ew Delhi, Oct. 17 -- This festive season, Katrina has competition from Kirsten Dunst. While female Bollywood stars have always ruled the roost when it comes to being the face of firecracker covers, this year, it's divas from the West and superheroes who are giving desi stars a run for their money.
Hollywood stars such as Paris Hilton, Jessica Alba, Kirsten Dunst, Chris Hemsworth (as superhero Thor), Jackie Chan and Dwayne Johnson have their pictures on the packets of sparklers, flower pots and sky-shots ahead of Diwali. Close in line are comic hero favourites Spiderman, Ben10 and The Hulk, if not celeb wrestlers such as John Cena and Edge.
Sellers aren't missing the desi favourites - they're happy as long as their packs sell well. "Photo toh har saal badalti hai. Ab log international hero heroine ko jaante hain toh bas yahi bik raha hai. Humme to inke naam bhi nahin pata," says Ramnath, a shopkeeper at Old Delhi's Sadar Bazaar.
Other sellers say the comic hero fever is getting them great response. "Yeh foreign comics ... Spiderman wagerah bachchon ko bahut pasand aate hain toh yahi packet biktein hain," says Anwar, a shopkeeper at Sadar Bazaar.
With the West done, it's the South that's having a big blast. Tamil actors Rajinikanth, Shruti Haasan and Dhanush also adorn patakha packs, and finally, it's Hindi film stars such as Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan who're the hot favourites. Interestingly, there are also some who may not be seen on the big screen all year, but find themselves in cracker form at this time of the year - Amrita Rao, Amrita Arora, and Bhumika Chawla, to name a few.