The Ultimate pop culture celebration is back here. Comic Con India (CCI) was started with an inaugural show in February of 2011 in Delhi. The first ever Indian Comic Con, as it was called then, was hosted at the open-air craft bazaar, Dilli Haat, in the capital. Held over 2 days, it featured 25 exhibitors and attracted close to 5000 visitors. Over the years since - Comic Con India has expanded to 5 cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad & Pune. It has also successfully attracted over 1,50,000 visitors cumulatively with over 1000 exhibitors at their shows.
Comic con Hyderabad 2016 is just a few days away and is going to be a 2 day event being held from 24th September to the 25th September 2016 at the HITEX International Exhibition Centre in Hyderabad, India. This event showcases products like wide range of comics, chitra katha, novels, graphics, Merchandise, Toys, Games, Films and Animation etc. in the Toys & Games industry.
The first ever convention organized in Delhi was hosted by Twenty Onwards Media. There were stalls that were showcased by several Indian publishing houses, Amar Chitra Katha, Diamond Comics, Level 10, and many other new and upcoming publishers. Several fans, both young and adult participated in the traditionally associated Cosplay, which was India’s first event of this type. Uncle Pai, a renowned educationalist and creator of Indian Comics, particularly, Tinkle and Amar Chitra Katha was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Cartoonist Pran, the creator of Chacha Chaudhary and one the most successful Indian cartoonists. There have been Comic Con expresses held in other cities than New Delhi and its popularity in India is growing year by year.
In the Hyderabad Comic Con, they are going to have seven fun zones for the fans, exhibitors and other people attending it. They are Nodwin Gaming Zone, Table Top Gaming Zone, Paintball Zone, AXN Experience Zone, Alto Gaming & Art Zone, WWE Zone, and Wand Training Zone. The special guests list include-
Afshan Azad, an English actress and model, primarily known for her performances as Padma Patil in five of the Harry Potter films.
Nicole Marie Jean, a famous cosplayer, artist, sculptor, and designer from San Diego, California. During the past four years she has traveled around the country for numerous events and conventions as both an attendee and a guest. She has judged a number of contests and been a part of many panels. Nicole has won numerous awards for her costumes both at conventions and online.
David Lloyd, a British comics artist best known as the illustrator of the story V for Vendetta. He started working in comics in the late 1970s, drawing for Halls of Horror, TV Comic and a number of Marvel UK titles With writer Steve Parkhouse, he created the pulp adventure character Night Raven.
Dan Parent, an American comic book artist and writer best known for his work for Archie Comics. A graduate of The Kubert School, Parent began working for Archie immediately after graduation. His writing of the Love Showdown series from 1994 received widespread attention. He has also illustrated Felix the Cat, Barbie, Disney Adventures, and a wide variety of other titles.
Love for comics in India was very strong at one point of time. It had seemed the interest level had dropped down, but it was proved wrong when the Comic Con Express paved its way into India. The glorious days of Tinkle and Chacha Chaudhary would never grow old. As the comic industry abroad made its way in Hollywood, it also led to a way for Bollywood to realize the potential in turning their films into comic book formats. After the release of Ra One starring, Shah Rukh Khan, he released its graphic novel version, G.One- The Journey Begins, and, another film, Shaadi of the Dead, starring Abhay Deol, released its book, Zombie Talkies: Blood Fest In Bollywood. We’ve had some popular on-screen superheroes ourselves, such as Shaktiman, Krrish, Flying Jatt, who have been very popular among the audience of India. Young Indian illustrators like, Abhijeet Kini admit that the growing interest in comic books is mainly because we are exposed to many more superheroes from the West. Earlier we had only heard of Spiderman and Superman. Today, Hollywood films have introduced us to X-Men, Thor, Hulk and Green Lantern. Doga and Super Commando Dhruva, both superheroes, are among popular characters in India, although Kini believes Chacha Chaudhary has been among the more innovative characters to have struck a chord with readers.
Since their inception in 2011, they have steadily expanded the scope of their events by involving the various industries that can help expand popular culture. They plan to continue reaching many more communities of dedicated fans as well as bringing their unique events to many more cities in India. They are dedicated to creating unique events and giving their fans, exhibitors and partners a platform to celebrate their undying love and passion for comics & pop culture.
