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If Shazam (DC comics) had a Hindu Patheon, what Gods would be there to provide similar powers and fulfill the acronym
How about a story instead of typical answer? :D
Let's make it DC comics proof :D
If I make a movie script out of this-
Things will be like this-
This will be in DC universe in India-
The name of the movie will be - Shazam The Rise of Captain Marvel
Bilu Bains (14–15 years old) was an orphan growing up in mordern day Gujarat.
Growing up, just like any other Indian, he was a crazy fan of Cricket.
And being in the DC universe, of course Superheroes.
He was a crazy fan of SUPERMAN and secretly had a huge boyhood crush on Wonder Woman.
His orphan house was named Happy Home.
One day, a girl named Priyanka Bagri joined their orphan.
She was very beautiful and cute.
All the boys (including Bilu) were lining up to impress her.
But Bilu was a very small boy compared to his peers of same age even compared to Priyanka (sadly :C)
Other boys make constant fun of his rather shorter stature
He was already insecured being an orphan and constant mocking from the others didn't help his cause either.
He became even more shy. As a result, he had no chance of getting Priyanka's attention
One day, Priyanka suddenly entered his room and found him kissing a Wonder Woman poster.
He was embarrassed out of his mind.
Priyanka was laughing her heart out.
Bilu quickly run away from there.
And he was crying sitting under a tree out of embarrassment, poor luck everything.
Suddenly, he saw a nearby temple of Krishna.
He went there to pray and said, “Why are you keeping me alive, God? I am such embarrassment to everyone and myself. Why couldn't you kill me, Bhagwan?”
Priest of the mandir (temple) said to him, “Don't worry boy, everyone has trouble, pray to the Krishna with open heart and pure mind, I am sure Krishna will respond”
One day, his neighbourhood uncle who worked in government survey office came to Bilu and said, “I have good news and bad news, I have found your parents”
Bilu was over the moon hearing such good news, he said, “Tell me more, Akash uncle, tell me more, I can't wait to meet them”
Akash uncle said with a sad face, “I am afraid Bilu, I have a bad news, your parents aren't alive, their names were Vikas and Preeti Bains, both of them were a very renowned world famous archeologist, they went to a tour to Egypt and there they made a world famous discovery of the tomb 'Theo Adam', after that I don't know exactly what happened but your parents died, someone murdered your parents, I am afraid that mystery is still unsolved but the rumour is that it is more of an Superhero Supervillain stuff which means it is completely out of the hands of ordinary people like us, I am very very sorry, Bilu”
Bilu didn't say anything but ran away again and went behind the Krishna temple where nobody would go and he was crying.
Suddenly, he heard a noise of a foot steps, he looked back and saw Priyanka was coming this way. He quickly dried his eye water.
Priyanka said, “Bilu, everyone was looking for you everywhere and you are sitting here??? Are you crying? What happened?”
Bilu said, “Nothing, let's go”
Priyanka said, “No, tell me everything”
Bilu told her everything and cried on her shoulder for awhile.
A few days later, Bilu went to his birth parent's house, it was a big house in city area.
Akash uncle was talking with an attorney who was saying to him that if he could prove that Bilu was their original son then Bilu would get everything their parents own according to the will.
Akash uncle was very excited hearing that as he was thinking how he could become Bilu's legal guardian lawfully as he knew Bilu from his childhood.
Bilu didn't mind since Akash uncle was the one who informed him about his parents.
The attorney said to Bilu that since he wasn't 18 yet so he won't get access to all the money that was the reason for a guardian.
Only thing he would get from his parents directly was their personal diary and an artifact.
Akash uncle was slightly hesitant giving it to him directly thinking it could be valuable but after seeing that it was just an lightning designed scarab of some kind of Egyptian symbol, he gave it to Bilu without any care.
After becoming a legal guardian of Bilu, Akash uncle became very increasingly angry and abusive towards Bilu.
Money completely changed Akash uncle
He used to get drunk every night and was becoming very bad mood every night, some days he used to directly bring prostitute to Bilu's home.
Bilu could not put up with this abuse any more when one day Akash uncle was trying to beat him, he took a Cricket bat a bashed in his head.
Akash uncle just fall flat on the ground and blood was coming out of his head.
Bilu was tremendously shocked realising what he did.
He quickly ran away from the house and just running and running without realising where he was exactly going.
Suddenly, he saw everything was dark around him and he was outside of a purana mandir (old temple).
He was shaking with fear imagining the worst.
Suddenly, he heard a voice.
Bilu was even more scared.
But that voice was telling him not to be scared in a very reassuring tone and to get inside the temple.
Bilu became more confident and less fearful hearing that reassuring tone.
When he entered the temple he saw various old status of Durga, Brahma, Kali, Shiva, Natraj, Ganesha, Hanuman etc basically various Hindu Gods.
He suddenly saw an old man with a long white beard smiling at him and said, “Don't be afraid Bilu, nothing to be afraid, this is God's place, no harm will happen to you here”
Bilu asked, “Who are you? And why am I here? And how?”
Old man said with a smile, “That's becuase I wanted you to come here, my name is Champion, I have been called in various names in various parts of the world, in this part of the world, I am known as Vishwa”
Bilu asked, “What? I thought you died in War of Mahabharata”
Old man said, “Ha, ha, it's much more complicated than that but my past isn't important here, I am protector of this world for a long long time, I have been blessed by various Gods in the past, I have been to various places, I have given powers to various men so that they take on this mentle after me but unfortunately some of them didn't work very well, specially the last one, that's why I was looking for a suitable candidate for a long time very very carefully, I believe you are that candidate, Bilu”
Bilu said, “What's that? I don't understand!!!! But anyway it doesn't matter because I am a faulty individual, I just killed my guardian, I am pretty sure I am going to hell”
Old man laughed hard and said, “Ha, ha, Bilu, nothing like that, nothing like that, your uncle is in hospital, he is not dead, he is severely injured, probably have concussion but not dead, you have nothing to worry, he deserved that, that's what called 'Karma', I have chosen you because you grew up in poverty, still you possess such good heart, you are compassionate to other people, you know adversity, you are mocked everyday for your poor luck yet you didn't go bad, that is the sign of pure heart of somebody who could handle such godly power”
Bilu said, “But I am just a boy what can I do when Steppenwolf will attack earth, I am not SUPERMAN, I can't save the world like Superheroes like him”
Old man again laughed hard and said, “Oh! Bilu, Billu, such innocence!! Ha, ha, you have been awarded with the power of almighty Shiva with infinite strength and wisdom, you have the power of immortality of Hanuman, with the tactical fighting techniques and skills of Arjuna, with speed and flight powers of Zaruda, with the power of invulnerability of Ardra, with the mystical and shape shifting power of Mohini, and with their acronym when you uttered the word 'Shazam' (S.H.A.Z.A.M), you will become all powerful Captain Marvel aka Shazam aka the new Champion”
Bilu said, “Wow, it's just mind blowing, Should I say then Shazam?”
And then and there he quickly became a big muscular dude.
Bilu said, “What happened? I don't feel any difference”
Old man said with a smile, “Look at that broken glass”
Suddenly, Bilu saw himself in an orange, white and green costume with a big huge muscular Man's body”
Bilu said, “Wow, that is me!!!! Wow, I look very intimidating, I look very bad ass but costume is slightly meh but I can work with that”
Suddenly, Bilu saw himself flying.
He said to the oldman, “Sir, I can't control these powers, good bye then I guess”
He heard that the old man was laughing
After some time, he started to control his flight powers and he came towards his old orphan house.
And saw a bulldozer was trying to destroy their old orphan house.
Some promoter was trying to build an shopping mall there.
Everybody was crying as his paid thugs were controlling them in the gun point.
One thug slapped Priyanka after she tried to released herself from his grip.
Bilu could not stop himself anymore, he flew there and landed infront of them slightly embarrassingly.
