Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Gods & Superheroes

Hello folks! Writing after quite a hiatus. Was busy doing nothing in particular, but a lot in general.

Hmm..notice that no pronouns in the previous few lines. That is downright irritating, but somehow I (yehh!!) seem to like it this way.

Anyway, today's entry is based on a sequence of thoughts that popped up in my head sparked by a mail from Kaushik. The actual lines were:
Lets look at the concept [of Alien vs Predator] . A species of one race and another race come to fight and the third race is a must for the fight to occur . I mean give me an Indian movie which has ever thought of this concept.

I would like to tackle this on 2 levels -
Firstly, on a very specific level, Alien vs Predator is hardly a unique concept. This is just the latest trend in American movies. You had Freddy vs Jason where Freddy of Nightmare on Elm Street series and Jason from the Friday the 13th series collude and then face off. There was Van Helsing which had Dracula and Frankenstein's monster getting together. It seems to be pretty obvious that US film-makers have gone barren on the plot front. So they are just exhuming old characters from cult classics and putting them into a single movie. Sheesh!!!

Now let me get to the more "intellectual" level. It is my opinion (and maybe others as well) that Americans do not have a history. Note, I do not say "sense of history". I am not one to judge that. But they do not have a rich history as the Indians, or the Romans.
Due to this "lack of history", they had to create legends rather than just read about them from their ancestors (like we do). Thus came the superheroes!

The superhero represented an amalgamation of all the strengths they aspired for. Their colletive fears manifested itself in the form of the "evil" that the superhero eventually vanquished.

Notice that this isnt very dissimilar from our myths & legends. You may be a theist or an atheist. Either way, stories of Ramayana or Mahabaratha do exist - as fiction for the atheist and as non-fiction for the theist.

So what is Superman - nothing but an extension of our Hanuman. What are aliens - nothing but an extension of our Asuras. LOTR - an inspiration from the Ramayana.

There are a million such parallels that could be drawn. As part of my quest to determine the likes of such extensions I shall begin reading the Mahabaratha..again! If anyone knows a more comprehensive version than Rajaji's, please let me know. I would be eternally grateful.

What about our Gods? I am a theist, if not overly religious. And I do believe that there does exist a supernatural power - a power beyond mere human control. Our ancestors gave this power the shape of a God (be it whichever religion).

Say that Gods do not exist. Maybe the superheroes created by our forefathers manifested themselves into Gods in our age.

Hmm..seems like I have begun to ramble. That is if what I had been doing before that doesnt count as rambling. :) Let me end my theological soliloquy right here and resume it another day.


At 12:07 AM, Blogger Vish-vishy-visher said...

God level logic da. Especially the Comicbook-History linkage is extremely insightful.


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