A beautiful picture of Pakistani Hindu pilgrims walking up a mud volcano:

It reminds me of the final scenes of Lord Of The Rings. There is also a Gollum following them.

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I have been obsessed with Lord Of The Rings of late. I was a huge fan a few years ago but with time, I forgot details. Over the last two weekends, I once again saw extended versions of the three movies totaling 11 hours and now I’m watching them again. There is so much more to discover about Middle Earth than what the book or the movies convey. Wikipedia or the LOTR Wikia makes for a good companion. Oh, and I also discovered the origin of the words Fly, You Fools! (Those are the last words of Gandalf, The Grey to the fellowship.)

The background score is wonderful too. Leitmotifs of Rohan and the Shire are my favourites.

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If Lord Of The Rings were written in the Indian subcontinent a few thousand years ago, today we’d be praying to Frodo and celebrating Dussehra the day the ring was destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. Sam would be revered like Lakshmana and Merry and Pippin would be Bharat and Shatrughan. Frodo would also be the eternal bachelor eliminating the need for a Lord Ganesh (NA to North Indians). The Shire would be a village in North India (now commercialized) and the location where Peregrin Took dropped his elven brooch (so Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas could track them) would be a pilgrimage center. Orcs would be rakshasas; Valinor would be swarga; Valar would be gods who chose to take life in human form; Ainur would be the Trimurti.

Two years after the War Of The Ring, all divine forms on Middle Earth would take samadhi and return to Indralok. Not before Frodo orders Sam to take an agnipariksha to prove he wasn’t the one who ate the lembas at Cirith Ungol.

Millenia later, evil would have again raised its ugly head in Middle Earth and the next incarnation of Frodo would be Luke Skywalker.

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Oh, and really hardcore fans of LOTR would be part of quite a few bloody riots.

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