Bilu said to himself, “That was embarrassing, I need more practice in my landing”
Bilu said to the thugs, “Stop, what you are doing now, these children don't have any place to live, if you want this land at least give them a good place to live”
One of them said, “Who are you supposed to be? Another one of those SUPERMAN wannabe, don't you heroes have more important things to attend? Get out of here, even police are with us, noone will say anything against us”
Shazam said, “I am going to stop you, just because you guys twisting the law with your intimidation, it's not going to work here”
One of them laughed and said, “Another costume joker who takes himself seriously, let's show him his place”
But he could not move an inch Shazam
Shazam said with a chuckle, “Something troubling you, man?”
He said, “Wow, what do you eat, man? You are freakishly strong”
Shazam said with smile, “A lot of green vegetables and exercise, you should try it sometime”
Another thug said, “He is making fun of us, let's end this drama by shooting him”
But to their surprise, “All the bullets were deflecting Shazam”
They were panicked and said, “What is he made of? Shit!!!”
Another one said, “Let's squash him” in saying this he drove the bulldozer over Shazam but to their surprise the front side of bulldozer completely destroyed in the clash.
Shazam picked up the bulldozer and said with a smile, “I think you should get off the vehicle, man”
The driver jumped and ran away as quickly as possible.
Their leader was watching everything now, he said, “This is not a fun and game, so you are invincible, but these people are not” in saying this he took and machine gun and fired over the people and Bilu's friends.
To their surprise, they saw a blur moved very quickly infront of them and suddenly it stopped and they saw Shazam was standing infront of them with handful of bullets.
Shazam said to him, “Now, you are pissing me off”
All the thugs were running away as quickly as possible as if their lives were in the line.
Priyanka asked to Shazam, “Who are you? What is your name?”
Shazam said, “Call me the new Champion, the new Superhero, the protector of the earth”
Everybody was cheering his name and laughing and dancing and celebrating their victory against the gang.
Shazam, himself also joined them.
Suddenly, a guy in blue read cape appeared infront of them
Shazam shouted with delight and surprise, “WOW, SUPERMAN”
Superman said with a smile, “I was watching everything from sky, I heard everything, I was coming here to handle everything but then I saw you, you are very impressive, keep doing what you are doing, it makes my life slightly easier”
Shazam said, “Thanks SUPERMAN for your compliment, I am a huge fan of yours”
Superman said with a smile, “For the things that I have seen today, I might become your fan too”
When SUPERMAN was about to fly, Shazam said, “Will you introduce me to the other Justice leaguers?”
Superman said, “Certainly, one day”
Shazam said, “Wonder Woman?”
Superman said with a huge smile, “You liked her, didn't you? Okay, I will”
Shazam said, “You promised”
Superman said with shaking his head, “Ha, ha, next time” in saying this he flew away
Everybody was still cheering Shazam
It was getting very crowded.
Shazam also flew away behind that old Krishna temple and uttered the word 'Shazam' and transformed into Bilu again”
When he entered the Happy Home, he saw everyone was still cheering Shazam's name and comparing him with SUPERMAN.
Bilu said to them, “Voosh, this guy is a novice, SUPERMAN is SUPERMAN”
Priyanka said, “I don't know about that, the things that he did today, I would say he can beat even SUPERMAN”
A few days later-
Bilu was in his parent's house, he was looking at that artifact and thinking about how similar it looked to his Shazam costume's scarab, suddenly, that artifact became very very hot and he dropped it.
That artifact Buzzing and humming some Weird sounds.
It suddenly flew away.
Bilu quickly became Shazam and followed it by flying.
He was flying for a long time, as he crossed seas and oceans and mountains and deserts, he suddenly realised that he was in Egypt and infront of some old Egyptian tomb with similar sign like that artifact.
That artifact just went into one perfectly shaped position of that tomb and almost worked as key and opened the tomb's door.
He saw an old mummy lying there all covered with heavily bandaged.
Suddenly, he heard noise of the guards and Billu thought he probably broke some local laws by coming here without any permission.
So he flew away back to India.
In the meantime when local guards came there, they felt earth quake.
Then they saw the tomb's door was opened
They were scared as it was cursed area and it was the tomb of ‘THEO ADAM', THE BLACK ADAM OF EGYPTIAN KING.
Suddenly, they heard an weird humming sound coming from the mummy.
They got close to the mummy to look more clearly and that mummy suddenly came alive and took the head off that guard.
Other guards were panicking and was shooting towards it but to their disappointment nothing happened and it ript apart everyone of them one after another
And shouted with tremendous earth trembling anger -
The movie should end here
So how do you like this?
It's cool if you don't :D
What would happen if Superman was found by Wayne and brought up with Bruce?
Okay, let's have some fun with it.
Let's have a story-
Thomas Wayne was traveling to Smallville for new business venture and he saw the kryptonian rocket landing in some of his just bought land.
He found a blue eyed little boy came out of the space ship smiling who managed to lift his limousine from one side.
Thomas Wayne was shocked out of his mind seeing everything and decided to bring the kid to his home - ‘The Wayne Mansion'
After hearing everything from Thomas, Martha Wayne was concerned, she asked him whether it was wise to bring an alien kid back in their home specially with Bruce being there
Thomas replied, “I thought about that but after looking at the innocent face of that child, I could not inform the authority with my right mind, they would keep him in some prison and would experiment on him”
Martha said, “But is Bruce safe with him?”
Thomas said, “Let’s have an eye on him for 24X7, I know a very well equipped guy for this, he is my old friend who is looking for a job currently, he is a war veteran and did some spying for the queen England, he has nowhere to go, he will be more than happy to do this job”
Martha asked, “What is his name?”
Thomas Wayne said, “He is known as Alfred Pennyworth, he is a decent human being despite his past”
6 years later-
Martha said to Thomas, “I won't have believed if you had told me that Clark would turn out to be such good boy, he has become such good friend to Bruce, both of them do everything together now”
Thomas said, “Yeah, I won't say that I didn't have any doubt but Clark is such a good boy, I mean Bruce is little naughty sometimes but not Clark, I think all the credit goes to Alfred”
A few minutes later-
Bruce ran towards Martha and asked angrily, “Mom, why can’t Clark come with us to the Opera House?”
Martha said, “We told you before that Clark is slightly different from us, we have to keep him in secret otherwise people would lock him up which is why Alfred home schooled him, he just can't come anywhere with us”
Bruce said, “Come on, it's not fair, if he doesn't go, I won't go either”
Thomas said to Bruce, “Come on, Bruce, please understand the situation…..”
Suddenly, Clark came from behind and said to them, “It's okay, Bruce, I will be playing with Alfred, he will teach me some stuff about myself, he is teaching me now how to control my powers”
Bruce said, “Wow, cool, now, I won't go to Opera, I would stay and play with them too”
Thomas said, “Bruce, you know, we have to go, all of us are invited, it would look bad if we don't go together”
Bruce said with a huge dissapointment, “Okay, Alfred, you have to show me also what you did with Clark”
Alfred said with a smile, “Okay, master Bruce, okay”
In the Opera House-
Thomas got a call from somewhere and after speaking in the phone for sometime, he became restless.
Martha asked, “What happened? Who was that?”
Thomas said, “I will tell you later but we have to go”
Martha said, “But concert didn't finish yet”
Thomas said, “We will go from backdoor, I already informed Alfred to send a limousine for us”
In the dark alley-
Martha said, “I am feeling little scared walking through such dirty dark alley”
Suddenly a man came out of nowhere and said, “Give me everything otherwise I will shoot you now”
Thomas said, “Okay, okay, don't shoot, this is my wallet, take everything, but don't shoot”
That guy said after looking at Martha's necklace, “Give me that necklace otherwise I will shoot”
Martha said, “No, this is my mother's, she gave me when she died, it's my mother's memory”
Suddenly, that guy shot twice and when Thomas tried to jump on that guy, he was shot as well
As both of them were struggling to have their last breath, that guy looked at frightened Bruce and said with a smile, “You can thank Jesus, kid, that I don't kill little kid, just know that it wasn't personal, I was hired to do this” and he left
Commissioner Gordon came quickly after hearing that his old friend Thomas Wayne and his wife was murdered infornt of their little boy in a dark alley
Commissioner Gordon said to a stiff Bruce while hugging, “You are not alone, Bruce, your father was my friend, I will always look after you, I will capture your parent's murderer and see it to that he gets the harshest punshiment possible”
Alfred said to Commissioner, “If everything is done, can I take him home?”
