Bollywood tujhe Salaam

I have a newfound respect for Bollywood. It has nothing to do with the renewed vigor which this community is showing towards quality cinema. But it has to do all with the escapist colorful cinema which is being churned out dime a dozen. Why? You may ask. There is a small industry in Paris which teaches Hindi to Parisians. Yesterday, I was at a dinner hosted by one of the Hindi tutors. He is returning back to Lucknow after completing a stint in Paris. The attendees were mostly his students belonging to different age, sex and color. 

The conversation before, during and after dinner were in Hindi. Imagine a non-Indian face talking in Hindi with right grammar and diction. No words can describe the feeling. The main event also had the tutor addressing the attendees in French. Then, it was the turn of the students. A student recited her short story in Hindi and then in French. Another student sang a Hindi song. After attending the event, I have only one word to describe it. The word is borrowed from my Serbian's friend lexicon. Incredible. Before you repeat it, remember to roll the "r" and lengthen the "b". When there is no words to describe the amazement, then my friend has only one word to describe it - incredible.

What has all this to do with Bollywood? Most of the Parisians, who desires to learn Hindi, are seduced by Bollywood. Yes, Bollywood makes them take the first step. Everyone who enrolls for a Hindi language course do not finish the course because this requires a huge commitment in terms of time. Do you remember the Aishwarya Rai - Gurinder Chadha dud, Bride and Prejudice? It was a Punjabi version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Most of us in India gave it a miss when it was released. But this movie has made a much bigger impact on non-Indians. I have two friends who were heavily influenced by this movie. Then, there are fans of Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan. 

Yes, Bollywood is doing more than what we think it does.









Comments

  1. Nice article. The French learning Hindi is admirable.

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    1. Yes. It is admirable indeed. :)

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  2. French is a very popular language. Quite a few schools have it on their syllabus as an optional language for the students to take up. Good to know that our language also finds appreciation in France, albeit through Bollywood.

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    1. No doubt French is very popular as a language. Isn't it offered as subject everywhere around the world. But Hindi... That is a surprise for me. :)

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  3. Replies
    1. :) I wish I had the response to this in French. :)

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  4. hahaha...remembering your tweet...:):)

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    1. :) Then why didn't you comment in French?

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  5. bollywood is definitely doing its bit to spread awareness of india and indian culture. interesting to learn about the dinner party. i wonder if what is being conveyed by bollywood is really representative of the complex cultural monster that india is. please pardon any errors in my french during commenting.

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    1. @Subhorup - That was a comment which cannot be done in French if you are a non-French speaker/writer. Thanks for your viewpoint.

      It is difficult to assimilate all the complexities that is India. But their mind is opened up. Nobody is going to take things at face value. They read more about India once they are hooked. I'm sure the majority of them is not deceived by Bollywood. Of course, there are broken hearts when they touch down in India for real. This is inevitable.

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  6. That's interesting. :)
    Bollywood IS creating waves. US is now seeing Bollywood dance studios mushrooming like crazy.:).

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    1. I guess it is a worldwide phenomenon. There are Bollywood dance studios here too. Many people love to dance Bollywood. One of the reasons being the freestyle dancing associated with Bollywood. Almost like make your own rules instead of having to follow a set of rules. :)

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  7. Datuk post in Malaysia is something given to dignitraies very high up in the social order, something like Knighthood in the UK and it was given to SRK....:) Here my colleagues from Myanmar love watching Bollywood movies and when I went to Bali our driver said that his fav was Salman Khan...Way to Go!

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    1. They might have a reason to give the title to SRK. What I learn from you comment is Bollywood has influenced people all around the world!

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