Have you ever been to Bollywood?
Well, if you have… you actually haven’t …
Because Bollywood, per se, does not exist. THERE – I said it. And before you go hitting the tranquilisers, cupping shut your children’s ears or start tweeting me (@samgsterling – tweet me) or writing to the newspapers and check on Reuters, CNN, BBC or other media outlets, just carry on reading …
If you are from India, or of Indian heritage (diaspora), the ‘conspiracy theory’ red light would or should have starting blinking, with alarm bells ringing! And why not? Here is someone you don’t know (me) making the wildest of allegations (Bollywood does not exist)—a very contemptuous allegation at that. I mean, what right does he have to make such allegation? You ask yourself and your neighbours (if you are still on speaking terms). What is his agenda? What’s he selling? But above all—what right does he have to make such a ludicrous statement.
I can hear some shout: “I know my rights, I shall write to the BBC, the Prime Minister of India, and ‘CC’ Britain’s Prime Minister and ‘BCC’ The Foreign Office, and Putin should hear about this!” After all, his Russian citizens are big fans of Bollywood. They even know the words to many a Bollywood songs; reciting them with almost perfect Hindi diction; and mostly in tune. Even their military officers pipe out Bollywood songs (on their ‘show and tell’ days, in the showers, etc.).
So you think I am making this up? Or to use the Great British proverbial: ‘takin’ the fackin’ piss?’—in certain circles, this is an expensive habit (deviance). Just to prove you otherwise (not wrong) … my therapist suggested I should talk ‘positive like’ (this is after I called him a scrounging NHS professional). His answer: “I take your point, and I am non-judgemental, as you know, but I have a family to support; so don’t forget to make an appointment on the way out … ask for a double session”. I can still hear him mutter a word beginning with “bas…” – and I am not a fishing enthusiast. I have never complained of hearing voices in the past.
Back to the point about Russian Officers singing Indian songs supported by Russian ladies in ‘sarees’, and unlike the Russian ladies who contact me (unsolicited), they keep their clothes on. I must also add: unlike Bollywood actors – who only lip sync to the songs (a talent in itself). Oh yes, Russian women in Oriental clothing do get me going DA! But that is on a different channel. At last – below is the video –
And below is a clip of Russian children dancing Bollywood style, to a top Bollywood song, from a top Bollywood film
But the following Bollywood song ‘performed’ by this Russian artisan, in his workshop, with improvised musical instruments and impersonating a female Bollywood (payback singer), must be taking the Russian biscuit (equivalent to a [R]OSCAR)
Why didn’t I see him at the after-party? Life can be a cruuuuuuuuel mistress…
And, not to leave the Americans out, here are American ice-skaters dancing to a Bollywood song:
What about the Canadians doing Bollywood dancing? Here are their efforts:
‘Top Notch’ as they say in certain British circles or ‘F**kin hell’ in other British circles. Or, ‘Bloddy British press anti-Indian success propaganda’.
What I am here to assure you with, is that Bollywood has not disappeared, as it did once exist in the first place; unlike Hollywood—with its iconic signage, glitzy shopping avenues and bus terminus’ attracting the ‘would-be-could-be-and-should-be actors from all over America and the world, including Bollywood (yet to be explained)—there is no signage.
This is all getting a bit too much for me … I must take my tablets before I write my next blog. Speak soon, if not sooner.
Samuel G. Sterling is the author of Popo Gigi: the earlier years – London to Bollywood to be released by Jolliwood Books – www.jollibooks.com
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