Commissioner Gordon said to Alfred, “Who are you?”
Alfred said, “I am his old friend plus butler plus housekeeper plus his guardian in absence of his parents”
Commissioner Gordon said,“Very Interesting!!! What are you two going to do in that huge mansion?”
Alfred said, “I was hoping to take him back to England, my homeland to get him away from all this nightmare for a while, we will return to Gotham later”
Commissioner Gordon said, “Good luck, by the way did you know anything about the last call that Mr Wayne took from some unknown source before all this”
Alfred said, “No, it's a news to me as well, keep me informed if you find anything more on this”
In the Wayne Mansion-
Bruce quickly went to his room and shut the door
Alfred said to Clark, “Has he eaten anything?”
Clark said, “Nope, he isn't even talking to me”
Alfred said to Clark, “It's understandable after this terrible tragedy, let's give him some space for awhile, in the meantime, we have something to discuss”
Clark said, “What? What is it?”
Alfred said, “Look, I have decided to take him back to London for awhile, change of scenery would be good for him, in the meantime, I know a decent couple in Smallville who are childless, I was thinking about asking them to adopt you, do you want that?”
Clark said, “I understand”
Alfred said, “Don't worry, they are very very good individuals, they would love to have you as their son and I will return to Gotham in couple of years down the line with Bruce, you will stay with us then again in Wayne Mansion”
Clark said, “I understand”
Alfred said, “I have taught everything to you that I know and knowing you, Clark, you will learn everything by yourself very very quickly, don't forget to hide your identity even from your new found adopted parents, you are now ready to assimilate with normal kids on your own age, again don't forget to hide your identity, act as any normal kid, go to school, study hard etc etc and lastly I may have found your mother ship in Antarctica from my past contacts, go check it out when you will grow up little more and more in control of your flight powers”
Clark said, “Okay and thanks Alfred for everything”
Alfred said, “I didn't do much, Clark, it's you, everything is your doing, you are such a brilliant kid, you will achieve a lot, always remember if you have abilities then use it to help others and always be responsible with your powers”
Clark said, “Thanks, I will always remember that”
8 years later in Smallville -
Clark Kent and Lana Lang was preparing to kiss for the first time…..
Suddenly, Clark heard a familiar tone….
“Great to see you, Clark, that you've grown out of that Wayne Mansion”
Clark said, “You are Bruce, aren't you? Wow, you are definately looking like Mr Wayne's son”
Lana Lang said, “I read about you, Mr Wayne, I saw you in the news channel, your big return to Wayne industry”
Bruce said, “I know as if news reporters don't have any other things to write about, what about that guy who wears that black cape and wears that rediculas bat costume and do vigilantism in Gotham's night, crazy, I know”
Clark said, “I don't know about that because someone who would do something like that must be very skillful and damaged inside”
Lana Lang said, “Forget all that but Clark, you didn't tell me how do you two know each other?”
Clark said, “Late Mr Wayne, first adopted me and then after his death, Pa and Ma did as they were childless, I know Bruce from childhood”
Lana said, “How cool is that! And I thought you were just another small town bore”
Bruce said, “Ha, ha, Clark and boring!!!!!!”
Clark said, “No, you are right, I am just another small town bore, I am very lucky that you are with me”
Bruce said, “Clark, you should come back to Wayne Mansion, Alfred and me, both are missing you”
Clark said, “Thanks Bruce but I am happy living here”
Bruce said, “Really, in this small town!!! I thought we were brothers”
Clark said, “We are and we are always going to be but Smallville has now become a special place in my heart, I will visit Gotham later”
Bruce said, “Not later, day after tomorrow, I am throwing a big party in Wayne Mansion, both of you are invited”
Clark said, “Okay, Bruce, we will go”
Day after tomorrow-
Lana said to Bruce, “Wow, you used to live here? It must be very interesting”
Clark said, “Nuh, you get used to it after awhile, to be honest, it was lonely, I am lucky to have Pa and Ma”
Alfred hugged Clark after seeing him and said, “Look at you, Clark, what an impressive gentleman you have turned out to be”
Clark said, “Good to see you too, Alfred, you look the same as always”
Bruce said to Clark, “You guys came, let me introduce you to Mayor and Commissioner Gordon”
Commissioner Gordon said to Bruce, “Now that you are back what are you going to do? Are you going to take charge of your father's business?”
Bruce said, “I was hoping for that”
Suddenly, a beautiful red head young woman came and said to Commissioner, “Dad, it's a party, I am sure Mr Wayne has a lot on his plate, no business talk”
Bruce said, “Your name is Barbara, isn't it?”
Barbara said, “You remember me then”
Bruce said with a smile, “Why should not I? We used to read in the same class”
Barbara said, “Yes and if I remember correctly, you were quite a brat”
Bruce said with a huge smile, “What!!??! Me!!!!??? Noooooo!!!?!”
Bruce said to them, “Let me introduce to my brother Clark, his yet to be officially girlfriend Lana”
Clark said to Bruce with a smile, “We are not saying that”
Barbara said to them by looking at Lana, “I understand”
Lana said to Barbara, “Thanks for understanding”
Bruce said to them, “Yeah, you girls always stick together”
Barbara said, “As if you guys don't”
Suddenly, a breaking news came that all the dangerous and unstable patients from Arkham Asylum escaped.
Commissioner Gordon said to Bruce, “Sorry, but I have to go”
Bruce said, “Absolutely, absolutly”
Party was over slightly after that as public panic was spreading
When Clark was talking to both Lana and Barbara, he heard with his super hearing that Bruce said to Alfred, “It's time”
A couple of hours later-
Everyone saw in TV screen that a guy in bat like costume was chasing unstable violent patients of Arkham Asylum and capturing them with outstanding skills.
Lana said to Clark, “Wasn't Bruce talking about that guy? I don't like this vigilantism, these people think that they are some kind of Outlaws”
Barbara said to her, “Excuse me, I completely disagree with that, infact I would say Batman is doing what police should be doing, I know for a fact that as my father is the police commissioner, sometimes police are limited inspite of all their efforts, criminals get away so if this Batguy is doing something to that, I would say more power to him”
Clark said, “Hey, both of you, relax, I am sure police are handling it”
Clark said to them, “You guys sit here, I have to talk to Alfred”
Clark could not find either Bruce or Alfred in the mansion
He used his x-ray vision to find out about the underground cave.
He saw Alfred was sitting there infront of multiple large computer monitors.
He quickly discovered the entry point to that cave and went inside
Alfred hearing Clark's footsteps said, “I was wondering how long it would take for you to discover this cave, I guess it didn't take much time then”
Clark said, “Bruce is this Batman, isn't it?”
Alfred said, “What do you think?”
Clark said, “How could you let him do this?”
Alfred said, “Believe me when I say this he can take care of himself very well”
Clark said, “All that time, you were gone, he was doing this?!?”
Alfred said, “And more”
Clark said, “Why? Why did he need to do this?”
Alfred said, “After his parent's death, Bruce was damaged very badly inside, he was in a very very dark place, the only way to channel his darkness was to focus on the right direction, I nudged it and rest he did that by himself”
Clark said, “There was no other option?”
Alfred said, “Believe me when I say this that there is some very well constructed method to his madness”
Clark said, “You always told me to be responsible with my powers!!”
