Maushi to the Rescue!

When Abhijit Kini created a 20-pager about a rotund woman, spewing expletives and cleaning acts was something I was in no way prepared to take seriously. Conditioned by the years of brain-washing by the likes of Marvel, DC and Raj Comics, my mind was not ready to accept anything less than a ‘sexy’ woman in spandex as someone who can eventually save the day. After all, female heroes in comic books are a whole different league of ‘special’. But the first whiff of her toxic tongue and her no-nonsense tackles made me realize that Kini sure meant business when he created this um… lovable character!

With a nomination for the best penciller/inker flying straight at Kini at the 2012 Comic Con Awards, only a year after Angry Maushi made her debut, its almost instant popularity paved the way for a new breed of crime-fighters to exist. Crime-fighters who do not need to don costumes and capes… crime-fighters who are regular citizens. And it is these amidst these very citizens that we find the heroes who decide to take matters in their own hands and stand up for their rights when things get worse. “The whole idea of superheroes or vigilantes are overhyped with regard to appearances,” says Kini. “I wanted this particular woman to be normal, like you or me.” And thus, keeping in mind the maushis, grumpy and angry, yet an intrinsic part of every city, he came up with this vigilante who is all poised to sweep the city (of Mumbai) clean!

 

In the first book, as a sleazy Mumbai politician schemes to take over the sewage system of the city, Maushi comes forth to save the day! Clad in a sari, Maushi’s red bindi glares from her forehead like an angry eye. Perhaps an eye that represents the emotions of the intelligent citizens of the country who are infuriated by news and laws on a regular basis.  With even hell’s fury proving to be incomparable to the fury of a woman scorned, Kini uses Maushi as not just a symbol of regular jaded citizens, but also as a superhero who stands up to all sorts of wrong. Starting from petty pretentions and ending with bad actors on the telly, this do-gooder is perhaps the hero we, the disillusioned ones of India truly need.