You like singing in the shower? Sorry, no, wrong question. You love singing in the shower? Admit it. You do. You have sung out loud in your room, in front of an imaginary audience, and secretly admired your own singing genius. Whether it’s your all time favorites, or the more recent ones, you always find yourself singing along.
You do it alone. But why do it alone when you can head to some uber cool places with your friends and be a Karaoke star, right here in Delhi. Here are some restaurants that host the best Karaoke nights in Delhi. You wouldn’t want to miss it.
- Turquoise Cottage
Along with delicious food and great ambiance, this place also hosts Karaoke nights every Sunday. Now tell me, is there anything better than gorging down delicious food, and singing along to your favorite song, on a Sunday evening? There isn’t, you know it.
Where: MA 03, Restaurant Block, DLF Place Mall, Saket, New Delhi
When: Sunday, 8 pm onwards.
- Smokey’s BBQ and Grill
It is known for its barbeque bites and assortment of burgers. This place hosts fun karaokes on Wednesdays. Perfect to test your music knowledge, we say.
Where: Plot 2, VIPPS Center, Local Shopping Center, Masjid Moth, Greater Kailash (GK) 2, New Delhi
When: Wednesday, 9 pm onwards.
- Sandys Cocktails & Kitchen
They host their karaoke sessions in their basement. Here you get to sing sing along to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Kishore Kumar. So put on your old school charm and head to Sandys now!Also, if you're a group of 10 or more people, they can easily give you the entire basement and you can have your own private karaoke party!
Where: SCO 388, Near IFFCO Metro Station, Sector 29, Gurgaon
When: Sunday, 7 pm onwards
Influenced by Bob Marley and his reggae-style of music, Raasta's comfortable seating and soothing ambiance are perfect to catch a couple of drinks after work. And you can sing along to your favorite Marley numbers.
Where: 30A, First Floor, Hauz Khas, New Delhi
When: Tuesday, 8 pm onwards
- My Bar Grill
Cheap drinks & food, and a lively ambiance is all you need for that night out with friends. And it only gets better when you can enjoy karaoke along!
Where: 28, 3rd Floor, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi
When: Wednesday, 8 pm onwards.
- Escape Terrace Bar & Kitchen
What's better than having a couple of drinks at a rooftop setting, and singing along to your favourite melodies with your friends? Escape gives you just that!
Where: R 2, Level 2, Galleria Market (above CitiBank ATM), DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon
When: Monday, 8 pm onwards.
- Route 04
The one thing that stands out about Route 04 is the huge Transformers robot statue. It's the first thing that catches your eye the moment you enter, and you know from then on, that it's going to be a fun night. Lip-smacking food, innovative drinks and karaoke - what more can you ask for?
Where: K2, Middle lane, Connaught Place, New Delhi
When: Friday, 8 pm onwards.
See, there’s almost one cafe for everyday. So, where you heading tonight?
India, has the honor of proudly owning the largest river island in the world. It is situated on River Brahmaputra, in Assam, known as Majuli. The pristine island of Majuli was declared the largest riverine island in the world by Guinness Book of World Records. The island also acquired to become the first river island district of the country. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal did the honors.
The island is all beautiful and a very solitary getaway for tourists, but many might have missed out on one important fact about the eroding riverine island. The island is dealing with extreme beetle infestation.
Majuli has an approx population of 160,000 people, majority of whom depend on the agriculture to sustain themselves economically. The area is also an eco -diversity hub. However, since around the year 2005, mostly owing to the climate change on a larger scale, has caused a severe beetle infestation. Due to this infestation a lot of severe damage has come to the annual crops, especially those of potatoes, sugar canes, and green grams. This has been quite a bit of loss to local farmers.
The culprit, Lepidiota Mansueta beetle from Australia, is an invader that mates during the month of April and May, then spawns their eggs deep inside the soil. Depths such as that even the pesticides cannot reach them. A senior scientist at Assam Agricultural University, Badal Bhattacharya, says that the adults beetles aren’t much of a problem as are the beetle larvae. The larvae does more harm to the crops in the fields.