Alfred said, “And you did that, didn't you? That earth quake in Smallville, there was a news report that a guy who moved so fast that almost like a blur rescued a lot of people from the disaster, I knew it was you then and there, I am proud of you, Clark, I am proud of you”
Clark said, “But he doesn't have any powers, Alfred, he is just a human”
Alfred said, “He is not just a human anymore, Clark, he transformed himself to something more than that now, he lives by a code now, Bruce Wayne is the mask he wears outside, he is Batman inside”
Clark said, “And you are happy with that?”
Alfred said, “I am not unhappy specially considering the struggle he had to go through to become the symbol you are seeing today”
Clark said, “I should go there to help him”
Suddenly, Batman entered into the batcave.
Seeing Clark, he said, “I guess you would have figured it out by now”
Batman said to Alfred, “There's this guy whose face is burnt in acid calling himself Joker escaped from Arkham, he is highly dangerous and unpredictable, and I couldn't find him anywhere, we need to come up with a different strategy”
Clark said, “Let me help you Bruce”
Batman said, “You?? I am sorry you are not trained for this”
Clark said, “I am sorry, what? I am not trained for this!!!”
Batman said, “What I do require more than powers and abilities and you are not trained for this”
Clark said, “I am sorry but that's funny”
Batman said, “Oh! Really!! Come on, punch me, Clark”
Clark said, “What? Are you kidding? You must be kidding”
Suddenly, Batman punched towards Clark and Clark easily avoided that and said, “You are being childish Bruce” and suddenly Batman used some kind of sonic weapon on Clark and which made Clark nuts because of his super hearing
And Bruce said to him, “Now, imagine Clark if I had a kryptonite now which can be found by the way, it's rare but it can be found, this is why you need training”
Clark said, “Okay, you win, Bruce, teach me how to fight”
Bruce said, “And you will need a new uniform as well, you can't be blur all the time, you need to wear a mask, probably not like mine since you are epitome of light contrary to my darkness”
Alfred said, “And Clark, I have finallly been able to pin point the latitude and longitude of your mother ship in Antarctica, you might find something interesting there as well”
This will be the beginning of World's greatest team………
The 30 Cheapest Places To Travel In 2017, if your new year resolution is to Travel
Time to start packing your bags: 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for budget travel. The dollar is enjoying historic highs — meaning your money goes much further in many destinations around the globe — and according to an American Express Global Business Travel report, airfares are expected to fall in 2017.
1. Mazatlan, Mexico
Why: The current exchange rate ($1 = 20.69 Mexican pesos) makes Mexico one of the most affordable destinations.
For the frugal traveler who wants to enjoy more culture than they might in the Riviera Maya, my top pick is Mazatlan. As the shrimp capital of Mexico and a foodie paradise, Mazatlan is teeming with awesome eateries and fresh, interesting dishes. Hotels (including all-inclusive properties) are extremely inexpensive and authentic since most aren't part of the huge chains. El Cid Marina has awesome pools that are perfect for families, great food and huge rooms. (Rates are as low as $100 for a family of four.)
You can also enjoy superb dining at a top-notch restaurant like Casa 46 for less than half what you'd pay in the United States.
Side note: Sinaloa (the state where Mazatlan resides) grows the bulk of produce in Mexico, so Mazatlan produce is unbelievably cheap as a result. You see this reflected in top restaurants all the way down to street markets.
2. South Africa
Why: In South Africa, the exchange rate is in our favor, but so is the fact that it's a developed tourist destination with a solid infrastructure. In spending a month in Cape Town earlier this year and relying on Uber to get me to and from meetings, activities and lunches, I averaged under $20 in transportation per day — a major win.
Hotels are cheaper, too: Take a standard room at Taj Hotels & Resorts in New York, and you are out about $786 a night, whereas in Cape Town, a room at a similar luxury property costs $266. Remember, South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, so seasons are the opposite: Consider going in low season (our summer) when hotels and safari lodges are even less expensive.
Airbnb and private villa rentals are also reliable and cheap options in the major cities. Travelers should also consider booking domestic airfare in advance for the greatest cost savings, since flights on South African Airways can sell out quickly.
The best value of all is the wine: Travelers can order a glass of one of the best locally produced varietals for less than the cost of a can of soda. For more information on travel in South Africa, watch "Michaela's Map: First Timers' Guide to Southern Africa."
3. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Why: The best way to get a deal in the Caribbean is to travel during the low season (end of April through mid-December) to destinations that have direct and frequent fights from your gateway; plenty of hotel inventory; and economies that aren't euro-based.
Puerto Rico fits the bill, and I'm a big fan of San Juan, which I think is seriously underrated as an easy and affordable getaway, especially for visitors from the East Coast of the U.S. Old San Juan oozes charm, and if you stay within the old city's two-square-mile radius you won't need a car rental to access great restaurants, sightseeing and shopping.
U.S. citizens can save themselves the cost of a passport since it's not required to visit, and since the U.S. dollar is the legal tender, there's no money lost on currency exchange. Hotel Casa Blanca and Villa Herencia are two of my favorite high-style/low-cost boutique hotels.
Why: Europe is on everyone's list of value-added trips this year and for good reason — the exchange rate is more favorable for American travelers than it has been in years. But the destinations I most dream about and long to return to are in South America, a destination that has long given travelers great value for money.
In Chile, I love Santiago for its vibrant food and wine scene — think tucked-away wine bars, delicious tapas and hip hotels in a beautifully chaotic city. For a lesser-known and truly special corner of the world, I love the small lakeside town of Puerto Varas. It is part of the lakes district in Chile and the northern start of Patagonia.
It is easy (and cheap!) to rent a car and explore this area. There is a surprising German heritage, so you'll see signs for "kuchen" (cake). With Puerto Varas as a hub, you can explore great places within a two-hour drive from the city: going to the top of a volcano, exploring waterfalls, finding the best cakes and food.
This area sees very few American visitors and everything is CHEAP. It's one of those places I almost want to keep to myself, but it's so special that I can't.
Why: With the U.S. dollar strong against the euro right now and the economic crisis in Greece keeping prices lower than other parts of Europe, it’s the perfect time to visit the beautiful island of Crete. Crete is a foodie dream come true.
A place where farm-to-table isn’t a new fad, it’s a way of life. The people here often live to be well over 100 years old so they must be doing something right! With truly stunning natural beauty (like Balos beach) and locals that welcome tourists with open arms, you are bound to have the trip of a lifetime and save a few dollars at the same time.
Why: For many, Morocco is the ultimate dream trip, and yet cost tends to keep most from visiting. But what you might not know is that it's one of the most affordable African countries, particularly when comparing flight costs. R
eaching Marrakech from cities such as Lisbon, Madrid and Paris may only set you back $40 to $100 roundtrip with many budget airlines. And this past Black Friday, flights from New York were a mere $400 roundtrip.
Food is by far my main reason for visiting as often as I do, and typical meals can range from $2.50 to $15 for two, which includes appetizers, entree and unlimited mint tea. For vegetarians and vegans, the country is especially great, as veggies are cheaper than meat and fresh fruit smoothies are barely $1.
Souvenir shopping can get a bit intense when you realize leather goods such as wallets, handbags and weekenders run from $5 to $60. (A shopaholics dream!) When it comes to accommodations there's something to fit everyone's budget, my favorite being Riad Yasmine (only $80-$160 per night).
For those looking for Moroccan luxury while still on a budget, my go-to is Riad Kheirredine, which will have you living like a queen without breaking the bank and even provides a cell phone during your stay to ensure guest safety.
Why: Modern conveniences and history collide in Belize. It's a perfect place to take a budget romantic vacation. Many of the four-star hotels offer extras, like bicycle rentals, included in their low rates, as well as Belize's excellent local wines.
Some affordable resorts to check out are George Hardie's Las Vegas Hotel in Corozal (Northern Belize) and the oceanside Royal Caribbean Resort in San Pedro along Ambergris Caye. Both can be booked for under $100 per night.
