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When the going gets tough, Bollywood thinks big. Reeling under the twin effect of the pandemic and OTT influx, which have dented business, Bollywood is pulling all stops with mega-budget announcements, to woo fans back to the halls. Among emerging trends is the superhero movie.
The genre is not exactly new — Hrithik Roshan did star in the “Krrish” films, after all. But at no point in time has the Hindi film industry got into making so many superhero flicks at the same time as now. Trade analysts see it as a good trend, especially in these times when theatres are trying to pull the audience back amid the pandemic.
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Hollywood, of course, is a big influence, as everything else about Bollywood. Global blockbusters as “The Dark Knight” series”, the “Avengers” films, “Black Panther”, “Wonder Woman”, “Captain America: Civil War”, and “Justice League” among others set the cash registers ringing in India, too. With more films like “Black Widow”, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and the third part of “Spider-Man” lined up for release, the genre is alive and kicking in Hollywood. Bollywood had to take the cue.
Actor Vicky Kaushal recently got fans excited when he officially announced a new superhero film with his “Uri: The Surgical Strike” director Aditya Dhar, and also shared posters of the film, titled “The Immortal Ashwatthama”.
“Overwhelmed and ecstatic! On the 2nd anniversary of ‘URI-The Surgical Strike’, the team gives you a glimpse into the world of #TheImmortalAshwatthama Cannot wait to get onto this journey with the dream team of @adityadharfilms #RonnieScrewvala @rsvpmovies @soniyeah22,” Vicky posted on Instagram along with the posters that have a touch of mythology and modernity.
The director, on the other hand, posted on Instagram: “Raising the bar higher for the superhero genre not only in India but across the world, this film is a high-concept visual spectacle in the making. From the team that brought to you URI The Surgical Strike, presenting @vickykaushal09 in and as #TheImmortalAshwatthama.”
This isn’t the only Bollywood superhero film in the making right now.
Filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar, who has helmed blockbusters like “Sultan” and “Tiger Zinda Hai”, has planned a superhero universe. While one of his films will star Katrina Kaif, his “Mr. India” will be set in a relevant and contemporary superhero world.
In July 2020, filmmaker Sanjay Gupta tweeted that he had started scripting “Rakshak”, his film about a vigilante superhero, while in December last year, there were unconfirmed reports that Kartik Aaryan would star in the film adaptation of the comicbook character Phantom.
Among films already on floor is Ayan Mukerji’s mega-budget “Brahmastra”, which will reportedly have actor Ranbir Kapoor playing a man with special powers. The film also boasts of Amitabh Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy in the cast.
Hrithik masks up again, too, in “Krrish 4”. The hit franchise began in 2003 with “Koi… Mil Gaya”, followed by “Krrish” (2006) and “Krrish 3” (2013). According to director Rakesh Roshan, the film was set for a Christmas 2020 release.
“Today is perhaps the best day to make the release day of Krrish 4 official. Christmas 2020 it is. A gift for all of you on Hrithiks birthday,” Rakesh Roshan had tweeted in 2018.
However, following the Covid pandemic, the film is yet to hit the screens anytime soon.
According to trade expert Rajesh Thadani, huge revenue comes from Hollywood superhero films. “I think they (Bollywood filmmakers) are taking to that. These kind of films cater to everyone, not just kids. They can be turned into franchises. There’s a thrill element involved in such films. Basically, people need a change from routine, and this is a good change,” he told IANS.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh agrees with him. “It’s a great trend. We should make all kinds of films. When we talk of movies in today’s time, we often complain that Hindi films don’t have originality. They repeat themselves. This (superhero genre) is something that has not been exploited to the hilt. I think it’s a step in the right direction,” he told IANS.
There have been successful and failed attempts made by Indian filmmakers in the genre in the past.
For instance, the audience didn’t accept Tiger Shroff as hero with superpowers in “A Flying Jatt” (2016). Even the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Ra.One” (2011) failed to live up to expectations. The “Krrish” franchise, on the other hand, still has a strong fan following. Akshay Kumar also tried his hand at the genre in the Tamil film “2.0”. With Rajinikanth as the protagonist, Akshay played the antagonist Pakshi Rajan.
“Stars are important, but so is the content. You need to be original and give a desi tadka to such films,” said Adarsh, who feels adding mythology element to such films “would be great”.
But he feels that it won’t be easy to woo the Indian audience with such films as they already have a good exposure of Hollywood hits.
“When you make a superhero film, you need to keep in mind that you will be compared with western counterparts because so many superhero films have released in India, and people have loved them. So obviously you have to be at par or maybe in that league to woo the Indian audience,” he said.
Viewers often point out the technology used in Hindi films, especially to make such films, is never up to the mark. But Thadani feels that is not something to worry about now as a lot of experts from abroad work on the special effects. Also, he feels that technology-wise, Indian cinema has improved. (IANS)
Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.
The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:
#1: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. In addition to three high-altitude passes and five river valley crossings, this is the only trip in the Himalayas that includes seven alpine lakes, each of which is a stunning shade of green, blue, or turquoise. The extravagance is limitless and breathtakingly stunning every day: infinite blue sky, a larger-than-life backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, colourful meadows overflowing with wildflowers, river crossings are just a few examples of what you will encounter during the trek.
