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The Superpower of Attention

“What superpower would you like to have?”, Grandpa asked the question to a knot of chirpy kids.

“Think about one superpower that will help you in making the life of others around you better. There will be a prize for the best answer,” he said showing a shiny coin to the kids before tucking it inside his pocket.

All this happened many years ago and I was one of the four kids sitting on a wooden cot under a shady banyan tree.

“Of course, the flying power of Superman!”, my twelve year old cousin said leaping out of the cot as he ran around the tree with one arm extended in the air.

“But why?”, grandpa did not sound impressed.

“I will fly to wherever I want to!”

“You could take an airplane”, grandpa teased.

‘But airplanes don’t fly to everywhere”, my cousin seemed dejected.

“But why do you want to go to everywhere in the first place?”. Grandpa winked, “ And how will it help others?”

“I will be able see bad guys with my x-ray vision and fly to foil their plots!”

“You can have just one superpower”, the girl with hazel eyes interrupted. She was my sister’s friend and lived in the lane next to our home.

“That is the rule – you can either fly or have x-ray vision. Right grandpa?” She asked. I suspected that she had an axe to grind against my cousin who had been annoying her since the morning.

“Yes. Only one superpower please,” Grandpa nodded affirmatively.

“I know what I want”, my sister replied,” Aqua man’s power to control water – I will rescue folks who are drowning! I will be the Aqua girl!”

“Yes that can be helpful”, Grandpa replied, “But how will you get to places where these folks are drowning?” he seemed determined in crushing the fantasy of this knot of kids.

“You could sit on my back and I can take you to anywhere”, my superman cousin had jumped out of the cot again.

“No that is cheating. Grandpa has asked for us to think of something that we can do individually”, the girl with hazel eyes interrupted again.

“What superpower do you want?”, I asked her , a bit annoyed with her interruptions.

“I want the power to calm down minds”, she replied plainly.

The two boys rolled around the cot around her, laughing loudly. “How is that a superpower”, it was our turn to get back our revenge, “you want to run around the town looking for crazy folks and calm them down?”

“Let’s hear her out”, Grandpa somber voice rang across the brick paved courtyard, “Why do you want that power, dear?”, he asked.

“Because that power will help me calm my mind first”, she smiled, “and them I can use it to calm the minds of those around me”

“How is that a superpower?”, I had to ask.

“Superpower is power that majority of people do not have and most of the people I know cannot calm their minds and because of that get in all sorts of trouble.”

“No it is not a superpower!” This is not …., my aspiring superman cousin yelled in frustration.

“Caaalm down!”, the girl said gently pointed her index finger towards him. An invisible spark of energy jumped across the air and the agitated superman’s expression changed. The wave of rage and frustration vanished. A smile appeared on his face even as I stared in amazement. “ I am sorry I yelled at you”, he said sheepishly.

“How did you do this, Kali!”, I fumbled for words looking at her. This was indeed the coolest of the superpowers! I could only imagine what all I could do if I could have that effect on all folks I interacted with in my life. An angry parent, an agitated friend, a crabby teacher, an irritated coach and a nervous teammate. This superpower could be used to impact folks that would really mater to me! How cool that would be!!

“It is your turn, now – what superpower would you like to have?”, Grandpa asked me.

“I want the same superpower – ability to calm down minds!”, I did not have to think.

“So looks like we have a winner here”, Grandpa smiled pulling out the shiny coin from his pocket and handing it out to Kali. I was still staring at her with newfound respect.

“Do you want to learn how to unlock this superpower?” Kali’s hazel eyes were shining brightly in the mid afternoon sun.

‘Chronicles of Kali – The Secret Book of Asurs” is now available in bookstores and on Amazon worldwide. The book has 4/5 star ratings across 50+ reviews.

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