Meals are also crazy cheap, but delicious. Two can eat at an upscale restaurant for less than $30, and much less at an everyday venue.
Why: Affordable upscale accommodations, cheap and remarkably healthy food and beautiful sights make Vietnam a standout among budget-friendly South Asian destinations.
Eat your way through historic Hanoi, kayak in the emerald waters of Halong Bay or relax in ancient Hoi An and the nearby beaches. There are clean, safe accommodations to fit everyone's wallet. In Hanoi, my favorite is the Tirant Hotel, near the old town, where you can bag a room for less than $70 a night.
Don't miss the Hanoi street food tour: For just $20 per person, a guide will lead you on foot or by scooter through backstreets, markets and footpaths.
You will eat like the locals and learn the names and ingredients in the dishes so you can order them again. And be sure to take the time to sip a bowl of steaming "pho" noodle soup in restaurants, push carts and food stalls, where a street meal and a beer can cost the same as a caramel macchiato at Starbucks.
9. Costa Rica
Why: Costa Rica is the one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and to be able to see this on a shoestring is an incredible opportunity.
There's a ton of national parks to explore, for instance, that only cost a few dollars to enter. Once there, you can then enjoy free self-guided walks that won't cost you a cent, but will deliver some great encounters with amazing wildlife like tapirs, monkeys, sloths and macaws.
Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Parks are two of the best. Public transport is also super cheap in Costa Rica, with buses generally less than $10, even for an eight-hour ride. This makes traveling between destinations in this compact country very affordable and means you can see a lot in a short amount of time.
In addition, budget accommodation in Costa Rica — even at some of the best surf beaches — can be as little as $6 per person. And a "plato tipico" (local dish) can be enjoyed anywhere for as little as $2-3.
Why: Portugal is a pocket of affordable travel in contrast to the rest of Western Europe, especially if you get off the highways and take the back roads (where you can also avoid tolls).
A bottle of delicious port and a plate of the day with a glass of wine can be found for around €5 each. Nowhere else in the world can its "California Highway 1 meets Tuscany" landscapes be enjoyed on such a budget, especially now that the dollar is strong against the euro.
Why: Although Ecuador is not quite as inexpensive as Peru to the south, it’s an easy and affordable destination to travel to, especially if you stay a bit off the beaten path. It’s a short cheap flight from Florida with budget airlines like jetBlue and TAME, and accommodation is pretty cheap.
Shop at your local market and you can get a week’s worth of groceries for $10. And Ecuador has lots of variety; from surf beach towns like Montanita, to the volcanic Banos with famed hot springs at the gateway to the Amazon basin, to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cuenca in the high Andes, there’s a lot to see. The bus systems are good and domestic flights cheap and plentiful. F
ind a free accommodation option like house-sitting or volunteering, and your trip can be even cheaper.
Why: Barcelona is ranked right up there with cities like Paris and London as one of the most popular European cities, but it is by far the most affordable. This is thanks to low-cost tapas restaurants, endless free attractions and affordable things to do.
Have a meal of tapas and wine at El Xampanyet for around €10-15. Soak up the rays on the beach at Barceloneta. Get lost in the La Boqueria Market.
And take the tram up to Tibidabo (only €5) for sweeping panoramic views of the city; it's also where you can experience a vintage amusement park and a gorgeous cathedral.
13. Where: Guatemala
Why: Often bypassed in favor of nearby Costa Rica, Guatemala is unique unto itself in Central America. And because it's a bit more "off the path" in the region, it's also easy on the budget and a nice place to splurge.
The villas and hotels rimming Lake Atitlán have all the beauty you could want for a small fraction of the price you'd pay in Europe or elsewhere. From the lake, you can then delve into the country's unique culture by visiting the indigenous markets and villages in the Guatemalan highlands.
Lush Atitlan is a gorgeous, affordable place to stay in San Marcos La Laguna, the prettiest and most culturally interesting of Lake Atitlan's villages.
14. Bonaire & Curaçao
Why: In the deep Southern Caribbean, Bonaire and Curaçao are always out there on the edge of everyone's Caribbean consciousness. Both are known for scuba diving, but also for other water sports, hiking and amazing secluded beaches.
Vacation villas that let you live like a local are plentiful and affordable on both islands, but chain hotels like the Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino are an option on Curaçao (great if you're using points).
Bonaire gets its very first chain hotel at the end of 2016 when a Marriott Courtyard opens.
15. Las Vegas
Why: If you can avoid the slots, there are lots of free things to do in Vegas: The Flamingo's flamingo habitat, the fountains and conservatory at the Bellagio and the outdoor movies at the Container Park are just a few.
You can also find many places for cheap eats if you are willing to get off The Strip to do so. Check out the nearby Crown and Anchor, which serves up delicious British favorites, and Ninja Teriyaki Sushi 2 Go for fresh-made amazing sushi rolls in a no-frills setting.
Why: Sadly, the average income in Cambodia is about $950 per year. What does this mean for international travelers? Your international airfare might be expensive, but once you are in Cambodia, you can live well. Tuks tuks (a combo bike/taxi) and food cost just pennies. Even international hotel chains and luxury river boats down the Mekong are more affordable than other Asian destinations.
Before visiting, I suggest doing your homework to support luxury companies like the Shinta Mani Resort, whose foundation plays a large role in its community, building water wells, schools and farms and providing the best healthcare in the country to its employees. Culturally conscious companies like Aqua Expeditions sustainably introduce their guests to the communities along the Mekong River, including the floating markets and the farmers in the rice fields; the company can even arrange a conversation with a local Buddhist monk to discuss the significance of his journey from childhood to monkhood.
Why: If you're looking into an exotic long-haul trip, Bali offers a ton of high quality experiences for a great value. You can easily stay in a private villa overlooking stunning rice paddies with a private pool for around $50 per night. (Airbnb is a great way to go).
However, if you want to splurge a bit but not go overboard, a stay at a high-end luxury resort will still cost you less than a stay at a luxury resort, for example, in Maui. Not to mention, spa and transportation costs are quite low relative to other exotic locales, as well as the amazing and healthy food options that end up being a fraction of the cost elsewhere in the world.
Why: The weakened euro has made any trip to Europe more affordable, but this is especially true in Greece. The struggling economy craves tourist dollars and makes it known with affordable pricing on everything from hotels to food.
In Athens, you can book a three- or four-star hotel for well under $100, like 360 Degrees, a nice and modern hotel with a huge breakfast buffet included and an awesome location directly on Monastiraki Square.
Throughout the countryside, prices may be even better. Best of all, you can sit down to an amazing Greek meal with drinks (Mythos or Ouzo?), appetizers (Saganaki, anyone?) and entrees of your choosing for less than half what you'd pay in the States. Heck, you can pick up Souvlaki or a gyro for $1-$2. Souvenirs are insanely cheap, too.
Why: This forgotten corner of Europe is a wonderfully off-the-beaten-track budget destination in an otherwise very touristy and expensive continent.
With fantastic beaches along its coastline, including the fishing port of Saranda, Albania gives visitors the chance to enjoy the Mediterranean waters for a fraction of the usual price. Accommodation starts from as little as $5 per person and fishing trips or boat rides to the nearby islands are similarly well priced.
There's also some fascinating historical sites across Albania that are either free to enter or cost only $2-$5. From the moutainous medieval town of Gjirokastër to the Roman ruins at Butrint, this is a diverse and very different side of Europe, which is definitely worth visiting before the crowds do.
20. San Luis Potosí, México
Picture a perfect class III white water rafting experience through a limestone canyon of turquoise waters, a visit to a living garden of eden, complete with art sculptures, hidden pools, butterflies and waterfalls, a hike to the largest known cave shaft in the world, which you can rappel into, and a series of waterfalls for cliff jumping.
Top this all off with a plate of homemade tacos and a local beer for $2, and you've got yourself a piece of adventure paradise on a budget.