The researchers in Majuli have found an ingenious way to tackle this dreadful infestation, and that is, catch the beetles, and eat them. Scientist Bhattacharya and his team led an initiative of catching beetles in 2012, with this method of catching them and feasting on them. They devised a method to catch them by shining light on the fields as they are attracted to light and therefore, beetles are caught using solar LED light traps. They ran a slogan ‘Eat them before they eat your crops’. Thereafter, Bhattacharya led a massive campaign to promote the beetle as an edible and tasty source of protein. He also provides dishes made of beetles to locals and farmers for free, to promote the insect as a viable alternative food source, and very soon plans to expand it into a full-scale business venture. With dishes like plain roasted beetle with tomato, beetle fry, etc., locals believe the cuisine will soon catch on and catch the fancy of tourists.
ARE THE BEETLES SAFE FOR CONSUMPTION?
According to research, the insect is perfectly suitable for consumption, with a 76.83 percent protein content, 10.93 per cent carbohydrate content, 5.15 per cent fibre and 4.10 percent fat, and is also completely free of toxins. In the three years since the campaign, the number of insects caught per mating season has been on a steady increase and Bhattacharya's team has also come up with several culinary insights into the cooking of beetles to make flavorful grub.
Also Read: Top Unexplored Surreal places in India
The new innovations undertaken at Majuli, are done keeping in mind to bid Majuli to become one of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The project to explore ways of pest control is part of social engineering, where they are trying to control pests without using any pesticides. Excessive use of pesticides in the long run will only cause degradation of the quality of soil, affecting its fertility. This practice of consuming dishes made of beetle in Majuli, is very practical and entirely and innovative solution to an otherwise potentially dangerous problem.
Yesterday morning terrorists from Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) launched a planned attack similar to Pathankot in the Uri sector in Kashmir, and 19 of our soldiers were killed. Right after the attack, there was a strong condemnation from America and this time it did not call for peace or start of dialogue between India and Pakistan, but was that just a mere lip service remains to be seen and the outcome will be known in few days based on actions taken by India. However, it is a sign that the U.S State Department no longer sees the approach of asking India to start dialogue with Pakistan prudent, since India is now America’s number one buyer of military hardware which runs into billions of dollars. On the other hand, Pakistan is like a bottom less pit where America has pumped over 30 billion dollars since 2001 with zero results. In fact, the Haqqani network has been responsible for the death of hundreds of American soldiers and also responsible for trying to undermine the Afghanistan government.
It is quite possible after the attack in the Uri sector in Kashmir, the preverbal we shall choose for our time and place to hit Pakistan needs to change because the time has come to strike, period! If Pakistan thinks any retaliation from India will not be well received by China, then they are living in fool’s paradise. It is because even during Kargil war China did not come to Pakistan’s aid and right now China has its hands full with all the backlash it’s receiving from it’s South China Sea policy.There India seems to have an upper hand and the strain in relationship between China and its South East Asian neighbors, like Vietnam, with whom India is developing closer relations. Fact is, China is worried about the growing influence of Japan and could reverse its earlier stand on the China-Pak economic corridor (CPEC). The volatility in Baluchistan and Gilgit Baltistan region is palpable and the writing is on the wall and sooner or later they will separate. Plus there are issues with security of Chinese civilians and construction safety of CPEC corridor, so why invest billions of dollars in Pakistan which in just few years will be dismembered. Also this time around China may not block India if we decide to pass a resolution in the U.N assembly to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad and its founder Maulana Masood Azhar.
American Stance on Pakistan
With regards to America there is already growing resentment for Pakistan in Washington with several leaders strongly opposing any new aid or sale of subsidized military hardware to this sponsor of Islamic terrorism. This will give India the advantage to make surgical strike across the LoC and we have the right tools at our disposal. There are dozens of terror training camps in Pak Occupied Kashmir (POK) which can easily be targeted by Brahmos Cruise Missile and within few minutes it can decimate the targeted area and kill its inhabitants. But that is just one example, we have a strong navy and we can also launch missile strike from one of our destroyers. Also it is time to put the Cold Start doctrine into practice. However the conventional wisdom would talk restraint because of the fear of nuclear retaliation but that is unfounded because it is not that easy. Pakistan may threaten us with nuclear attack but knows well that it will be completely destroyed too.
