Monday, March 28, 2016

Tel Aviv: A Cycle Paradise

Cycling is hard to resist in Tel Aviv, a haven for bike lovers and the only city in Middle East with an incredible infrastructure for cyclists. Especially in the last few years, cycling has become increasingly popular not only as a form of transport in the city,  but for sports and leisure. There is even a remarkable rental system for bicycles, Tel-o-Fun, which enables people to rent bicycles at any time at hundreds of rental stations around city. This is what makes the White City a cycling paradise. Here are some of the best cycling spots in White City to fully enjoy the activity.


10532313615_8dd5c24da1_o (1)Tel Aviv Port © israelphotogallery/flickr

Tel Aviv Port

Tel Aviv Port it is one of the best tourists spots the in City, with its spacious trail for cycling along the Mediterranean Sea. The place is full of visitors, cafes and fun that make cycling even more enjoyable. It’s not difficult to find one of the Tel-o-Fun Cycle stands at Port, and they only cost a few bucks.

UntitledHayarkon Park © thelastdon/flickr 

Hayarkon Park

Hayarkon Park is the largest park in Tel Aviv, located on the city center’s outskirts. The park has long cycling trails that stretch from Ramat Gan to Tel Aviv’s Port and is one of the biggest cycling spots in the city. Complemented with stunning greenery, a magnificent lake, climbing walls, rowing clubs, water parks, petting zoos and more, it is an ideal destination for a long day of cycling and time spent outdoors.

Untitled1Yarkon River ©  zalul/flickr

Yarkon River 

Besides biking on the beach, there are plenty of other gorgeous options, including cycling by the river. As only river in Tel Aviv, the Yarkon passes from different parks in the vicinity, from Ramat Gan to Tel Aviv Port, and has miles of cycling track on both sides. It is well complemented with beautiful landscape, shady orchards, boating clubs, fun parks, and fields to have some rest and enjoy a  refreshment.

UntitledJaffa Port ©  hemokerem/flickr

Jaffa Port to Tel Aviv Port

Between the fishing harbours of Jaffa Port to Tel Aviv Port is a long 5 km biking path along the beautiful Mediterranean sea, which is, of course, perfect for biking. It’s absolutely thrilling to spend a day biking with friends and picnicking on the seaside, with palm trees, joggers and tourists all around.

15111950458_5de889b360_kGordon Beach © vessokolev/flickr

Gordon Beach

Miles of track flooded with people and recreational activities make Gordon Beach a fantastic place for bike lovers.  It has plenty of space, with wide trails for cycling and a couple of cycle rental stands in the area. The beach is a hotspot for tourists and locals alike, which makes it all the more exciting to take your bike there.

The changing facade of Bollywood

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In past one and a half decade Indian Cinema (Bollywood) has been gone though its transition period. It has absorbed drastic change from its traditional presumption to something out of box.
21st century has changed Indian cinema extensively with movies becoming more subject oriented, critical, satirical, and artistic with common man being portrayed on Silver Screen.
It may started with movies like Lagaan (2001) followed by Swadesh, Chak de India, Tare Zameen Par and went on to even more radical form including Dev D, Gangs of Wasseypur and so on.
This period marked Producers and Directors with increased risk taking capacity to portray the issues which sometimes proved to be financial disaster.
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Image: Flickr
Notably, from 1970s to till 2000 the Indian Hindi Cinema was literally focused on masala movies like family drama, romance, tragedy, action, underworld, crime etc. Superstars like Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, followed by present stars like Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan achieved stardom from these movies, which entertained Indian audiences for decades.
The credit may be given to Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Lagaan movie, which after being nominated for Oscar set a trend for already established and new directors to think out of leak.
The trend continued with Swadesh once again by Ashutosh, Rang De Basanti by Rakeyesh Omprakash Mehra, Tare Zameen Par by Aamir Khan, Chak De India, Dev D, Dirty Picture, Fashion, Peepli Live etc.
This trend led another established director Sanjay Leela Bhansali to come up with Black, which gained huge critics worldwide.
R Balki’s Paa was another masterpiece of modern Hindi cinema.
Moreover, Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor, which was a box office success, set a unique instance of movies based on subjects which are bizarre can also be accepted by Indian audience.
Vicky Donor Yami Gautam Ayushmaan Khurrana0
And notably audience has also taken their initiative hand in hand as in new modern times they like movies matched with social reality.
Films such as Life in Metro, Traffic Signal, Peepli Live narrates the story of a common man of India, which was somehow omitted in the movies of 80s and 90s.
In total, it can be presumed that, now, producers are more open to invest in new ideas, and directors are more enthusiastic to work for them.
In due course of time Bollywood directors have fished out themselves from repetitive Masala movies portraying love stories, family dramas, crime and traditional Indian tragedies, which swept Indian audience for decades.
However, it cannot be ruled out that no movies on social issues were made before in the history of Hindi Cinema. From the late 50s to late 60s many such serious subject based films were made. Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, Shyam Benegal’s Ankur, Mehboob Khan’s Mother India, Rikwik Ghatak’s Subarnarekha, Mrinal Sen’s Akash Kusum, etc., were masterpieces of erstwhile Indian cinema. These movies were focused on problems of common man like poverty, prostitution, dowry, and other malpractices prevalent in contemporary Indian society.
But, the trend of Masala movies began in the late 1970s and engulfed the Bollywood towards profit oriented films which gradually started vanishing their pitch, quality, and impact.

