“Papa, could you please narrate the story of a superhero today,” asked our little Pradhymna with a cute expression on his face.

“Sure, beta. Would you like to hear about SpiderMan?” questioned Shyam.

“Papa, I already watched it on Netflix last year”

“Ok, how about the life of SuperMan”

“I saw it on Amazon prime the previous month”

“Ohh, then IronMan?”

“I saw it on the Hotstar the previous week”

“Then, BatMan?”

“Papa, we both saw it yesterday night on YouTube”

“Ok, would you like to hear the story of an Indian superhero named HanuMan?”

“Papa, do you mean the one who jumps from Indian shore to Srilanka in one go?” 

“Yes, my dear prady.”

“We all saw the serial in Doordarshan during the previous year lockdown. Papa, I would like to hear the story of a unique superhero.”

“Unique?” exclaimed Shyam, “In which way?”

“Papa, I realised one thing after watching the superhuman acts performed by all these superheroes.”

“What is that,” wondered Shyam.

“Even if I try I can’t repeat any of the actions done by these superheroes. So, I would like to hear about a superhero whose actions I could be able to repeat or replicate in my life.”

Shyam looked at his son with a gentle smile for few moments. Then he replied, “Would you like to hear about HuMan?”

“HuMan! I have never heard about him. Please tell about him, Papa.”

“His daily schedule is a bit unusual. Every morning, he wakes up to the cooings and chirpings of various birds. He wishes “Happy morning” to those birds without expecting a reply while feeding them grains and water.”

“Do some birds reply Papa?” asked our pradhyumna innocently.

“Yes, they do. But, only a person who has developed love in their heart towards them can feel the reciprocation.”

“Then?”

“Then, HuMan takes bath and keeps 15 chocolates ranging from 5star to  Dairymilk, Cadbury to Milky bar.”

“Why Papa, is this his daily breakfast.” questions prady while imagining having all of those toffees in his pocket.

“No beta. He distributes all those chocolates to poor children at traffic signals on his way to his office.”

“Doesn’t HuMan eats even a single one?” asks Prady unbelievingly. 

“No,” replies Shyam cooly and continues, “Even at his office, he is effective by being compassionate and at the same time firm with his subordinates. That’s why he has been the most loved boss.”

“I would love to have a teacher like HuMan Papa,”

“May your wish come true beta. In the evenings, he visits one of the nearby hospitals and helps poor patients with medical bills or eatables by collecting donations from his friends and neighbours. And, he never forgets to buy Marygold biscuits to feed the street dogs which will be waiting near his gate. They wag their tails lovingly when his car approaches his house. When he gets down they all surround him. Some jump hither and tither and some other nudge him playfully.”

“Papa, do dogs really eat Marygold biscuits”

“Yes, why are you asking it particularly Prady?” questioned Shyam with slight suspicion.

“Because I would like to feed the stray dogs my share of Marygold biscuits, which Mom keeps for me as snacks. They don’t taste good and that’s why I can’t eat more than 2 biscuits. Every day, I throw the remaining biscuits in the dustbin.”

“What?” 

“Yes, Papa. Please don’t say this to mom, else she scolds me. From tomorrow onwards instead of throwing, I will feed them to the stray dogs near our school”

“Ok, I won’t tell your mother. But do you really mean to feed the dogs,” asks Shyam?

“Yes, Papa, I do. Let’s continue the story. During the nights, BatMan usually sits on top of a large building of his town and helps someone who is in need. What does HuMan do at night?”

“HuMan has a peculiar habit. Every day, after dinner, he narrates fairy tales to his young one. Once his kid falls asleep, he goes out with a polythene bag consisting of a bedsheet or eatables or toys or clothes which he distributes to people on the roads of his city. Once the polythene gets empty, he returns home and falls asleep with contentment. This is the story of our superhero named HuMan. Did you like it beta?” asks Shyam.

Our little prady thinks for a few moments and replies, “Though HuMan’s life doesn’t have amazing action episodes, I somehow able to relate with his life and I started to like him, Papa. Thank you for this story.”  

“Now, it’s bedtime,” says Shyam and our little prady closes his eyes while lying on the bed. 

After about 10 minutes or so when Shyam sees no movement in prady, he silently walks out of the room, takes a polythene bag from one of the cupboards, informs his wife that he will be back in half an hour and goes out of the house. Our prady who has been thinking all this time about HuMan was unable to fall asleep. He gets out of his bed, peeps through the window and sees his father carrying a polythene bag. He gently smiles and watches his dad moving into the night knowing full well what’s in the polythene and what’s his dad is up to.

 

Thank you for your time. The Character “HuMan” is inspired by the kind stories I have been reading in the Black Lotus app.

Do you wish to transform yourself from being a human to HuMan?  

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Vamsi Krishna Anyam

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