The Open Secret
It is clear that in Pakistan the non state actors who carry out terror attack over Indian soil and other parts of the world are part of their military and even supported the government. The days of plausible deniability, the inability to control these elements, and Pakistan calling itself as victim of its own terror groups, will just not fly with the international community. For long Pakistan had threatened suicide which the world sadly bought and backed off but now almost on a daily basis its leaders and generals make bold statements about using nuclear bombs which shows their intent. Pakistan is an aberration and was born out of fear, loathing and paranoia and the time has come to catch them on their bluff and start taking action. If the present Narendra Modi administration fails to take any retaliatory action, it will just give Pakistan to fall back and regroup. The time has come to use our diplomatic, economic and military strength to isolate Pakistan.
Will Modi Make The Perception Right?
If India fails to take action against Pakistan this time and somehow get back to negotiating table trying to ameliorate this vicious cycle of Islamic terror will continue and more of our brave soldiers and civilians will get killed. Going to the United Nations cannot be called a bad or a wrong strategy, but it will not bear desired result but still it is necessary. Pakistan believes in doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is an act of madness but they can’t be blamed since its foreign policy is guided by the military and Inter-Services Public Relations. It has been propagated, given enough rope Pakistan will hang itself but with nuclear weapons in hand and the intent of using them, it’s possible we might also have to hang with them but that is the cost of freedom and peace in our times. The situation is very grim and out of control for Pakistan that it cannot even get any help from Saudi Arabia, who is the main force behind the growth of Islamic terrorism which it created to counter Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arabist socialism which it saw as a threat for its hegemony. Many of our leaders had this opportunity, but they missed. Will Modi do what no one did till date?
All the petrol dollars Pakistan received from the Saudis will soon evaporate because the land of the Prophet itself is under threat along with the custodians of the two holy mosques the Saudi royal family. It is clear that the Saudi’s are no longer interested in spreading their Wahabi brand of Islam which is now threatening its very existence. Pakistan is nothing but a abbreviation with no self identity and whatever identity they had was long destroyed by its leaders. Pakistan is a land with no soul or identity and is nothing but the last ditch by the British as payback for losing the Raj and they did for their own interest and in hindsight it is clearly not paying any dividends. The very country that help divide us are themselves in serious trouble and are sitting on the powder keg of Islamic terror which could go off any time.
If the BJP government led by PM Narendra Modi fails to respond it is possible they might lose the general election but that is a bridge too far. However it is clear Pakistan is doing a very good job of alienating themselves diplomatically, so all India needs to do on that front is just nudge them. The time has come to put an end to this rabid dog which keeps snarling and biting everyone but when hit with a pebble yelps in so much pain it gets away with it. Pakistan as a country that has no use for anyone except acting as a Petri dish for jihadist. Pakistan is a threat to itself, to India, and to the global community and the time is nearing to end this aberration of abbreviation called Pakistan.
Looks like 2016 is the year of renaming in our capital city of India, New Delhi. It was not long ago that the renaming of the multinational hub, Gurgaon to Gurugram had drawn so much of criticisms to the government earlier this year, that now the famous Prime Minister’s residential address in the posh Lutyens’ Delhi will now be renamed to 7 Lok Kalyan Marg from 7 Race Course Road.
The Race Course Road was named after the Delhi race Course, part of the Delhi Race Club that was established in 1940 British-era. The BJP lawmaker Menakshi Lekhi, had earlier suggested in a letter that the name of the road should match with the culture of India, and Race Course Road did not. A decision to effect this renaming was taken at a high-level meeting of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) that was presided by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A notification will soon be issued to complete the progress. NDMC Chairperson Naresh Kumar also said that the name of the road as Race Course Road on which the official residence of Prime Minister of India is situated does not match with the Indian ethos and value system. Hence, it was decided to rename it as Lok Kalyan Marg so to take the philosophy of public welfare in the mind.