Still very much under the radar to anyone outside of Mexico, San Luis Potosí could be compared to Costa Rica in terms of adventure and Cambodia in terms of affordability. Since Election Day, the dollar has been especially strong in Mexico, offering an even better excuse to travel south of the border.
21. Quebec City, Canada
Why: Take advantage of the weak Canadian dollar and travel north for a 25% discount on prices.
Enjoy a slice of Old Europe without the jet lag or the cost of a transatlantic flight. Indulge in some of the best French food outside France — steak-frites, oysters and pastries at a bargain price. Stroll and shop in the narrow cobblestone streets of the picturesque Old Town and enjoy night parades and ice canoe races during the colorful Winter Festival in January and February.
22. Buenos Aires
Why: One of the world's most intoxicating cities, Buenos Aires has only grown in popularity, but it's still relatively cheap compared to European and Asian capital cities. There are many green parks, French-inspired architecture, late-night dancing, custom leather shops and fantastic food.
Taxis are relatively cheap (around $5-8 a ride), but you should also walk for miles in all of the distinct neighborhoods, like Palermo (try Salon Canning, a super casual milonga, or dance hall, after midnight). Must-try cheap eat in Buenos Aires: anything dulce de leche. It is everywhere — inside crepes, drizzled over grilled bananas and in gelato.
Tip: Bring a ton of American cash and you'll get better deals in many places. For example, I bought my custom leather jacket at a shop called Uru Recoleta (close to the famous Recoleta Cemetery) and was able to buy it for much less than using my credit card because I brought American dollars.
On Sundays, the place to be is the San Telmo market for browsing leather, antiques, watches, jewelry and more.
Why: While Haiti still remains under the radar as a travel destination, many people have been flocking to the vibrant country, and I can see why: The island provides all the stunning Caribbean characteristics without the high costs. Outside of holiday seasons and the later part of the summer, flights from New York range from $300 to $500, and even cheaper when flying from cities in Florida.
The real gem is how cheap the hotels are, with many starting at $50 to $150 per night including airport transfers. Even the newest Marriott Port-au-Prince will only set you back $130 to under $200 a night for larger rooms.
One of my favorites is Wahoo Bay Beach, which has epic mountain and ocean views from its stunning pool and rooms. You can take small boat tours around the area for a couple of dollars per person. Lobster, conch and crab can be caught right from the water and prepared for you without costing more than $10.
24. Santa Catalina Island, California
Why: Santa Catalina Island is one of my new favorite places. It is way more than a weekend SoCal jaunt. Hotels are quaint and average under the $200 per night mark. The Avalon Hotel is a charming choice. It’s right in the center of town, making it an easy walk to almost any activity. There is plenty to do, like kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, ziplining, hiking or just beach sitting.
The Catalina Island Museum is a must-visit stop to get the full story of the island's fascinating history, including its Hollywood connection. Food and shopping choices are extensive.
And you don’t need a rental car. Getting to the island is easy: Catalina Express Ferry whisks you to there from three different ports, Long Beach, Dana Point and San Pedro. I prefer Long Beach because flights there are often lower priced than neighboring LAX.
Why: With 17,000 islands, you are bound to find the ideal paradise to suit your travel and budget in Indonesia.
There are stunning untouched beaches that offer world-class snorkelling and scuba diving in Raja Ampat, fascinating Unesco World Heritage Sites dating back to the 9th century in Yogyakarta and — everywhere you turn — the friendliest locals. In Raja Ampat, we found a homestay that included breakfast, lunch and dinner — plus it was right on the beach for around $29 USD per person per night. For more, see Food Fun Travel's "Bali Food Guide."
Why: The entire Balkans region is an excellent option for budget travel, and if you haven't been before, I recommend starting with Bulgaria.
From wine country to snowy peaks to the Black Sea coast, it's an adventure playground that every budget can afford. In Bulgaria's wine country you can get a full winery tour with multiple tastings plus bread and cheese for about $5 (check out Villa Melnik winery), take a hike through Bulgaria's famous sandstone pyramids and then sleep in a beautiful authentic style hotel like Zlaten Rozhen with breakfast included for about $30.
27. Cusco, Peru
Why: Most people who pass through Cusco are en route to the very popular Machu Picchu, but you should make sure to spend a few days, maybe even a few weeks in this colorful city. Not only is the city absolutely stunning and oozing with culture, most accommodations range from $20 to $100 a night. Peruvian textiles are extremely affordable and the vibrant colors are stunning.
Eating out in Cusco can be extremely cheap, if you know where to eat. Restaurants are quite affordable compared to most American and European restaurants, but street food here is the real winner. I'm personally addicted to ceviche and can't find it cheaper than $15 for a small portion in the states, but in Cusco's San Pedro Market you can find ceviche plus Peruvian fried rice for only $3.
On my last trip, I had steak and ceviche nearly every day and never spent more than $15 for two including a drink and soup.
Why: Meagen Collins: This ancient European country is starting to grab the attention of travelers from all over the world. Georgia has so much to offer — beautiful scenery, unique culture and tradition everywhere you look, and the food will leave you drooling for more.
Add to that the fact this country lays claim to being the birthplace of wine (winemaking here goes back 8,000 years) and you have the ultimate new travel destination.
In Georgia, you can get a full meal plus copious amounts of wine for two people in a higher end restaurant, with live entertainment and still spend less than $30 — total. But get there fast: Word is getting around about this little gem and it won’t be tourist-free for long.
Why: This country is one of Africa's best budget travel destinations, with some extremely affordable accommodation situated along white sand beaches and next to an azure ocean. (Check out Villa Sands or Terraço das Quitandas.)
There's great scuba diving, too, and you can easily feel like a millionaire here for nothing! For more ideas, see Big World Small Pocket's "17 Incredible Budget Travel Destinations Still On My List (That Should Be On Yours Too!)."
30. Dallas, Texas
Why: Dallas is often overlooked, but packed with fun, food and great places to stay at prices far below the national average. (The city was voted the most affordable destination in the U.S. last year by Priceline and continues to remain a great value.) Downtown buzzes with excitement and culture, and the nearby Design District is exploding with eclectic shopping for home décor.
The high-rise Omni Dallas has rooms with stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the city starting at just under $200, putting you in the center of the action. With a rental car, you can fully explore everything the city has to offer. Look at fringe cities like Grapevine and Plano for the charm of small towns of yesteryear with main street shops and eateries.
The Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine is convenient to DFW airport and offers full-out luxury at rates around the $200 mark.
Image SourceLike most offbeat movies, this one isn’t very famous. The movie will hit you so hard that you cannot not be affected by it. You might love it, You might hate it because it will depress you, make you cry but there is no chance that you’ll be unaffected. Tulip Joshi is so brilliant that you’ll wonder why is she not approached by directors. The world created by the movie makers will take you in the grotesque, scary, hair-raising dystopian world as a result of female infanticide. Do yourself a favour and watch it.
2. MasaanImage SourceAn offbeat movie that was watched and discussed by many. It’s a story of how four lives intersect along the Ganges and that gives an insight into love, life and death. One of the finest movies of 2015, this movie will be a chilling experience. Beautifully written and directed, with top-notch performances by the actors, it’s a do not miss movie!
3. The Blue UmbrellaImage SourceVishal Bharadwaj is the master of adaptations. Based on Ruskin Bond’s short story, the story captures the simple life of a small hill-town and tells the story of a girl whose favourite blue umbrella gets stolen. The little girl is adorable and Pankaj Kapoor absolutely makes the film an extraordinary one.
4. ParzaniaImage SourceBased on the real life story of a Parsi family whose son goes missing during the Gujarat riots, the movie is deeply impactful. The director, the cinematographer, the story writer, the script writer, the actors, everyone is commendable. And it’s a shame it was never released in Gujarat. It’s a shame when people are left devoid of such movies.
