The Adventures of Bhanuman (The non-violent superhero)
by Biswajit Dasgupta
With an introduction by Saptarshi Sanyal
Dear Readers, Let me introduce you to the protagonist of
my story. Bhanu Man is the anti-super-hero; he is 5'10",
weighs 85 kilos and makes no issues about any of his six
chins. He loves food and just goes on adding weight. During
the day, he is Bhanu Man! At night he works for a multinational
company, as a lowly paid tele-caller; he is bawled at for
his 'oriya' accent and gets the worst appraisals from everyone.
He derives his energy from the reaction of the sun and beer
in a complicated chemical process called 'alcosynthesis'.
His back up power comes from artificial light. His main
job is to save the world, but only from ecological disasters...
It was a windy morning when trees were crying leaves into
the river. Winter had arrived and summer was nearly over.
Even the birds had packed up and gone. They were flying
south where the wind was not so strong. People sat and drank
their coffees and the newspapers had already arrived. The
background was filled with the noise of the local television
reporter, reporting yesterday's events. The milk van had
completed its daily rounds of supply and was heading back
to the garage. The health freaks were braving the chilly
winds and running. All in all, it was just another normal
dawn in the small town of Tintunagar.
Tintunagar was a small coastal town, which mainly survived
on fishing. In fact, eight to half past eight was when the
local fishermen would return home with their fill. Today
it was ten minutes to eight. Little did the innocent civilians
know that the lively town was about to be transformed into
a mass graveyard! The elders had always boasted of Tintunagar's
history. There was never a problem. Tragedy, they thought
was something to be experienced in a fictional novel.
A German submarine, in one of their routine drills had mistakenly
fired six torpedoes. The torpedoes were heading straight
for the town. First-mate Charlie was quick to understand
the blunder but it was all too late. He had wired the situation
to the base but they were unable to react swiftly.
In four minutes and twenty-three seconds, the torpedoes
would strike and Tintunagar would be history. The captain
of the vessel, Lieutenant Conrad immediately got hold of
their satellite phone and dialed a toll free number. He
knew that this was the last resort. The number would connect
to Bhanuman and only he could save the impending disaster.
One minute and six seconds had already expired and time
was running out. Maybe it was all too late thought Conrad
and prayed fervently.
Bhanuman was holidaying in Venus, getting his powers charged
when the call arrived. He had no time to waste. He raised
his bottom, gulped his beer and headed towards earth. With
the speed of 1602 rocket ships and 9002 Boeing 747s, Bhanuman
was traveling at 1.3 million miles per second. He would
reach Tintunagar forty two seconds before the first torpedo
was going to strike. Bhanuman's mind had already started
computing. The task at hand wasn't easy. He weighed the
options before him. It was all a matter of seconds and he
had to act fast.
Legend has it that Bhanuman's mind worked faster than his
flying and Bhanuman always managed to live up to that reputation.
He knew that in his life there could not be a retake. He
was always presented with the problem at the last minute
and his decisions were made in the split of a second.
CONTD ON NEXT PAGE