Sunday, June 23, 2013

Superman's Jatti

I watched the latest superman movie (Man of Steel) a couple of days ago. I liked the movie, liked the backstory, liked the no-holds bar action scenes which were over-the-top, un-hinged, almost breaching the line between entertainment and stupidity. But this post is not about the movie. It is about a far more important issue. It is about Superman's jatti - i.e., his underwear, knickers, chaddi, briefs whatever you call it.

Only today (a good two days after I watched the movie) I realized that Superman's red jatti, which he normally wears over his blue pants were missing. Don't get me wrong - his groin area is well protected by his suit, and no - you couldn't see anything. But the iconic red jatti was missing. I apparently was so engrossed in the movie, that I had missed this major, major detail. How could I have?

The jatti is the cornerstone of the Superman legend. Countless kids, all over the world, for several decades now, have at some point put on a jatti over their shorts or pants, with their skinny legs sticking out, and felt for a second that they were Superman. Felt the power seep up to their oversized heads. Imagined for a second that they could punch the air with their fists and lift off, making an appropriate "uusssshhhhjjjjj" swooshing sound. If you remove the jatti from the legend - a magic goes away a little bit.

Actually, I'll go one step ahead and say that jatti is the cornerstone of modern civilization even. Modern civilization is built on people leaving their homes and working with each other to build the buildings, discovering fire, running empires and so on. Imagine a bunch of people without jatti's doing all these tasks. First of all, they wouldn't have the same level of confidence without their jattis. No building or bridge is ever going to survive for long, when built by a jatti-less contractor and mason. No way! You try stepping out of the house without a jatti for a day. All you will be thinking about a thousand details that would expose the fact that you are not wearing a jatti.

Humans are very very obsessed with this seemingly innocuous piece of clothing. For something that is such a tiny component, a lot of thought goes into it. Women buy black underwear - to look good when they are undressing! Guys buy briefs - to gain support; buy boxers - to loosen the strings, so to speak. And it is such a himalayan faux pas if your jatti is visible in public. "Look at him/her - dressing in a way that his/her jatti shows! Immodest!!" No one wants to be caught with their jatti showing. Being conscious of your jatti being spotted is one thing. Being conscious about your jatti-line (or panty line, as it goes) is another. Some women, go to the extent of wearing thongs when they wear white or some light colored pants/shorts so that the panty line is not visible. This is really pushing it, I would say. Why do they do that? The light colored fabric could be translucent that people can deduct that you are wearing a jatti by reading your panty-line. I have never tried wearing a thong - but I am going to venture out and say that it must be pretty inconvenient wearing one. Why torture oneself for the sake of a jatti? Well, that is a topic that I won't open now.

Let's not get sidetracked here. The topic is Superman's jatti. I have a theory as to why he wears his jatti above his pants.

Theory 1: Scene 1. Superman has packed his costume in a briefcase, and reports to work for the first day of saving mankind. And he picks up a distress call from a distance. But he can't reveal his civilian identity - so he needs to quickly change into his superman costume. Off he goes to the nearby back room/janitor's closet or something like that, quickly pulls out his suit and wears it. (Some of you, at this point, might be thinking that - doesn't Superman wear his suit under his civilian dress, and he just needs to strip down one layer and fly off. Sorry! I beg to differ. I submit that he couldn't be wearing his suit underneath his civilian dress, because of his cape. The cape is too unwieldy. He could not possibly wearing his suit with the cape and wear one more layer of clothing above it and not look like an idiot. So - he would have to undress and wear his suit.) Coming back to my theory - so, while undressing and wearing his suit, he forgets to wear the jatti! See, he is not human! Aliens are not as obsessed with jattis as you and I are. When he discovers that the jatti he packed with his suit is still in the briefcase - without thinking too much, wears it and takes off. And on his first day out, he gets photographed wearing his jatti over his pants - and it becomes a mark of his brand, and hence he couldn't go back to wearing his jatti under his pants. And a legend is born.

Disclaimer: The author has to admit that the above article was only possible with inputs from a secret source who has inside access to the workings of Superman's mind. The source might or might not be named Clark Kent. The source requested the author to sound out humanity, through this blog, if Superman in fact could revert to wearing his jatti under his pants or skip it altogether, as at most times, when he is flying at high speeds chasing villains, his jatti flies off mid-air, and creates unnecessary embarrassment.


Bhaskar said...

Seriously, man... it has inspired a whole breed of jatti exponents.... not to mention, the entire generation of saggy pants... !!!

magesh said...

Baski - have got me thinking...understanding underpants seem to be far more complicated than I thought it was...;)