5. DorImage SourceIt’s very hard to make a simple movie. A movie of two simple women, very different from each other, linked by a tragedy. Their budding friendship is so beautifully written and scripted. Dor is so much more than a story about their friendship. It’s a story about the wide gap in how the women are treated in the urban and rural ares. It’s about the struggle of a widow. Ayesha Takia and Gul Panag are pure brilliance.
6. GulaalImage SourceAnurag Kashyap is the master-maker of offbeat movies. A huge fan, I simple cannot fathom how this man makes his movies. The story of a law student whose journey will leave you speechless. It is dark, moving, engrossing and brain consuming. The cast is awesome and Kay Kay Menon steals the show! Do, do watch it!
7. Black FridayImage SourceAnother movie by Anurag Kashyap! Based on the investigations following the 1993 serial bomb blasts…this movie is raw, dark, real and brilliantly made. The performances, direction, background score, use of colours, light, effects, everything makes the movie mind blowing. Not everyone is as brave as Mr. Kashyap to take up the task of making such a movie and executing it so well.
8. Mumbai Meri JaanImage SourceNishikant Kamat is another director who’ll stun you with his movies. The story of how the Mumbai serial bombings affected the lives of 5 people unrelated to each other. The story is beautifully written and the stories of the 5 different people blend in seamlessly. The cast is again just perfect and you’d missing a lot if you haven’t watched this movie yet!
9. LakshyaImage SourceVery few offbeat movies cast a hero popular amongst the masses. This is one such movie which had established that Hrithik is a brilliant actor and more, that Farhan Akhtar is an even brilliant director. It’s the story of a good-for-nothing jobless, grown man who joins the army and turns over a new leaf. Preity Zinta is flawless, too.
10. UdaanImage SourceAlmost every cinephile would have watched this movie. For those who haven’t, Udaan will leave you spellbound with it’s brilliant story-telling. Nobody can play the character of an ultra-strict father better than Ronit Roy and Rohan’s journey of freedom is something you’ll have to witness to appreciate it!
11. The LunchboxImage SourceWhat a brilliant work of art! The best of the movies are the ones that tell a simple tale. The story of two lives whose paths cross because of a wrong delivery is what the story is about. When there are actors like Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin, you don’t have to say much. But what’s amazing is that Nimrat Kaur is at par and her work is just wonderful.
12. A WednesdayImage SourceThe cast is so inviting: Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Jimmy Shergill…you would want to watch the movie without further checking the IMDB. The movie is fantastic. A case that keeps haunting a retired police officer, the case of a man and a Wednesday. The dialogues will make you whistle and you’ll fall in love with offbeat cinema!
13. Monsoon WeddingImage SourceMira Nair is a woman I highly respect. And if I had a chance, I would love to learn the art of making movies from her. Monsoon Wedding is a 2001 film which talks about so many issues in the most subtle manner. There are many stories in this film. The story of a stressed father, the bride with a secret, the bride’s cousin with a deeper, darker secret. It’s an overwhelming ride of emotions and the beauty of relationships.
14. No SmokingImage SourceAnother film from Anurag Kashyap. Watch this strange movie since it tells the tale of a man who is a chain smoker. The movie is not just about quitting smoking; it’s about quitting any addiction. Welcome to realistic cinema. The theme is hard to make a movie on that’s why Kashyap is pure genius.
15. SwadesImage SourceAnother offbeat, a brilliant movie starring a famous star! I can absolutely watch this movie over and over again. The story of a man who comes to India to take his nanny with him to the U.S.A. but instead falls in love with India. The movies will show the life of rural India and honestly, at the end will make you hopeful. Shahrukh Khan is wonderful and the movie is a must-watch.
16. Stanley ka DabbaImage SourceSoft, simple and a gem of a movie. If you think it’s a movie for kids, please throw your preconceived notions out the window and watch this beautiful movie. It revolves around a teacher who forces students to share their tiffins with him and threatens one because he is unable to bring one. Very moving, very well written and amazingly executed!
17. Being CyrusImage SourceOriginally named ‘Akoori’, this movie is about a young man who enter the lives of the dysfunctional Sethna family. It is a dark, intense, comic urbane film and a movie well ahead of its time. Very intelligently written and well-directed, this movie should be on your bucket list.
18. MaqboolImage SourceIt’s extremely difficult to adapt a play and convert it into a movie that tells the story in an Indian way. So hats-off to Vishal Bharadwaj for his brilliant adaptation! The casting is superb and so is the characterization. The script is fantastic and Macbeth couldn’t have reached the masses in a better way!
19. AligarhImage SourceIf you haven’t seen this movie, you probably have missed out so much. The story of a professor expelled from his university because of his sexual orientation and his struggles is heart-wrenching and honestly, making a movie on a controversial topic is brave. The movie might seem slow at times but I love it. The scene where Manoj Bajpai sings a song along with the radio is so touching and moving and wonderfully executed. A brilliant movie that should definitely be watched.
20. The NamesakeImage SourceBased on Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel and directed by Mira Nair, the movie will take you into its world and leave you speechless! It gives you a look into family ties, clashing value and culture and all of it is so beautifully written and directed. Kudos to you, Mira Nair!
21. Manorama: Six Feet UnderImage SourceThis movie is intriguing, complex and gives you a thrilling ride. It’s not a simple movie and it will weave the story into web and then untangle it slowly. Abhay Deol is obviously fantastic and will leave a deep impact on you. Gul Panag is amazing too! Watch it and see it for yourself!
22. DasvidaniyaImage SourceVinay Pathak is one of my favorite actors and no one can do the protagonist’s role better than him. This movie will leave you pleased, satisfied and wondering how you delayed watching it. The story about a man loves to make lists and makes a final one when he realizes he is about to die. The story is simple and the performances are brilliant.
23. ShahidImage SourceBased on the real-life story of controversial lawyer Shahid Azmi who was assassinated in 2010, this movie was very moving and had a deep impact. Rajkumar Rao is amazing and he’ll leave you stunned by his performance. It is honest and very responsibly made. Do watch it if you have a love for cinema!
24. LSDImage SourceThree stories told through a camera which is a part of the story is amazing! The cast is new but very convincing. The director has tried something new in the movie and has succeeded to an extent. Watch the movie for its experience.
25. Mr. and Mrs. IyerImage SourceNot really famous but a great movie that Indian cinema produced. The story about a devout Hindu woman who protects a Muslim man when communal riots break out. A very sensitive topic; the characters have been done justice and how couldn’t they have been done when played by Rahul Bose and Konkana Sen Sharma. Wonderful movie and should definitely be watched.
26. I Am KalamImage SourceSimple, sweet with perfect narration, it’s the story of a boy who calls himself Kalam with the hope of becoming like Abdul Kalam someday. It depicts the story of poor India and the struggles of uneducated masses. It’s a great watch!
27. IqbalImage SourceIqbal is one the movies that people watched and discussed. The story of a deaf and mute boy with a passion for cricket and his journey. Shreyas Talpade was so brilliant that he shocked us. The relationships are wonderfully portrayed the screenplay is very tight. If you haven’t watched this, please do!
28. Dev DImage SourceOne must think I am biased towards Anurag Kashyap but he owns the world of offbeat cinema. An unconventional interpretation and portrayal of Devdas, this movie is just superb. The music is fantastic and the performance will leave you reeling. So much talent in one movie, it overwhelms me.
29. Khosla Ka GhoslaImage SourceOffbeat and comedy. One of the very few comedy movies that’ll leave your stomach hurting. The story of a middle-class man from Delhi who tries to get back his land from a property dealer with the help of his family and friends. It should be watched if you are looking for a movie one can related to and laugh at!
30. Sulemaani KeedaImage SourceA hilarious movie on two struggling ‘bros’ who knock on every door in Mumbai to realize their dream of becoming writers. Very realistic and honestly, you will see your story somewhere in them. If you are a struggler in the city of dreams, you’ll be able to relate to it. And it’ll be strange and weird if you do not like i
How Cricket can be even cooler sports than what it is now? What are the some of innovative ideas?