This renaming of a famous road in Delhi is not the first one. Before this one a street very nearby was renamed from The Aurangzeb Road to after former President APJ Abdul Kalam. A number of historians had criticized the decision. In the said meeting, Lekhi had proposed the name ‘Ekatma Marg’ for the ‘Race Course Road’ in honor of the philosophy of the party’s idealogue Deendayal Upadhyay but it was rejected. AAP minister CM Kejriwal had suggested Guru Gobind Singh Marg after the 10th Sikh Guru. Even that got rejected as it didn’t convince the council members as fit for the renaming. Kejriwal even suggested that the council should perhaps consult the PM but members instead decided that on the basis of suggestions received from public, the road should rightly be named as Lok Kalyan(People’s welfare) Marg. The NDMC has also decided to rename the Gurudwara Rakabganj round-about adjacent to the Parliament complex as Guru Gobind Singh Chowk following representations from various Sikh organisations. The change of name of Gurudwara Rakabganj round-about to Guru Gobind Singh Chowk is seen as an effort to woo the Sikh community by both BJP and AAP ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls early next year.
The renaming has drawn mixed reactions from the people. Some political parties and historians welcomed this change, others criticized the move. Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay welcomed the move saying,“Any name which reflects on the culture and greatness of the nation is good. I don't think there is any scope of making any issue out of it.” While Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken refused to comment on the development, so a senior party leader Manish Tiwari said “Why no Param Vir Chakra winner Abdul Hamid Marg or St Teresa Marg?” Conservation Architect AGK Menon, slammed the strategy behind renaming of roads but described this decision as “harmless” precisely because it has no “historical agenda”. He had not reacted the same with the Aurangzeb road renaming.
Any change brought in the country is always subjected to some slamming and some acceptance. We already saw the reactions of eminent people. The public in general haven’t expressed anything on the change. While I think this change wasn’t necessary as it is being claimed by many because if there was so much to be thought on preserving and matching up with the Indian culture, the change should have been brought years before, may be soon after India got its Independence. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for change now. A good change is always welcomed but maybe the country has more things to focus on than just renaming of roads. We will find out in coming days about this, whether the renaming change done has any affects on anyone as such or not.
Maharastra Nivnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray has demanded and set a 48-hour deadline for the Pakistani actors and artists working in India to ‘get out of India’. Taking cue from Shiv Sena, which had vowed not to allow Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan to promote their upcoming movies in Maharastra, MNS Chitrapat Sena, a MNS affliate, has also threatened the Pakistani actors to leave the country but nobody in particular. Their President Amey Khopkar said that if they didn’t, these ‘sena’ people will push them out.
Read Also: Shiv Sena pushing it with Modi
These horrific demands are raised when India is amongst a heightened time with the neighboring country Pakistan. After terrorists killed eighteen Indian army personnel at an Army Camp in Uri, Kashmir, the blame fell on Pakistan for the attack. There were reports from the probe agencies who proved this blame, as they had recovered weapons and ammunition bearing Pakistan’s insignia from the attack site. Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of involvement in the Uri terror attack, stating that the latter has a traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil. Prime Minister condemns the attack and has promised the nation, that this attack won’t go unpunished.
But this outrageous behavior towards Pakistani people working in India is not the first of its kind. There have been threats earlier to Pakistani artists by Mumbai-based political parties. Shiv Sena has earlier forced the noted ghazal singer Ghulam Ali to cancel his performance in Mumbai. They had also threatened to launch a stir against a cricket match between Pakistan and India during the T20 World Cup.
Many see this behavior of Sena as impractical including Barkha Dutt, who took to Twitter to express - “Oh for God's sake, stop targeting Pakistani actors & artistes in the film industry. Tough 'Action' is about real targets, not fall guys”. The Sena move is obviously very illogical because the actors and the artists could not have possibly been involved in the terror attack. Only on the pretext that they belong to the nation that is responsible for it, does not give justice to the fact them being threatened. India has enough man power to take on Pakistan’s army if it comes to that. The central government is looking after the matter and meanwhile, the other smaller parties should better stay away from doing such big atrocities.