Ask the Author: Annam Manthiram

Annam Manthiram’s Superheroes is part of the December issue and she talks with us about a soundtrack for escaping an exploding building, lame superpowers, and Indian superheroes.

1. What is the lamest superpower ever?

Serrano chili pepper claws. If you’re attacked, your fingers become Serrano chilies, and you can burn and simultaneously poke your opponent’s eyes out.

2. Why did you choose to make superheroes the focus of this piece?

When we think of superheroes, we don’t think of Indians. There are very few if any Indian superheroes in contemporary literature. So I wanted to touch on that, and touch on how far removed superheroes are from normal people, whether they are Indian or not.

3. What superhero have you dressed up as?

One year for Halloween I dressed up as Nigel, the British colonialist. My husband went as the Indian woman I was colonizing. Does that count?

4. How much research did you do to verify these facts about superheroes was true? Are you afraid an avid comic book reader would take some of these statements apart?

None at all. And no, I am not afraid. I have a whole container of Serrano chilies in addition to jars of chili powder, turmeric, fennel, and other caustic powders at my disposal.

5. Who would you like to do your voice over in the animated version of your life?

Nandita Das.

6. What song would you like to play as you escape an exploding building?

Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” or anything from the Kronos Quartet/Asha Bhosle collaboration.

  • Diane Smith

    Annam is a sensitive and talented writer with overflowing creativity! And what a nice interview.