One often wonders what the future has in store for us and shrugs it off quickly, but Bollywood doesn't seem content doing that. The film industry has quite happily grabbed the idea of getting into a time machine in as many as four forthcoming movies.
The films that are ready for release and bear a common theme of venturing ahead or back in time are Aa Dekhen Zara, 13B, Kal Kissne Dekha and Tasveer 8X10. While gazing at the future is a favourite topic, even the supernatural element around a non-living object in another time holds prominence in a couple of films.
In Aa Dekhen Zara, which stars Neil Nitin Mukesh and Bipasha Basu, director Jehangir Surti focuses on a camera that has the ability to look into the future and warn about what's going to happen next.
Says Neil: "My character of Ray Acharya stumbles upon a camera that can show the future. No, it isn't like looking 50 years ahead but still there is a slight futuristic element involved. The narrative is as interesting as that of 'Mr. India' where there were gadgets and the invisibility element."
The film, which has Neil crooning a number, is set for a March 22 release.
Kal Kissne Dekha also talks about the power of seeing the future, though this time it's the lead protagonist himself and not a gadget that does the trick. The film by Vashu Bhagnani will be the debut vehicle of his son Jaccky.
"Nihal Singh (the protagonist) is a gifted boy. He realises after a point that he gets true premonitions. He isn't sure about it to begin with but later settles down to this gift," says Jackky.
Of course there is a lot more to the storyline, but that's all the budding actor can reveal right now.
With a camera gadget and a unique gift of god being the central theme of two films, one wonders whether a conventional hero will get any limelight at all?
"Exactly the point," quips R. Madhavan. "My 13B doesn't have any conventional male lead in fact. Instead, I would say the TV is the main lead."
In 13B, a TV creates havoc in the life of Madhavan by showing on screen real events that are going to happen to his family.
"It's this TV set that ends up guiding our lives. In a way, it tells the real state of today's families that have become so dependent on TV that they end up seeing only what it wants you to see," Madhavan explains.
The thriller that releases Friday also stars Neetu Chandra and Poonam Dhillon.
The biggest of them all though is Akshay Kumar-starrer Tasveer 8X10 where it's a photo frame that is key to the film's narrative. This time around it's a journey into the past.
"In the film, Akshay plays a character who is gifted with a special sense where he can go inside the 8X10 photograph and enter the past. His soul is busy re-discovering the past. He always has a secret related to someone's life. After witnessing how his father was murdered in this 8X10 photograph, he sets out to take revenge," reveals a source close to the film.
The 'future' of these innovative ideas in the box office remains to be seen.