Nail Your Halloween With These Pop-Culture Inspired Costumes

Nail Your Halloween With These Pop-Culture Inspired Costumes

During the spooky season we all look for unique references across pop culture. The holiday is widely observed in the west but is soon becoming a cultural phenomenon in eastern countries as well. At this time all of us can recall the faint memory of a terrifying local folk tale that kept us up all night or even an arthouse Bollywood film that still managed to give us goosebumps. 

As you eagerly look for costumes this season, turn your attention to the eccentric characters found in our South Asian stories. Interesting costume inspirations can be taken from characters of the spooky witch to even the famous fun-loving characters from our comic books. Here are a few costumes from South Asian tales that you can experiment with this halloween. 

I. Makree

While many Indian films have tried experimenting with the horror genre, very few get it right. One of such films has to be Makree which was geared at a younger audience and released back in 2002. The narrative followed the character of an evil witch played by acclaimed actress Shabana Azmi who truly managed to scare children across India. Directed by industry stalwart Vishal Bhardawaj, the film incorporated our myths around witchcraft. The costume for Makree is also rather easily attainable and can be a fun memory from childhood for others in attendance. 

II. Vikram Betal

Similar to Makree, two characters that have truly gripped our childhood stories throughout South Asia are Vikram & Betal. Their legendary tale has been narrated through comics in addition to being premiered on DD National back in 1985. Originally written in Sanskrit with the name Baital Pachisi, the story has been retold to people across multiple generations and has been translated to different vernaculars. If you are looking to adorn costumes as a pair, try reimagining these characters this halloween. You will help bring back the nostalgic feeling of watching the sitcom and rejuvenate the memory of hearing the folk tale from grandparents for so many others.

III. Pari

In recent years there has been a rise in experimental storytelling across genres. The Hindi film industry is investing in arthouse stories that play with multi-layered depictions and characters. One such character has to be Rukhsana from the supernatural horror film Pari released in 2018. The film that had much deeper and disturbing themes associated with cults managed to impress the Indian audience with a unique twist on the age-old trope of the female ghost found across regional stories. The costume for the character is also rather easily attainable and can be done right with some experimentation with makeup. 

IV. Chacha Chaudhary & Sabu

The iconic Indian comic, Chacha Chaudhary was created back in 1971 by cartoonist Pran Kumar Sharma and has acquired a special space in South Asian storytelling. The main protagonist decked in his iconic costume of a red turban, a wooden stick, waistcoat and a pocket watch was revered for his unparalleled wisdom. Another main character in this fantasy world was named Sabu, the gigantic friend with supernatural powers. Sabu can easily be recognised for his memorable look of purple pants, brown boots and golden hoops. Recreating their looks would be a fun trip down the memory lane and can be achieved both individually as well as in a pair. 

V. Shaktiman

The super hero that derived his power from the five natural elements of nature, space, earth, air, fire, and water - Shaktiman has been an icon for kids in India. The show that aired on DD National from 1997 to 2005 had amassed a wide following across the country and retains its place in so many hearts. The first mainstream superhero in the South Asian context, Shaktiman has quite a well designed costume with eclectic elements and you can choose to recreate it from scratch as well as rent it from the market.

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