Books · World

Pakistan

See? I keep my promises.

At the risk of turning the world against me, I’m going to forge ahead to make the following statement.

I think Batman is a terrible superhero.

Here’s a man who has every advantage in the world and yet he squanders it away by pretending to be a millionaire playboy by day and a tights-donning vigilante by night who “beats up bad guys to teach them a lesson” instead of literally teaching them a lesson.

Yes, I mean the “correct”* use of the word literally.

Instead of slapping on an ineffective bandaid on the deep cracks of Gotham’s vicious underworld, with his money and position, Bruce Wayne could do some real good! Education is the key. Educate children before they become the poor, violent criminals that Batman beats up and you have a healthy, functional society.

And that’s why I think that the real superhero that children ought to be reading about is Malala Yousafzai. I haven’t yet finished reading the book for a detailed review of it yet, but so far, the youngest Nobel Prize winner’s story of fighting for education against all odds is incredibly inspiring.

The narrative so far flows easily and has a strong local flavour. It has the same simplicity as the Ruskin Bond stories that I loved reading growing up. To me, this reinforces the idea that the lives of Pakistanis and Indians, though miles apart are really quite the same. It isn’t that I believed differently; the two were one country only 60 years ago, but it’s still strangely exciting to know that we share some insignificant traditions such as eating with your right hand or the quirky dance of courtship that was the norm a generation or two ago.

The description of Swat as this picturesque, sequestered valley in Pakistan fits right in with my imagination of the majestic mountains of the Hindu Kush. Just look at this place! It’s breathtaking:

mahodand-fish-lake-kalam-swat-kpk-pakistan-1364569227_b

I hope that the world, or my life, whichever comes first, changes enough for me to be able to travel to this magical country.

*The definition of “literally” to mean an emphatic “figuratively” has been added to the dictionary.

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