Look one can have plenty of cool ideas about Cricket, will ICC listen? Will every board members agree to that? The major power player is BCCI, now in country like ours where we don't like change, even ideas like T10Is for only Olympic games also get sidetracked. People of India are also not really comfortable with any change. One needs to push it to them, remember first T20I WC in SA, well before that tournament, BCCI wasn't ready to play by saying T20I was a joke, Indian people also kind of went with that as they follow most often our former cricketer say, fortunately BCCI voted out in the meeting, and rest is history. Now look at Indian public's craze with T20Is. Because Indian people most often don't know what they want. Ask most Indian about T10Is only for Olympic as even 3 hr of T20Is are long for Olympic, they will say they hate the ideas. They said same thing about T20Is as well. Actually the problems with Cricket are tradition and nostalgia and it's clash with this modern world. At certain points of time ICC and BCCI need to choose between keeping the old fans satisfied or creating completely new age fan base who weren't interested in cricket before by creating new version of Cricket which more interesting and eye catching than before for even those who doesn't have any ideas about Cricket before.
I mean look at old test cricket loving crowds in Australia and England. What will happen after 10 years from now, when most of them will be dead?
No one knows answer to this question.
First of all, if you look at world sports, glamour sells and it sells well in sports.
I mean anyone can see woman's tennis obvious popularity now, and it's sheer level of competitiveness, but is it always like this?
A big no
Glamour started to bring attention and money in the sports and then gradually women's tennis competitiveness hit the roof.
Some things similar could be done for women's Cricket. Conservative ideas won't help anyone here.
There should be a group in ICC whose prime job is to research on Cricket and build some new ideas to make it more interesting and innovative and exciting for the new crowds, they should research on Cricket to bring new kind of thinking to change the game forever, they should research why particular group of people in particular part of the world like particular game, what is the thinking behind that kind of mentality, how they could be interested in cricket, what general Cricket fans are thinking about the game, what they want, how they want game to change, maybe they should learn from other sports- what is working for other sports, bring that into Cricket etc etc etc etc etc etc
For test cricket:
Cricket specially test cricket is based on certain factors like patience etc where percentage of that happening from people are very low. Let's add to that 5 day long test cricket in today's day and age . And you get ignorance and ridiculing from people and even from those test playing nations. Test cricket lover always say that test cricket is like those traditional setar music whereas T20Is are more like hip hop.
But is it really???
Or is it more complex than that?
See people are very participatory nature in their core even though the whole concept of test cricket will drive away most people these days and that should be expected not to be surprised about but people end of days like to see their team is playing and participating and competing and competing hard even if the level of cricket is not exactly up to mark to the purist test cricket lovers.
What exactly my point here?
It's very simple.
Former cricketer always talk about balance between bat and ball , yet they never do anything about it pushing convention wisdom AKA with innovative thought process.
What is exactly going on now in limited over's cricket?
There's some invisible structure where 40% of matches are played on extremely flat surface and rest of 60% matches played on three types pitches - slow(20%), turning(20%), seaming(20%).
But in test cricket it is extremely opposite such as bowling favoured pitch since the perception is that limited over's cricket is only played on flat surface therefore test cricket should be played on bowling favoured pitch otherwise bowlers will disappear.
But it just different tone from the past era when test cricket was played on flat surface otherwise it is very same. It just two sides of a same coin.
While it is very hard to make test cricket viewers friendly in today's day and age. But one can try and do by pushing the conventional wisdom.
How is that possible?
Well first of all stop trying to pretend that test cricket is a simple game.
It is not. It is the most complex game in the world.
So rather than trying to be something that test cricket is not , I say test cricket should hold on to it's best attributes that it is a complex game therefore innovate rules from that point of view to make this game more multi dimensional and contest worthy in every single matches.
It should not matter which team is playing against which team.
Since pitch is such a big deal in test cricket , let's make rules based on according to every kind of pitch that a cricket game can offer.
This should be the job for match referee since most of the time they are not super busy in Cricket game. They should handle this complex responsibility of cricket rules with accordance to cricket pitch to bring out it's multi dimensional nature.
Situation no 1>
If the pitch is absolutely flat and nothing is happening allow the bowlers to push the envelope of conventional wisdom of cricket rules. Allow ball tampering to an certain extent to reverse swing the ball both ways and allow Spinners to bowl with illegal action to bring different varieties like dusra etc to cause problems for the batsman in a bowlers graveyard. There are lots of theory and calculation out there today which wasn't earlier to predict the pitch better than ever before so this should not be that hard for match referees.
Situation no 2>
If pitch is too slow and nothing is happening. Allow the bowlers to do exactly like in situation 1 but also make sure the boundary limit is ridiculously small(extremely small) to give a ‘kick start' advantage to test batsman to play more attacking cricket since most of them are devoid of great stroke making ability to suit the test cricket.
Situation no 3>
If pitch is seaming like in England or South Africa or in New Zealand, allow the boundary limit just like in situation 2 to favour the batsman to play more attacking cricket.
Situation no 4>
If pitch is turning like in Indian subcontinent, allow the boundary limit just like in situation 2&3 to favour the batsman to play more attacking cricket.
This will almost make sure that the percentage of draw become almost non existent.
This is a creative idea which you have the option to disagree with but remember something is always better than nothing and this will also make sure small teams to come into the game big way in test cricket and everyone, I mean everyone will have their opportunity to eat the pie and that of course include big teams.
But is it going to make test cricket very popular?
I don't think so.
Is it going to make better test cricket for everyone , I mean not just the big teams but even for the small teams- I believe so.
What do you think?
For ODIs :
What exactly do we want from ODIs, we want to see two teams are contesting hard inspite of their unequal power of strength as it should not matter which team is playing against which team. I have a solution for this, but a warning it will sound complicated so read carefully, truth is if you want to make Cricket matches one sided contest free then we don't have much options but the complicated ways as Cricket is designed to be one sided.
In ODIs a bowler's limitation is 10 overs, but there are circumstances when bowler is bowling superbly but in rest of the bowling line up, few are okay and few are having a off day. To counter this situation, one option is that best bowler from that day can bowl upto 20 overs or in another option two of the best from the rest can bowl 15 overs each and rest can bowl either remaining 30 overs or 20 overs with 10 overs limit respectively or as another option go back to traditional five bowlers 10 over max rule. The bowling captain needs to decide and let umpire know after the chosen bowler or bowlers finished their first 6 overs. When one team goes to bat they should have the option of having two batsman from the reserve bench replacing any two bowlers from playing XI, when they go to bowl everything will be the way it was before. In a similar bowling team will also have the option to choose two bowlers from reserve bench replacing two batsman and when the bowling team will go to bat things will be the way they were before. Four bouncers in a over should be another nice option. When a team is all out they should have the option of playing their XI again but with each batsman coming to bat, there will be 60 runs penalty cut off from the total and this will be considered 2nd innings of that particular batsman in that match (Only for the batting team as this will farther complicate it for the bowling stats, so bowlers don't need any second innings)[Remember this second innings options can be used any situation not just when team is all out, for example suppose Virat Kohli has got out early with this rule he can bat again anytime but with 60 runs extra to the total as it has been cut off from the total as penalty for using the second innings options, yeah now it sounds very interesting], stats and average will be working according to that. This new rule will make sure both team & comparatively weaker team stay in the match and it will be multiplying their strength there by reducing the percentage of one sided contest. Because ODIs go on for long time therefore one sided contest is killing it. I believe this is the best cure at the moment.
See the idea is very simple, let's have one team whose strength is 100 and another team whose strength is 10 and you will know that who is going to win even before the match and with above mentioned ideas both team's strength will be multiplied at least hundred times which means even though the stronger team will win most occasions but game will be very close contested therefore one dimensional nature free. This is what people are looking for from ODIs and Cricket.
So How do you like this idea which you have the option to disagree with but remember something is better than nothing and it just a creative thought end of the days. You can add if you have something.