35. The Last Stone
Funny the things you find washed up on beaches these days; you may find a jellyfish or a dead turtle amongst the plastic waste that is increasingly common, but not school boys looking for their friend. The washed up body startles all the Vanara, including a previously reluctant HANUMAN, who shocked by the experiences of RAMA and LAKSMAN is forced to recount the events immediately after his fiery trauma to LANKA ISLAND.
Do you believe in mermaids? In this issue we find out what happens when the silver maned Vanara takes a long bath and fights for his very life.
AN INDIAN SUMMER
No doubt many of you are film fans and are preparing for this year's summer block busters inspired by comic book franchises from your youth and reboots of classics that you've watched late at night on cable.
But the real story is INDIAN CINEMA'S rise at the U.S and international box office. Commonly referred to as BOLLYWOOD, it is not the art house fare of Satyajit Ray that demonstrate the literacy in post colonial INDIA, no I mean the general populist fare of regional cinema that millions of Indians consume weekly at newly built multiplexes.
BOLLYWOOD which makes up the majority of programming is largely made in MUMBAI (formally Bombay) in HINDI, but each region in India has its own cinema mostly defined by the distinctive language and culture. In the past this limited the success of individual films outside the relevant regions and the country with the exceptions of specialist cinemas in foreign cities where there is a significant immigrant and expat population.
Understanding this is important, whilst a few films creep into the 10 Box office takings occasionally they are not shown to the press in that country but are promoted largely via social media and word of mouth to help their audience determine if a 2 hour plus film is worth their time. But last week this all changed with the opening of the Southern Indian film Baahubali: The Conclusion which is marketed in three different languages in America, Canada and the UK --Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi--grossing in north America $13 million dollars. This matches the recent growth of South Asian content on Video on demand services and streaming platforms such as Netflix. There's a recent article from Forbes looking at this exciting trend.
In the near future we should expect stories such as the The Ramayana being turned in motion pictures and joining the likes of Chinese and American films in the global box office.
I continue my thanks to my patrons in bringing this the 35th Issue of Ramayana: The Thread of Luminance; the hard work is beginning to pay off as I near the end to this exciting story.
The Vanara make it to LANKA and setup their encampment in the centre of LANKA CITY and start to cause a disruption to RAVANA's plans to wed SITA.