By Pooja Baburaj:
It was July 31, 2006 when I took my baby steps into love. The rationale behind my very existence in this otherwise hopeless planet had ultimately been verified. That day, an unexpected bout of heavy monsoon showers had kept us away from the swings in the local park where we prowled and growled every afternoon after lunch. The aunts were deeply disappointed as the regular screening of their beloved Sunday soaps were soon violently interrupted as we pranced about the living room, hopping from table to chair in attempts to whisk away the T.V. remote. All thanks to our tender age and their tender backs, we claimed the coveted remote in a jiffy and instantly transformed the screen that showed a daughter-in-law getting face-dunked by her in-laws into one that displayed coloured humans airborne in outer space. The spandex suits, the morphers and the zords — My family called this crisis as I had gotten myself addicted to the ‘excited 12-year-boy’ drug despite being a young lass with sociall expectations of playing pink squishy things. I had instantly decided that this was the life I desired – iridescent hues for clothing, the ability and opportunity to insult Einstein by switching states of matter, and some hardcore attitude. I cherished every slow-mo shot and every bolt of electricity that thrust out their backs when they posed. I wanted it all — the action, the drama and most importantly saving the day from alien bums of Uranus. The Power Rangers series might have been and will be a childhood fixation for a lot and lots more to come — we all cruise together in the boat of utopian ecstasy.
Albeit, kill-joy people called me cuckoo for seeking to learn morality and humanism from its episodes, I prefer to think of myself as a social proctologist who treats societal haemorrhoids. For me, the almost absurd exhilaration of being on the wing, shooting rainbows at villains is much more than what I would get out of doing my doll’s blonde hair. Now after seven years of Power Rangers, I am still sorting through all the minutiae of societal nonsense. All the things that are of grave importance in my life – grades to match Ivy League standards, an entry into the High IQ society, being Head Girl – none of it actually matters in the grand scheme of things. I want something that tests who I am, my persistence and prowess. I have complete respect for a person who wakes up every morning to drive into the same traffic to reach the same office cubicle to do the same job. It’s just that such a life just wasn’t meant for me.
In my perception, the Power Rangers are basically our early-hour teachers of life lessons as the Power Rangers primarily educate their audience on how to be a good person – to be more precise, the excitement of being a good person. The show consistently demonstrates the rangers as helping those in need. They are propagated as a team of invincible heroes who fight a range of villains and evil forces, thereby continuously re-establishing the victory of justice & virtue in the all-time legendary ‘Good vs. Bad’ battle. The Rangers are also often seen running errands for the old, rescuing cats from trees, fixing punctured bicycles and carrying a pregnant woman’s grocery — they keep themselves engaged in all of those little things that matter a great deal in someone else’ life.
Some of the life lessons I have learnt include:
– Power Rangers are all about respect. In a world where the meaning of respect is lost in the dictionaries, it is refreshing and reassuring to see it exemplified by a popular form.
– We can also discover a lot about friendship and teamwork from the Power Rangers. Many story lines deal with the challenges of establishing and maintaining enduring relationships. The squads are often constituted by teenagers who vary in gender, race and age, all united by their unique and inspirational ideal of protecting their world and people.
– Loyalty is another important virtue that the Power Rangers exemplify. The heroes are loyal to one another as well as to their ethics.
– Perseverance is yet another lesson as they submit themselves to scores of struggles during the process of mastering their skills as well as fighting their foes. Many times they undertake insurmountable obstacles and yet don’t give up. They lay bare that its only hard work gets you the hit because despite having super powers and some pretty nifty tools, gadgets and assistants, no victory ever comes easy to the Power Rangers.
– Flexibility is another admired ability of the Rangers. Effective Rangers are flexible and adapt to changing circumstances and challenges.
– Learning is a top priority for the Power Rangers. They place great deal of emphasis on their education and training, not only as Rangers, but also as people. They ascertain that knowledge is power and can be one of the greatest weapons anyone possesses.
– Taking care of ourselves is also an important Ranger lesson. The Rangers recognize they are most powerful and effective if they are in top form both physically and emotionally.
– And last, but certainly not least, the Power Rangers teach us all how to be a hero. I can only hope that as more of us are influenced by the Power Rangers, the more heroes are born among us.