What My Daughter Can Learn From Superheroes :by Vishvesh Desai

15624552_192421064554908_5222718319705980928_n

Wolverine & X23 artwork by Laura Kinney

Growing up in India our childhood is awash with Mythology; we have immortal Demons, flying Gods who can lift mountains, Gods wielding weapons of cosmic destruction…our Epics are amazing storytelling, featuring larger than life superheroes. They take the reader on a surprising visual journey through the eyes of the various characters, teaching things along the way. They are a revelation at every age, with different inferences derived as we grow older.

When I was a kid I used to come across the occasional Phantom and Mandrake comics from my Father’s collection. While those stories were entertaining (and apt for a mature reader) what really opened up the superhero universe for me was finding a haul of Superman, Batman and X-Men comics in my early teens. While a man flying was no novelty for me, a crime fighting vigilante dressed up as a bat definitely was! So were the X-Men, mutants with amazing powers but yet outcast by ‘regular’ people, ironically because of those same amazing powers they possessed. I was hooked. Long story short, I’m now what they call a ‘fanboy’. I love comics. I love everything about them. In fact my love of comics led me to start a comic book studio wherein our artists create an immersive visual universe for the reader.

When I became a father, story time with my little one was fun for me. A bonding experience, especially since I’ve dabbled with so many stories, I can make up them up on my own. I knew eventually I’ll be introducing my daughter to the world of superheroes….and why not? We have so much to learn from them.

Superheroes continue to evolve and have such a vast history; they are the perfect paradigm to learn various real world qualities, especially at a young age.

WHAT I WOULD LOVE TO TEACH MY DAUGHTER ABOUT SUPERHEROES

  • Purpose

Every superhero has a purpose. In fact, even the villains do! Having a purpose gives clarity of thought, a vision on how to achieve that purpose. It also helps formulate a plan of action. It need not be something big and world changing every time…the idea of having a purpose percolates into smaller, daily actions.

  • Leadership and Teamwork

Superman may be able to handle a crisis alone, but he is much more formidable with the Justice League around. Superheroes teach kids group dynamics, how to work as part of the team, how to step up as a leader when the situation demands it. An Avengers story may also feature friction between some of the team members, teaching kids conflict and its resolution. Whatever they have read or seen subconsciously helps them on the basketball court, in the playground and in the classroom as well.

  • Expands their Universe

One of the reasons I love comics is the budget for special effects is unlimited. An artist can draw her vision of what an intergalactic police headquarters may look without having to worry about running out of money to get her vision across. Reading a Green Lantern story is a visual treat, taking the reader on a planetary journey and thereby expanding his mind’s eye. So often I’ve seen kids drawing amazing things after being exposed to some of the comics and movies based on them.

  • It is OK to be Different

A very important message which superhero stories convey – everyone is unique and that is okay. In fact, that is wonderful! Take the X-Men. Every single member is unique, having a unique set of powers and a unique set of problems. Today kids are marginalized for the smallest of things. Childhood can be scary and children can be mean. Especially when they gang up together. But if Rogue can deal with not being able to touch another person without harming them, I can deal with being a little different from the crowd, right?

  • Compassion

Superheroes help others. Period. I cannot emphasize this enough. The best way to do good is to be good. Now we may not have powers that can stop a falling building but we can definitely share our umbrella with a boy from school who you don’t really know. Compassion. Empathy. Very powerful qualities when inculcated at a young age, creates better adults. Superheroes don’t need to wear capes. They are defined by their actions. It could be you or me. Actually, it HAS to be you and me.

  • There will be Testing Times

Every journey of a hero is peppered with tests. It is a rite of passage. Whether it is Lord Ram’s banishment from Ayodhya, the trials of Hercules or Bruce Wayne losing his parents as a child, every journey has tests. It is how the hero acts during those testing times is what really defines them. Tough times come for everyone and kids need to know that they have affected even the best of people. Superhero stories teach kids to have faith and conviction to work their way out of the testing times. Be strong.

  • Have Fun

Sounds so simple, right? It’s vital to make time for fun. Life is serious no doubt but it’s no good without some fun. Kids are bogged down with school, homework, peer pressure, parent pressure, extra-curricular classes and believe it or not, keeping up appearances at even their age. Often there is no time for fun. Even Wonder Woman, an Amazon Princess driven by her ideals, righteousness and military training lets her hair down once in a while. Fun for her may be competing with the Flash in a footrace or a game of chess with Batman. But it’s fun. For every Cyclops, it’s crucial to have a Deadpool.

