If cricket is India’s religion, Bollywood is its lifestyle. The 106-year-old industry has been reigning over the country with its diverse films, catchy music, colourful dialogues and larger-than-life characters. Over the century, millions of films and characters have made it to the screens, yet only a few are carved in our memory. These beloved characters have made us watch and rewatch these films no matter where we go. But have you ever wondered what place in the world entices these characters? What destination is on their bucket list? We may not have interacted to these on-screen characters (considering their fictional existence), but we are pretty sure our suggestions are tough contenders. These are the places you need to travel if any of the following are characters to whom you can relate.
GEET (JAB WE MET)
Backpacker paradise at McLeodganj and Bhagsu
Main apni favourite hu! In 2007, Kareena Kapoor Khan stole hearts with her portrayal of the bubbly Geet. With a sharp tongue and a chatty personality, the lovable Sikhni from Bhatinda dominated the movie and instantly became a crowd favourite. In the movie, she exclaims that she loves mountains (Even if she can’t tell the difference between a mountain and a hill).
If you are anything like the boisterous Geet, McLeodganj and Bhagsu should be your go-to destinations. Tucked at the fringes of Dharamshala, McLeodganj is a stunning landscape in the foreground of hills, mountains and valleys. The town is known for its roots in Buddhism and practised spirituality, which is a large attraction for tourists around the world. Though the scene must seem too serene for someone kitsch like Geet, the amount of backpackers make it an ideal ground for conversation, which we all know she loves.
Bhagsu is only a throw of a stone away from the downtown of McLeodganj. The village is more laid back than the latter. Mostly known for its waterfall- we are sure a jump into the freezing waters will ensue- the place is more about the experience it offers with its cafes, eateries and souvenir shops. The waterfall can be reached only by a trek and you can continue on to the popular Shiva temple.
JAI AND VEERU (SHOLAY)
Equal parts fun, equal parts serene at Bali and Canada
Arguably the most iconic movie of Bollywood, Sholay brought a storm of action on screen and also introduced us to evergreen friendship of Jai and Veeru, played by Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. The contrast between the fun-loving and jovial Veeru and the brooding, cynical Jai could not be more stark. Despite the differences, we imagine they would like to vacation together (if the movie had a more fortunate fate for Jai).
Bali and Canada seems like the perfect fit for the dynamic-duo. Equal parts fun and adventure for the effervescent Veeru and equal parts quiet and serene for the pensive Jai. They can enjoy entertainment shows including dance and acrobatics, take trips to temples and caves and shop at the Sukawati Art market or simply sit back and soak in the natural wonders like the coasts at Amed and Tulamben, and the getaway at Nusa Lembongan, where Jai could enjoy the scenery while Veeru takes up adventure like snorkelling, diving and other water sports.
Canada, while far away from Bali, provides a similar experience with the natural, serene beauty of the Niagara Falls and the Northern lights coupled with the adventurous activities of canoeing, bungee jumping and mountain climbing. We’re sure interests of Jai and Veeru will be fulfilled in these countries.
A swirl of fashion and luxury at Milan and Tokyo
Sonam Kapoor moulded herself into a quintessential South Delhi girl in the 2010 movie Aisha. With designer clothes, expensive accessories and a gorgeous mansion of a house, Aisha embodies luxury and fashion. Especially with an ardent interest in makeovers and match-making, we imagine it is only apt to send Aisha to a fashion capital, someplace as extravagant and lavish as she is herself.
While Paris is the obvious answer, it is overdone and we presume she must have visited the capital already. Instead a trip to Milan or Tokyo seems like something that would get her packing her best clothes (Maybe even leaving some place for new purchases).
With tourist attractions flaunting rich architecture and a storied history, places like Duomo, Cimitero Monumentale, Castello Sforzesco allow spectacular views. Additionally, it is obvious that shopping is a part of the itinerary, and so the shopping district Quadrilatero d’Oro is a must-visit.
If one wishes to skip the European experience, Tokyo is another fashion centre to consider. With more focus on futuristic and experimental trends, the Japanese city offers a unique shopping experience. Aisha would certainly visit the Ginza, Harajuku (vibrant youth fashion is displayed on the streets) and Shinjuku areas for an optimal fashion experience.
Monuments of political and historical significance at Washington DC and Rome
The trailer of Paa shocked people as they began to realise that the then 67 year old Amitabh Bachchan skillfully portrayed the role of Auro, an 11 year old with progeria. The respectful yet well-crafted portrayal won critics and the audience’s approval of Bachchan performance. As we see in the film, Auro wins a ‘visionary of India’ competition and asks to visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It seems like landmarks of political and historical significance may be in his interest.
Washington DC would be the ideal vacation spot for the 11-year-old where he could view important monuments such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and of course the White House (obviously only the exteriors) up-close. These buildings of prominence would surely appeal to the child, just like Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Another city that might appeal to him is Rome. The Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Spanish steps are only some of the attractions of historical and archeological significance in the fabled land. Apart from these sites, the city also offers museums, palaces, churches and fountains for the curious child.
With all these monuments that shaped the history of the world, Auro would be sure to keep his feet shuffling at all times (and his mind swirling with questions).
AAKASH (DIL CHAHTA HAI)
New experiences and thrill-seeking opportunities in New Zealand
A movie that explored friendship and relationships rooted in reality, Dil Chahta Hai soon enough formed a powerful cult following. One of the friends, Aakash (played by Aamir Khan) had the audience chuckling constantly with his pranks and intelligent quips. His search for adventure and new experiences is infectious and has one instantly planning for a fun trip.
There is no doubt in our minds that the thrill-seeking Aakash would jump on a plane spontaneously if offered a trip to New Zealand. The country being the hub of adventure sports, offers adrenaline rush opportunities found nowhere else. Skyjump off the overwhelming sky tower, bungee jump a shocking 134 metres, try canyoning through gushing waterfalls or even skydive through 15,000 metres; these are only a handful of activities you can attempt in the country. New experiences, adrenaline rushes, friendly people and an overall once-in-a-lifetime trip, there is nothing on the list Aakash would say no to. Additionally, since he lives in Australia, it won’t even be an exhausting, boring or long travel.
MANJULIKA (BHOOL BHULAIYA)
Haunted UK castles for the ghost in you
The spirit of Manjulika haunted every child (and let’s face it, most adults) in the country in 2007. The character, played by Vidya Balan, is such an overpowering presence on the screen that one cannot help but feel a chill crawl up their spine. Being a vengeful ghost, we would assume that other haunted sites might appeal to Manjulika. Not only will she find someplace she might find comfy but also make a few ghostly friends along the way (we could hope they keep her busy and away from us).
Though once grandiose and venerable at some point of time, there are various castles in the UK that are considered to be haunted, still. From a palace (as shown in the movie) to a castle should please Manjulika’s living expectations, we would assume. Chillingham Castle in Northumberland, Muncaster Castle (often visited by paranormal researchers) in Cumbria, Leap castle in Ireland (haunted by the poisoned McMahon family) and Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire might be ideal vacation houses for the ghost.