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Villains in disguise

In comics, stories, novels, movies, and everywhere else, you’ll find that primordial setting of protagonists and antagonists fighting. Fighting to prove that their own beliefs are right with no thought of the world. They say the fights are justice against evil. Good versus bad, the yin and yang colliding for a state of equilibrium. But is it really just that? Is it a fight to keep a balance in the world? Is it not about who is right or not?

They give you this doubt that maybe the heroes are not the heroes that you thought of. You might not be so off-the-mark. The way I see it, villains are not born, we make them. We create them so that we can have heroes. Without these villains, the anomalies in our peaceful, kind world, how will our heroes help us? Imagine Superman working as a blacksmith or Batman as a postman. (“Here’s your post.” “BATMAN! This is the bathroom, for God’s sake!”)

The absence of heroic acts is clear because evil is non-existent and people don’t need someone to save them from the falling debris. They need help with their credit score. People are more afraid of unemployment than getting kidnapped by the Riddler and billionaires are making lives miserable instead of nano suits like they are supposed to. The mind of a genius (me!) thinks that the villains are just moments. Like watching your dad touch the walls of the house your family spent 11 years in and say, “This is my home,” as he half cried. When you walked back home 19 kilometres because you didn’t have money in your pocket. The moment where you cried in the rain, not the way they depict in the movies. Nobody came to pick you up then, when you were down. So maybe these are the moments that became your villains.

Being a hero is easier than anything in this world. Even villains have a soft corner for those they love.

Yin and Yang survive together, sure, but one doesn’t need to overpower the other to make us feel safe. They should consider them being minimal, that’s also an option, and sometimes not beating the villain senselessly is also a heroic act. (Punching the air doesn’t seem that bad of an idea now, does it?). The guarantee that life is or will be brilliant isn’t enough. 

Kendrick Lamar, in his song, Pray For Me, says: “Who need a hero? You need a hero. Look in the mirror, there go your hero”. I have these words written on my wall, diary, bag, and imprinted in my head. These words are simple, but have given me a reason to wake up every day and fight for the things I believe in. So take a deep breath, steel your nerves, and go back to being the most mind-blowing hero the world has ever seen. Help the people whom you think need it; it doesn’t have to be financial help. Help a girl reach home safely, help an elderly person carry their weight, feed a hungry soul, or help a kid find his way back home. Being a hero is easier than anything in this world. Even villains have a soft corner for those they love.

Here’s an idea for you whenever you feel that an ominous moment is looming over your head, waiting to pounce on you when your guard is down. Take it as it comes. Face it head on and rationalize why it is stupid and how you can work your way out of it. You might get 1 win in 10 matches at first (even Batman lost to Riddler a few times) but eventually you will win all of them. Villains and Heroes might be exaggerated stories, but that doesn’t mean you cannot learn how to win from them.

To Heroes, Villains, and People.

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St Pauls College, Bangalore

Kartikeya Singh

St Pauls College, Bangalore