This list could go on for quite a while but these are some of the main reasons why I share superhero stories with my daughter. The learning superhero stories provide is nothing new. The wisdom has been told through the Vedas, Scriptures and several other sacred writings and books. They have never been, however, packaged so dynamically to appeal to such a wide demographic, overcoming all barriers. And that is their best super power!

vishvesh

Vishvesh is someone who wears many diverse hats; business consultant, gamer, father, gym rat, comic fan boy, history geek, music enthusiast, spiritual journeyman…the list is quite long. He believes in wearing multiple of these hats at once to get the best out of the time he has on hand.

 A quick background, Vishvesh finished his academics in Pune and since working for Gotham Entertainment Group in Bangalore way back in 2005, he’s been working in the entertainment industry. He has been a Business Consultant for clients in the publishing and entertainment industry covering branding, marketing and licensing aspects before forming his my own studio called Division 91 in Mumbai specializing in content, creative and illustration based services. His studio partnered with industry leaders such as Yash Raj Films, Red Chillies, Eros, Disney, Fox, Amar Chitra Katha, Network 18, Mahindra etc for several projects, marketing campaigns and licensing opportunities. He has since moved the studio to Pune under a new name, IdeaScope, and added creative consultation for clients across various industry verticals.

‘If you see the Buddha in the lane, pass him the ball’ is one of his favorite quotes and philosophies. In his spare time you can find him either on the basketball court playing a pickup game, with his daughter on the kids playground or engrossed in a book sipping a freshly brewed coffee. He blogs about variety of things at http://vishveshd.blogspot.com/?view=magazineand illustrates his adventures with his daughter at http://adventuresnewdad.blogspot.com/2017/07/episode-sixty-one.html

 

 

 

Advertisements

Author: loganivy

FIRST THINGS FIRST Simply put I am here because I love books... I am extremely passionate about stories especially those steeped in mythical folklore, ancient myths, and legends and suffused with the magic of unique realms and supernatural worlds. I believe there is an alternate universe where magic, mysticism, and wonder still exist, a world where no reality is impossible. Discovering ourselves is an ongoing journey. From reading the next logical step was writing. I am the author of ‘The Breach’, an upcoming supernatural fantasy.For when I write about these worlds I become a part of them and learn more about myself each day. A PEEK INTO MY SOUL I am a realist but at the same time also a dreamer. To me, reading is a window into the hearts of others . Writing is the window to my imagination drawing from my glimpses of the world around me. The beauty of writing lies in the mind’s eye – what we see, the way we interpret it and finally how we translate it to paper. HOW I VIEW MY CHARACTERS To me, every character is multi-dimensional. There is no mere black or white perspective to a character. If a person is strong, we have to delve into what contributed to making them that way? Similarly, what are the fears, likes and loves of a character. That is what makes each one of them unique. It makes them what they are. No character should be just a filler in a story. If a character is evil, why is he or she that way? If a male character is not the central focus of a story, if he is okay with the girl in his life taking center stage I don’t see him as weak. I think he is a great guy and the kind that any girl would be lucky to have in their lives. Looking for the prince who rescues you from the dragon or the lecherous villain should be passé. Real men may not have muscles but they have good hearts. I write about such princes, the guys who are also okay with the girl playing hero in their life, being rescued by them too. I love reading and writing about girls and women with flaws because all real women are that way. Not the most beautiful, not the bravest, not the thinnest nor the richest. They find strength in their family, in their love. My girls do not compete against men; only circumstances and the challenges they throw up. The men who support them, stand by them are the ones I like to read and write about. Through this blog I hope to share more about inspirational characters and the beauty and richness a book contains. MY INSPIRATION Is it possible to cherish and to love something all your life without really analyzing it or understanding why? ‘Stories’ fired my imagination since I was a child….it started with my father, who would spend thirty minutes each night weaving supernatural tales of troubled ghosts in a bid to awe, shock and above all bond with his daughters. He never realized and neither did I that he was also weaving those little quirks into my personality that later on in life would go ahead and set me apart. During class breaks in school, I would share the same tales with the class, now adding my own embellishments, peaks, and lows so as to hold their attention and leave them shouting for more. As my dad got busier and we got a little older the stories seemed to have trickled off but not before transferring that hook for the beginning, the narration, the mystery and the spectacular end. Books and Movies became my magical time machines capable of drawing, pulling, and holding me. Friends and colleagues would decide to read books or watch movies after I brought to life with words what I read or saw on screen. Even love came to me through books when the first time I met my husband we fell in love over a discussion on ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’. One day I realized what I should have known all along – Stories; they lived in my soul. I had worlds to create, people waiting to be brought to life and stories to share. So I share what I love.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s