Little Ibs is always bombarding me with his innocent questions and at times I find them laughable, sometimes I really have to think hard to answer his questions. Making a small boy understand complex questions is really difficult. Here’s one for example, he told me to get a new car a about two years ago. I told him, “I have no money for a new car”, to which he replied, “just go to the ATM and get it :-)” How do you make a small kid understand that money doesn’t just come in an ATM, you actually have to earn it?
But then just recently he came running from his evening games saying he had told his friends, that his father (me) has seen Spider-man in real! Now I don’t remember ever telling him that. But I do recall I saw a live movie being shot somewhere near Times Square three years back and took a photo of Spider-man in full costume standing on an upturned car. So Ibs had actually seen that photo an assumed that Spider-man did actually exist, somewhere in the US and that his dad has seen him. A slight conversation ensued between the confused child and his equally bewildered dad. That’s when he bombarded me with another one liner, “Do super-heroes actually exist?” To which I replied a firm “No”, but told him he could be a super-hero is he wanted to be one. The eight year old’s eyes widened in comical amazement asking me, “really?” and “how?” in one go. The simple reply was, “by helping people”. But the complex one took sometime to narrate him a story…..
It was 2001, I was then a the owner of a Charade car, the one that runs on Diesel, but heck this one was different in that it chose to stop and move at its will. That particular day in simmering hot sun I drove out to run an errand and got stuck in traffic, that’s when the Charade decided to give up on me. The engine just died, and the thing stopped moving. Here I was a struggling man on the verge of being broke, stranded in the middle of the road with cars passing by at me, honking at me, giving me ugly looks, without a soul there to help me. In such times praying does help, or so I think. But then came a car which literally after crossing some lanes and after having got a few ugly glances from the people around me, just stopped in front of my car. The nice gentleman got out of his car with little or no regard for the sweltering heat and asked me if I needed help? “Help!” sure that was the only thing I needed then. The real life “tiny” Hulk that he was, he pushed my car in the 40 plus heat for at least 30 meters till it decided to start and let out a big plume of dark smoke that Diesel engines spew. The rush of traffic prevented me from thanking him dearly, which to this day I regret. That day I came to know that Super-heroes do exist among us. They are in fact like you and me, they are ordinary looking men and women but with gentle loving hearts. They are people with a sense of purpose and living. They are what makes us humans. They are the best of us. And to be a super-hero you just need compassion and empathy.
Little Ibs I am sure got a big lesson out of this story, just like his dad did. Being human is easy, but being humane isn’t…It needs sacrifice and lot so of love for humanity.