You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. | Photo by prayer flags on Unsplash
#2: Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora Trek: The Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora trek is a one-of-a-kind experience that provides a glimpse into Kashmir's undiscovered regions. Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey that is the perfect experience for anyone looking to get away from the frantic tourist rush. This trek is a fascinating journey that allows nature enthusiasts to bask in the splendour of nature's grandeur. The trek goes over many high mountain passes, some as high as 4000 metres in elevation. The hiking route, in addition to providing breathtaking views of the magnificent Vishansar Lake, provides visitors with the chance to see more than 50 alpine lakes.
Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey. | Photo by YASER NABI MIR on Unsplash
ALSO READ: Top 10 Beautiful Sights To VIsit In Kashmir
#3: Tral-Narastan-Marsar Trek: The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. The hiking trail passes past a waving saffron field, beautiful meadows, and several streams. The path also crosses the Dachigam National Park, where there is an opportunity to see various animal species. Trekkers may take in spectacular views of the high mountains running parallel to them as they cut and pass through Narastan, a Hindu pilgrimage place.
The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. | Wikimedia Commons
#4: Chhatargul-Mahlish-Gangabal: The journey, which passes through beautiful locations such as Chattargul, Mahlish, Kolsar, and Trunkul, provides a peek into an utterly uninhabited wilderness of Kashmir. There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one trek into the alpine wilderness. Trekkers can also enjoy fishing in the crystal clear lakes, camping, or just seeing towering snow-capped mountains while on their journey.
There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one treks into the alpine wilderness. | Wikimedia Commons
#5: Kolahoi Base Camp Trek: The Kolahoi Base Camp trek in Kashmir has been famous since the early 1900s and has been a goal for many seasoned hikers from across the world. While Srinagar serves as the beginning point for the trip, it is in Aru Valley that the actual hiking begins. The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. The breathtaking sight of the peaks rising into the sky on the horizon of the Pirpanjal and Karakoram ranges is certainly worth capturing. It is considered to be one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir valley.
The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. | Wikimedia Commons
Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere. Trekking through various valleys and peaks while taking in the scenic beauty is something that always calms the heart and provides us with memories that we will remember for a lifetime.
Keywords: Kashmir, Lakes, Alpine, Hiking, Trekking, Treks, Sonamarg, Gangabal, Kolahoi, Chhatargul, Mahlish, Tral, Narastan, Marsar
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.
At the heart of Bangalore city, a large 300-acre space of lush greenery and heritage stands as a symbol of the city's past, present, and future. Cubbon Park is every child's favourite park, every Bangalorean's haven of fresh air, and altogether, the city's pride.
It stands testament to the past, in terms of the diversity of flora it houses. Bangalore traffic in the recent past has grown into a menace, but the stretch between MG Road and Cubbon Park is always a pleasurable place to stop and wait for the signal to turn green. The gust of wind that blows here, and the smell of mud, coupled with floral scents instantly transports citizens to Old Bangalore, where the weather was fine, and the trees loomed over roads with thick canopies that did not even allow rainwater to penetrate. Cubbon Park is also a historical site, and one of the few remaining monuments of colonial heritage in Central Bangalore. It houses many statues and among them, the most famous is that of Queen Victoria, which faces the St. Mark's Square.
The stretch outside Cubbon Park is cool and well-shaded from the canopy of trees over it. Image source: wikimedia commons
At present, Cubbon Park is known for the cultural hub that it is. It houses Jawahar Bal Bhavan, which is a large theatre that hosts film festivals through the year. Festivals, poetry open mics, and other such shows are conducted on the lawns every Sunday. A small stream runs through the park, where boat rides are held occasionally when the water level is high enough. There is a children's park on one corner, and a government-maintained aquarium, two-storeys tall, with exotic fish.
The Park has been renamed many times in the past. It was originally named Meade's Park, after Sir John Meade, the acting commissioner of Mysore in 1870. It was later changed to Cubbon Park after Sir Mark Cubbon, who was the longest-serving commissioner of the Mysore state. In 1927, the park was renamed after the Mysore Maharaja Sri Krishna Wodeyar, to celebrate his silver jubilee, since the park was developed during the reign of his ancestors. Even though it is officially named Sri Chamrajendra Park, it is still known as Cubbon Park all over the city. In fact, Bangalore was alluded the sobriquet of 'Garden City' because of the rich botanical diversity of this park.
Art Installation at Cubbon Park Image source: wikimedia commons
In many parts of the country, governments have renamed structures, places, and cities to remove traces of colonialism. But, in a city like Bangalore, there is too much evidence of the British rule. Many of the most prominent attractions of the city are known by their British identities despite the change in name. Even the city's name continues to be Bangalore, despite having been changed to Bengaluru. Last year, the British era and its achievements were celebrated in Cubbon Park when Sir Mark Cubbon's statue was moved from the grounds of the Karnataka High Court and placed in the Park.
Keywords: Cubbon Park, Mark Cubbon, British Colonialism, Cultural hub, Garden City