At the onset, let me assure my readers that I am perfectly sane- at least within acceptable limits of sanity. No major physiological or psychological disorders (save an ever-present and insatiable craving for coffee). I realise every nut case in the world probably has the same thing to say, but for the sake of my story below, let’s agree to agree on this.
So here goes. I had just turned 26 and come back to India from a long-ish stint in the land Down Under. Like every enthusiastic Indian parent with a daughter on the wrong side of her 20s, mine prepared a thoughtfully put together slideshow of photographs and ‘marital curriculum vitae’ of what appeared to be homely-looking potential grooms. I felt much like the CMO of a major corporation being pitched ideas by competing agencies for a high budget, disruptive campaign.
Amusement notwithstanding, realising the gravity of the situation, I laid down my terms in a scenario much like a divorce settlement with no prenuptial contract in place.
But, before I get to that, let me do a bit of a flashback and warn you about the perils of letting your children read too many comic books. My parents never got the memo, and so a majority of my adolescent (and much of my adult) life was spent pouring over Marvel comics, with the wide-eyed wonder of a child standing at the gates of a Hershey’s factory. It wasn’t just a birth date (28th December) I shared with a gentleman by the name of Stanley Martin Lieber or Stan Lee (the writer, editor and publisher of Marvel comics), but also a passion for the animated super hero. In particular, I had developed what you may call a childhood fascination for one particular super-soldier who shield-tossed his way into my heart- Captain America (swoon!)
Now childhood fantasy is alright, but when one starts getting crazy ideas about marrying a two-dimensional comic book superhero late into their twenties, things start to get a little creepy. Rolling on ahead to where we left off our story, my now seemingly unbecoming infantile fascination had morphed into something bigger and more ludicrous- I wanted a husband just like Captain America! Seeing as getting Chris Evans featured in the list of potential grooms for their light-headed daughter may be a tad tricky, my poor parents tried hard to shield-toss some rationality into my half-wit brain.
Alas, to no avail. After many doctors, lawyers and engineers were promptly shown the door, any beam of hope my parents had of ridding me off their hands seemed to have diminished. But as they say, the darkest hour is just before the dawn, along came a proposal which would change the course of history as we know it.
There was a boy who could fill the blue suit (somewhat) after all! A young Captain in the Indian Army- a soldier specially trained in hand-to-hand combat who had been a scrawny, bullied kid that grew up with patriotic notions of serving his country! Moreover, he had been rejected in the army due to poor eyesight and had to undergo a laser operation before being enlisted (alas, it was not a German doctor that performed the procedure, but in my head it was). What’s more, he was an excellent Frisbee-tosser too! (a trait no doubt highly valued in their suitors by sensible young girls)
No question about it, this was the man for the mission. The Captain was sent into the battlefield minus the Vibranium shield to defend himself with.
Seven years later, the young Captain (now a middle-aged Major) is now a wounded prisoner inflicted by war crimes by yours truly. Nevertheless, when I heard that my favourite beverage Thums Up Charged No Sugar was collaborating with The Avengers Infinity Wars, I was reminded of this sweet little, romantic tale (of course, it may not be so if you hear his side of it, but you know how husbands exaggerate!). Of course, I think it’s wonderful- a perfect combination of strength and thunder shared by both beverage and franchise.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal only.