Sun, 26 May, 2024

Creative Focus: A Super Hero Mind

By Umang Gurung

The city was enveloped by darkness. There were a few lights, far apart, but did little to outline the majestic city. The streets were almost empty with little sign of life. Dogs were barking, vehicles were few. The air was still and had a cold touch. Most part of the city was asleep, dreaming, and unaware of what the next day would bring. I looked at the city. The view was breath-taking atop Dharara. It was easy to forget the pollution, poverty, crimes and corruption that plagued this city. I believed I was its protector. Well, I tried my best. I hid my face and wore a suit. As a symbol I stood, giving people hope that this city can be saved. The police labelled me ‘vigilante’, the people called me a hero. My means were questionable but necessary.

I made a lot of adversaries who would let the city die. They couldn’t see how their actions affected innocent lives nor did they care. Some actively pursued this destructive path while others were misled. There were also those who brought harm just to oppose me. It was a game to them, their answer to their existence. I could not know what was in their minds. Maybe for them this was right, for them this was justice. I played by the rules, I was pushed to the brink, put my close ones in danger but I won. I had to win because any loss was too great. The stakes were too high.

I could not escape this responsibility. There were bad days when my life was in turmoil. I carried on because it was the right thing to do. Was it the right thing to do? What about the grey between the black and white? I had to make decisions. I had to shoulder these burdens. I had to do it alone. I wanted to do it alone but couldn’t. I would master as a saviour but who would save me? The kid saved me. I took him in to make him strong. I taught him to fight, taught him to use his grief. He had nothing left in the world so I took him in. I opposed to his request. He was young with his whole life ahead of him. But he was determined, driven and full of talent with that spark that I once had.

Reflecting back to all that has happened I can’t imagine being someone else. But what has changed? Is the city safer? I started it but how will it end? I play with death every day and get lucky but I won’t always be. What will I leave behind?

The city called for me. I could hear police sirens from east. I went.