Friday, April 03, 2015

Dear Clark Kent

Clark Kent aka Superman, 
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Formerly known as Kal-el from Planet Krypton, before moving to Smallville, Kansas 
C/o Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, 
Currently residing in the fictional city of Metropolis, where he works with The Daily Planet and saves the world

Dear Clark,

The rest of the world, including that dumb Lois Lane (what did you see in her?), might be taken in by your bumbling doofus act, but spectacles as the ultimate disguise accessory and the mild mannerisms don’t fool me. I’ve always known the real you.

I was entranced from the moment I clamped eyes on you in your red-and-blue costume, with the red cape flying high, the huge S emblazoned on your chest. When you entered the phone booth to change, my heart would skip a beat, in expectation of some baddie-bashing. It would thud louder when the absence of an unoccupied phone booth would prompt you to rip your shirt open to reveal the insignia on the costume you wore inside. Once, you entered a revolving door as Clark, and spun through it at an incredible speed, only to exit as Superman.

Sometimes, you would tell Lois that you had suddenly remembered something or that you were going to call the police. In the darkness of the movie hall, I would feel superior to Lois, because I knew your secret, while she didn’t. Meanwhile my brother would ridicule you, something about torn shirts, flying bed sheets and red underwear. I could hardly hear him over the din raised by my little-girl heart. 

Back home he would add that it was only the gravitational conditions on earth that permitted you to get airborne. If your planet had not exploded, you would have been a wimp there 
(his words, not mine). I remained staunchly loyal, although, to be honest, my loyalty did flounder a little when he made fun of your fashion quotient. Did you really have to wear your red undies on top of your pants?

I learned much later that the red undies were required to emphasise your, ahem, you know what I mean. In their absence, your costume would have given you a comical, completely unsuperhero-like appearance.

Of course, not that I minded. Your universe was mine. I didn’t care about where you hid your work clothes when you were out saving the world. Those inconsistencies didn’t bother me. 

What bothered me were some of the silly things you did. Like giving up your superpowers to lead a washed out, domestic life with Lois. How could you give up super hearing, heat and X-ray vision, superhuman strength, the ability to fly, a breath that can freeze, and longevity for her? Thankfully that foolishness didn’t last long.

You need both elements of your identity to be complete. The superhero cannot exist without the quiet reporter. I used to think it was incredibly smart of you to work as a reporter, to receive information about crime scenes and beat the stuffing out of the baddies. Truth and justice were your goals in both identities.

If only every job were a job for superman, this world would have been a much safer one for us, or at least for those who had the good fortune to reside in the fictional Metropolis.


  1. Wonderful. I'm forwarding this to my son.

  2. Loove ur take Cynthia. It's engrossing and take super heroes to another level. Now, I am smiling:)

  3. Thank you, Ranveer Vishal. Superman was the first superhero I read about. He opened up my universe.

  4. This was awesome. An open letter to Clark (Superman) Kent. Really enjoyed reading it.

  5. So happy to hear that, Jeffrey. Superman has always been one of my favourite characters, and Christopher Reeve had a lot to do with that.

  6. hahhaaa.. Good one Cynthia. Enjoyed reading that, esp the comments from your brother :) I cold never figure out where that huge red cape went when Superman became Clark Kent. Isn't it a bit too uncomfortable to tuck in the cape along with the shirt? :) Anyway, Superman's one of my fav superheroes, though no one can beat The Ghost who walks :)

  7. And oh yes, I guess I liked Superman ONLY because of C Reeve :) The ones who donned that suit later haven't been all that exciting.

  8. Thank you, Prathima. Christopher Reeve captured all our imaginations. No other actor came even close. It was like he was made for the character.
    Good to know you loved Phantom too.



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