A Peek Into The Universe Of Kamala Khan Aka ‘Ms. Marvel’ Which Features Many Desi References

 A Peek Into The Universe Of Kamala Khan Aka 'Ms.  Marvel' Which Features Many Desi References


“Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho … to poori kainath use tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai”

Guys, protest works! Case in point, Kamala’s love and admiration for Captain Marvel led to her joining the team and becoming Ms Marvel. She had never imagined herself as a member of a fantasy team tasked with defending society against evil forces.

Ms Marvel In Desi Look

Ms Marvel is a Marvel Cinematic Universe series featuring Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager from Jersey City, who has shape-shifting abilities.

Highlights Of Ms Marvel With Desi References

Ms Marvel
Ms Marvel

1. Ms Marvel AKA Kamala Khan

Kamala Khan is the first Muslim to headline a Marvel Comics series. Her story reflects on the cultural and religious issues that many Muslims face today: Islamophobia, post-9/11 backlash, identity crisis and self-esteem issues among them.

Ms Marvel In Red Kurta
Ms Marvel In Red Kurta

It’s refreshing to see Muslim characters that are portrayed positively and are living their lives without the weight of the political environment on their shoulders. Audiences want this as well, so it’s only natural to start seeing more of these types of characters in general.

Kamala: “Do you like, watch, I don’t know, Bollywood movies and stuff?”

Kamran: “Uh. Obviously. But only the greats like ‘Baazigar,’ other cool stuff like that.”

Kamala: “I mean it’s not a surprise you like ‘Baazigar,’ it’s only SRK’s best work.”

Kamran: “Uh…”

Kamala: “Yeah, I know popular opinion says —”

Both: “’DDLJ.’”

Indian and Pakistani fans, as well as desis living abroad, found this direct reference to Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan hilarious. They also appreciated the dialogues in Urdu/Hindi.

The film’s references to Baazigar and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) pleased the fans. Given that DDLJ is one of Bollywood’s longest-running films, it’s comforting to know that western countries are aware of this.

3. “Partition Scene 1947” from Seeing Red


“Partition Scene 1947” from Seeing Red

“My passport is Pakistani, and my roots are Indian. And in between is a border built with blood and pain.” Kamala’s Nani.

The way South Asian representation is portrayed in mainstream media often leaves many people from western countries, who may not be familiar with the region, feeling alienated. While some references may seem obscure and unfamiliar, others are quite prevalent and significant to those of us in the know.

Seeing Red is mostly set in Karachi, a coastal metropolis and capital of Pakistan’s main city which means that Kamala got to talk to her grandmother about the partition which is like an old wound in the psyche of millions and billions of people. Kamala has flashbacks to the heartbreak right before the score. A gut wrenching way to end an emotional episode.

4. Farhan Akhtar’s Cameo

Farhan Akhtar As Waleed
Farhan Akhtar As Waleed

Waleed is played by Farhan Akhtar. and like all superheroes, had a short lifespan. Waleed is a big draw and makes an excellent guest appearance. He did an outstanding job in his role. His character has long hair and a beard and looks fantastic.

Farhan’s appearance in Ms Marvel piqued the interest of Desi MCU fans. However, fans were left disappointed with his limited screen time.

5. The Power of the Bangle

The Power of the Bangle
The Power of the Bangle

Bangles are used as jewelery and accessories in South Asian countries. So using a bangle as a symbol of power gave more power to the women who wear it daily.

Clandestine is after Kamala’s bangle to get back to her dimension and storm the wedding of Kamala’s brother Aamir in Ms Marvel.

6. Desi Wedding of Kamala’s Brother Aamir

Desi Wedding of Kamala
Desi Wedding of Kamala’s Brother Aamir

The guests and Kamala can be seen dancing at Aamir’s wedding, which every Desi fan can relate to. One would be able to witness all of the Shaadi/walima entertainment, extravagant decoration, food, and, most importantly, dance.

Recently, western shows have begun to depict the south Indian wedding representation as more than just a big fat wedding, but also the essence of Desi Shaadi.

Like, there was a scene in Bridgerton where Kate and Edwina, along with their mother Mary, were celebrating the Haldi ceremony.

7. Audiences appreciate the desi cultural elements.

Audiences appreciate the desi cultural elements
Audiences appreciate the desi cultural elements

Kamala’s father, for example, watches TV highlights of old cricket matches. Every Desi kid can relate to this scenario because most of the fathers are cricket fans.

Additionally, there are instances of older ladies being referred to as “Aunties” as a mark of respect. Also, we all know one aunty who is nosy and knows everything about the society in which she lives. Just your typical desi aunty job.

8. Celebration of Desi Music

Celebration of Desi Music
Celebration of Desi Music

With the protagonist being a Pakistani American, the show was bound to have fantastic desi music. Music composer Atif Afzal contributed two songs to the Ms Marvel series.

He collaborated with Aslam Afzal, Farhad B., and Vimal K on the song “Aye Khuda,” which was featured in Ms Marvel’s episode Crushed. The episode Seeing Red featured A Khan and his song “Dheemi Dheemi.” The Indian composer also contributed to the Marvel film Loki.

Ms Marvel is no exception to the importance of popular music in Marvel films. The soundtrack included desi songs by Jalebi Baby-Tesher, and AR Rahman, among others, as background music.

9. Fawad Khan As Hasan

Fawad Khan As Hasan
Fawad Khan As Hasan

Did you think we’d forget about Fawad Khan while talking about Ms Marvel’s highlights? Both he and Farhan Akhtar made appearances in the series and were delightful treats.

There is joy on both sides. Fans in India and Pakistan are thrilled to see their heartthrobs in Ms Marvel. Fawad Khan and co-star Mehwish Hayat play Kamala Khan’s great grandparents. Mehwish plays Aisha, and she is the source of Kamala’s magical bangle. Fawad portrays Hasan, a Muslim freedom fighter in British-occupied India who longs for independence.

It may appear strange to see Fawad Khan as a grandfather, however, he is a versatile actor who has captivated the audience’s attention as a performer. He doesn’t disappoint in this one as well.

(To read more such stories related to movies and shows released on OTTs, keep reading Indiatimes BINGE)

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