BENGALURU: ‘Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.’ It will take only a few seconds for any Marvel Comic fan to recollect this popular dialogue of fictional superhero Hulk, the uncontrollable green monster, powered by rage. For someone who has given tough fights in challenging situations and smashed strong characters such as Thor, Thanos etc in superhero films; how would he have handled the pandemic-induced lockdown on the earth? Guru Charan, a Marvel fan, gave the superhero a humble makeover in his photo series, Hulk in lockdown.
The 10-picture series has gone viral on social media platforms. It shows Hulk in different avatars, performing everyday activities such as a priest performing pooja, carrying a grocery bag after shopping, ironing clothes, baby-sitting his child, and more... “During the pandemic-induced lockdown, we have been constantly hearing how frontline workers have become superheroes. This piqued my curiosity to find out how the real superheroes could’ve handled the lockdown. I’ve done a few superhero series in the past but this one turned out to be close to my heart,” explains Charan, who works as a software engineer in Whitefield. He adds “My first choices were Ironman and Thanos. However, only Hulk was sturdy enough to withstand the heavy winds during outdoor shoots.”
Charan and his wife, along with their seven-month-old baby, are stuck at their hometown Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh because of the lockdown. Luckily, carrying a few toys and cameras worked in his favour. “I’ve been collecting miniature toys, action figurines, and everyday objects for the past two years as a hobby. After planning to do a series, I created a storyboard, arranged a few costumes, and accessories for the shoot with whatever was available at home,” says Charan, has posted the whole series on his Instagram handle.
He continues “My baby’s clothes and old dhoti was used to dress up the 15-inch figurine of Hulk who would otherwise only wear a pair of jeans. His make-up takes 45 minutes, then I have to look for the location, sunlight exposure, and composition. Some photos were shot in the evening and some in the dark.” It took him 25 days to complete the project that began on May 10.
Charan, who has been pursuing photography part time for more than eight years, wanted to give a humorous touch to Hulk’s otherwise aggressive personality. The sole idea was to portray what the life of a superhero on earth would look like to motivate people to get through these tough times. However, his favourite one is where he dons an apron and hat like a chef while cooking. “Adding human elements to a toy creates a universal appeal. We’ve all been leading a monotonous life and it has taken a toll on everybody’s mental health during this lockdown. I’m glad that this series has managed to bring a smile on everyone’s face,” he says.