Music and Hindi cinema

It will be an injustice if the contribution of music in Indian cinema is not mentioned. Songs have been an integral part of Indian movies which gave them distinct looks as compared to international films. From 50s to 70s industry produced many talented lyricists’ music directors and artist like Pancham Da, Kishor Kumar, Mohammad, Rafi, Majrooh Sultanpouri, Lata Mangeshkar, Shalendra, etc.
But, in the same fashion, unfortunately, it also started fading its charm from late 80s for-ever. Although in recent years, different kinds of music like Sufi, folk, and fusion of Hindustani and western music have been introduced in industry but it could not regain the charm of periods of Lata and Rafi.

Why Indian Film Industry lags behind at international level?

Including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bhojpuri, Punjabi and other regional languages, more than one thousand movies are being produced yearly in India, which is more than whole of Hollywood, Chinese or Korean film industry. Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other country’s film industries produce far lesser movies as India, but their reach is greater than that of India’s.
Indian film industry is now not only laced with big budget, advance technology and superstars, but it is now producing movies out of the box. But, still what is the reason that Indian film industry is unable to draw international audience towards it. Why Indian movies have not international viewership so far?

Although many Indian movies are premiered in many foreign countries, it cannot be ruled out that their audience are only Indians residing abroad. Foreign audience is yet reluctant to spend their pocket money to watch Indian family drama.
Indian movies no matter they are Hindi, Tamil, Telugu or Punjabi are stuck to only Indian audience living abroad while Hollywood movies enjoy massive worldwide viewership. Even, Chinese, Korean and Japanese movies have international viewership, more than India. In India also English and dubbed versions of other foreign movies have greater audience.
Recently years Hollywood movies like Spiderman, Avengers and Jurassic World have even surpassed Indian movies in on their own ground.
What are the underlying reasons behind Indian movies failing to draw international audience should be found out.
Although in past one decade several Indian movies dubbed in English had been released in USA, UK and other countries with high Indian expatriates, but their foreign audience could be counted on fingers.
Kabhi Alvida Na KehnaKal Ho Na HoMy Name is KhanJab Tak Hai Jaan, and several other big budget movies had been released in overseas, but the fact is that they could only draw Indian audience living abroad.
Bollywood experts assert that our Indian audience is too much that we don’t need to resort to international audience. Whether it is home country or overseas, out target audience have always been Indians, and that’s why we are still restricted at a global level.
On the other hand, Indian film director and producers don’t want to compete with foreign movies, because their cinema technology is advanced than that of India, moreover, they perceive fear of financial losses in it, and this may also be as a core reason behind Indian movies not getting Oscar awards.
Nonetheless, in recent years, various Indian movies have been premiered in foreign languages and have been admired at various levels, but it isn’t sufficient for such a huge industry. Now, time has come that Indian film industry should prove its mettle at Global Ground.