The 14 Best Cast Superheroes and Villains


That great level playing field of dreams, where all that we see and all that we dream in our most intimate thoughts find a voice, a playing out. It is the last great bastion of magical idealism left open for the masses – books are too exclusivist, sadly, and television in this country, well, the less said about that the better.

Hollywood has been dream merchant at a noticeably greater scale than our Hindi film industry, if you set aside cultural preferences (you know, we have colours and a hundred different traditions, and song and dance at our weddings. And chiffon sarees.) And, of late, they’ve gone all out after discovering that big-budget superhero films – in which everyday people (like us) have extraordinary powers (that everyday people like us wish we had) and available beautiful women (that everyday people like us wish we had), make do without really working at a mundane job (that everyday people like us wish we could) battle villains who aren’t really menacing and have a long-drawn, almost bound to fail due to its sheer scale and idiocy, plan to conquer the world or thereabouts, which is usually some version of New York City.

See, that’s what I said earlier: their scale of being a dream merchant is greater! Being the master marketers they are, they’ve hit upon the perfect formula: take the quarter/half life crisis fantasy of the majority of the population, and show them the awesomeness they could have unleashed. Instant, seven-figure bling! Sadly, much like all other excesses of capitalism, the product of these efforts are quite poor. Paper thin plots, mostly repeated and rehashed by several other films, plastic acting, and the inevitable victory of the hero over a villain.

Anyway, the point of this post isn’t to malign the superhero film genre (it is one by now, no?), it is to celebrate it. More specifically, its thespians: adults who have worn tight suits, mouthed things that don’t really mean anything most of the time, and battled with more bad guys in a movie than they have met normal guys in their lives, but done so with a great deal of dedication, courage, and even a little panache.

It is the end of the year, and the season of lists (in addition to the season of celebrations, of course). A little over a couple of years ago, I made a list of the most beautiful women I’d encountered in cinema, this is a list of the most inspired casting in superhero films. All images, of course, are used only for representation with no commercial gains, and their rights belong to their respective owners.

In some specific order, then:


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Reading Gulzar – Musafir Hoon Yaaron

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

And there it is, we’re almost done with 2013!

Tomorrow, we shall renew our pledges to destiny. Tomorrow we shall try to rise again, with newer hopes. Tomorrow we shall resolve anew to fight for all that we desire. Tomorrow we shall plunge again into the waters of uncertainty, and swim tirelessly toward our place in the sun.

But all that will be tomorrow.

Today, tonight, let us celebrate ourselves. Let us bask in the glory of that what we have achieved. Let us celebrate the warrior in all of us who refuses to lay by the side, and continues walking no matter what. Who doesn’t get bothered by the ups and down, who keeps to the road and journeys on forward!

All you wise, wonderful people – love yourself!

And have a happy new year!

Film: Parichay

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Kishore Kumar

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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The last post might have led you to believe that I am quite bitter at the end of the year. But that’s not entirely true!

The end of any particular thing makes me quite emotional and vulnerable, and Nostalgia rather frequently gathers its dark clouds and pours forth memories and miseries in a storm I am quite incapable of withstanding. From this storm of friends and lovers, good times and bad, hopes and hermitages, alliances and accords, come scenes that were once lived.

I see them, feel them, but they are distant. I cannot touch them, but only endure them in moments of pathos and hopelessness. My friends, should you read this, know that I remember our time together. I am grateful that I found you, and you me, and of all that passed to this point. I am happy that I will always have you.

What time is once past is finished, and yet we keep going back, like ghosts.


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Of Education, Leadership, and the AAP Experiment

Of Education, Leadership, and the AAP Experiment

If there is one outright positive adjective I’d like to use for myself, it’d be individualistic. I think as me first, and mostly, that’s all how I can think.

The year gone by got me a lot of chances to reflect on that word: me. And since this is my blog, I’d like to share a few of them with you.

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A New Deal

A New Deal (Click on the image for source.)

A New Deal (Click on the image for source.)

Each year, I believe, brings with it its own learnings. I don’t want to, as is my habit otherwise, to look past and reflect and write a quite incomprehensible memoir of what happened in the 365 days that just passed. What is the purpose of it? I am, just as we are all, very likely to make the same mistakes, enjoy the same shenanigans, and live the same truths again.

Nothing, largely, ever changes. Things just get draped anew.

So, instead, I’ve decided to look at the year ahead. While this is also in accordance with my habit otherwise, I think it is at least a tad bit more optimistic.

And a better way, frankly, of spending a month you’ve absolutely no clue what to do with or about.

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The Year That Was: 2011

Goodbye (Click on the image for source.)

Goodbye (Click on the image for source.)

It is the season of nostalgia, it is the day of reflection.

The dawn today has turned a new page in all our calendars, and the emotional, weak, suckers-for-redemption that we all are, we’ll hope will in our lives too. We shall want to be forgiven by those we hurt, but not forgotten by them, for we love them. We shall want that the shackles that bind us explode and wither into nothingness, but not the memories, for once the shackles were worn with love. The ceaseless yearning of Man to have a new start, this inherent desire to be given that one chance to right all wrongs…and yet, we never really look into the future, and make it. We only want to correct the past. We aren’t expectant, leave alone excited, of the strange that lies before us: no, we are only hoping to relive that which is past us, always golden in its tranquility, after making the modifications it requires, and trimming out the ‘un’-pleasantaries.

But let the future come when it shall, for now, let us lie down in the shades of the hours that have passed. Let us all go back in time, through that window that shall never be shut, Memory, and look at what 2011 did to us, and what we did to ourselves.

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