Every child aspires to be like a superhero, whether it's Superman or Chhota Bheem. Kanika Dhillon, author of the superhero book 'Shiva & the Rise of the Shadows' recently conducted a fun-filled session at the Junior Writer’s Bug Festival at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai on how to create your own superhero. Melissa Fernandes tells you more.
Watching superheroes fight evil and win battles is inspiring, but having the power to create a superhero—now that's truly exciting! Kanika Dhillon, India's first woman author to create a superhero, recently conducted a workshop for children aged 12 years and above on how to create their own superheroes. Dhillon says, "At the workshop, I read a few pages from my book to give the participants a perspective on a superhero. Then I drew out themes on how one can construct a superhero. We had a very engaging discussion as every child came up with interesting ideas, mostly out of the box, to create their own superhero."
Abhijay Joshi, a class 11 student from IIT-ian's Pace Junior Science College and an active participant said, "The workshop began with a book-reading exercise. I really enjoyed the book, especially because it was about superheroes and I like how it was written. The workshop was brilliant and I picked up a lot of tips from there. I learnt about how to create a plot, how superheroes get their powers, how they need to fight for their family or for justice and how the villain should have an edge over the hero. I didn't construct a superhero at the workshop as there were many people and less time. But there were many who threw up brilliant ideas. One participant wanted his superhero to uproot trees to defeat his villains and then place the trees back later, while one created a Laserman to kill his enemies. One participant even came up with the excellent idea of a blind superhero!"The workshop was a fun-filled and lively exercise that put the creativity of 50 children to the test. Dhillon adds, "Book-reading sessions for children are always beneficial. They are a fantastic exercise and teach children about many creative activities. Children are also exposed to different authors on a one-on-one basis and this helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses."
HOW TO CONSTRUCT A SUPERHERO
The most important thing that makes a hero into a superhero is his or her super power. It is therefore imperative to first give your superhero a super power.
Giving a superhero powers is not enough! You need to decide why and how he or she got these powers. Are there any limitations to these powers? Do they increase or decrease with time? If there is no evolution, your superhero will be uninspiring.
Give your superhero a weakness to overcome. If he or she does not have to overcome internal conflicts and pressures, personal losses or challenging situations–just like we do in real life–your superhero will not be relatable. Remember, a superhero needs to inspire us to get over our own weaknesses because there is a superhero in all of us.
Just like all of us stand out with our eccentricities, your superhero needs an interesting personality too. Is he or she a geek? Is he under-confident or flamboyant or allergic to things? Is he heartbroken? A superhero should have a personality that is endearing, or else he will just be a robot with powers!
A superhero without a cause is like an archer without an arrow! Make your superhero stand for something he or she believes in. For example, Batman believes in protecting the city of Gotham. A worthy cause will make your superhero truly heroic.
If there is no super villain to defeat, who will the superhero fight? The stronger the enemy and the harder the hero fights this enemy, the better your story will be. So invest in a super villain that can match and defeat your superhero–who is perhaps more powerful–so that his defeat will be the ultimate triumph of good over evil!
And most importantly, while you create your own superhero, don't forget to look around you and identify the real superheroes in your life—be it a friend, parent or sibling! They may not wear a cape, but they are fighting your battles!
ABOUT KANIKA DHILLON
Kanika Dhillon was part of the team that created the screenplay and dialogues for the Bollywood blockbuster ‘Ra.One’. Her first novel, 'Bombay Duck is a Fish' was a 2011 bestseller.
Here's what RobinAgers have to say about their favourite superheroes!
"Chhota Bheem is my favourite superhero as he is strong, brave and destroys evil forces. I want to be like him but I also want a cape and the power to rewind time and undo mistakes." - Ranvir Joshi, Class 4, Holy Family High School, Mumbai
"My favourite superhero is Superman. He can hear everything that is happening on Earth and no one can defeat him. I want to be Superwoman with the same powers as Superman." - Sakshi Yadav, Class 6, Canossa High School, Mumbai"My favourite superhero is a mix between Iron Man, the Hulk and Thor. I like them because of their amazing personalities and powers. They are super strong, invincible and intelligent too. I want to be a superhero with the combined powers of all three." - Justin Jessel, Class 7, Bishop Cotton Boy's School, Bengaluru
"I am not a big fan of superheroes as I find all of them to be very similar. But if I was to choose one, it would be Iron Man because of his unique sense of humour and intelligence. I want to be a scientist in the future and I would like to be like Iron Man—intelligent and ambitious." - Yohaan Rane, Class 7, Arya Public School, New Delhi
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