from him and shot him. Then, he put the pistol inside his mouth and pulled the trigger. There was an impressive sound. He mouth was producing curls of smoke. He coughed. He lit a cigarette, and went on. Walking on the road he found an empty Jack. He broke it on his head, and took the pointy part to his wrists. He tried slashing. It was like slashing a rug by a needle. Nothing red appeared, except some unimpressive white – a testament to his extremely dry skin. He was miffed. He climbed on top of one of the longer bulidings, and jumped. His grey coat was torn, and the buckle of his belt came out. He stood up and threw away his coat. He ran for his death. He was crying and screaming. It did not look very superhero like. He stopped on a rail crossing. He decided to die before the most beautiful creation of mankind – a train.

He waited for the piercing sound. He took off his brick patterened red tie. He was standing on the tracks in a paling white shirt, and a greying grey pant. Before the train the white light hit him. “Light travels faster than the speed of train,” he chuckled. He was sure that the light after death would be brighter. Then came the train and he collided head on with it. There was a deafening sound of something big running into another something big. The coaches collided, hitting, mounting on each other like annoyed school kids. The coal in the coaches was crushed to pieces. He was thrown a mile away. His shirt had come off. His pant was somehow burnt. He took it off, along with his underpants. He was lying naked on a mound of coal. A coach was burning next to him. He legs were shaking. It was a step in the right direction. If only he could get hit a number of times by a number of trains. “The driver must have been grilled. Coal is stronger than humans. What if it was filled by them?” He dropped the idea, and left the burning spectacle to burn all night. He knew he was close to river.

A few minutes sprint and he will be on the bridge. He started running, but stopped. He looked back at the burning farm, the flaming wind, the smouldering coach. A thought wandered to his mind, stopped and looked through his eyes. The suicide seemed possible. He decided to take the bigger chunk of the devastated coach with him. He dragged the hot iron leviathan with his bare hands. He was feeling his flesh receding to his bones. He was feeling alive after ages. He reached the bridge clanking his way to the middle. He destroyed the railing to keep the jumping area unclutterd. The broken bogey stood smoking on the bridge. He went inside the coach and carved a hole in its floor. Then, by sheer strength, and an unsurpassable will to die, he put his head in that small hole. It was like a necklace that covered his head and the sky above his head. A burning iron necklace which one has to support on their shoulders. He jumped off the bridge.

The river woke up as a sleeping man hit with water. The superhero went to the bottom of the river. It felt warm. The necklace felt heavy, as he was down on his knees, his body digging deep in the river bed, and his head outstretched inside the bogey. There was finally some blood coming out of his neck, curling in water like smoke. Some of it went back to him along with the green water through his nose and his ears. It seemed he could not breathe, that he could finally end it all.

“Water, water, everywhere,” he thought, “but not enough to die.”


3 thoughts on “Heracles

  1. Slammed once again… Really good! Hilarious images, and yet seriousness beneath… parodying famous lines… and the river as a sleeping man on whom water is splashed – very interesting image… Maza aai giyo ladiyo!!

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