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Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’

This is some of what SRK says in the interview:

I told them that the God we pray to understands all languages. Hail Mary, Shabad Gurbani, Bismillah, Gayatri Mantra. We all believe in the oneness of God,and it doesn’t make a difference what language we pray in and that’s my religion. And that’s what I’ve been teaching my kids now…if they still don’t understand, then all you’ve got to say in normal philosophical goodness is that, My religion is hard work and to spread happiness.

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maximum-cityIn Suketu Mehta’s book Maximum City, I recall a part where he speaks of the wonder of the Bollywood film industry, since it’s a place where all types of people come together and work. Mehta‘s take on the recent events in Mumbai and its relation to Bollywood is beautifully said and worth a read:

Just as cinema is a mass dream of the audience, Mumbai is a mass dream of the peoples of South Asia. Bollywood movies are the most popular form of entertainment across the subcontinent. Through them, every Pakistani and Bangladeshi is familiar with the wedding-cake architecture of the Taj and the arc of the Gateway of India, symbols of the city that gives the industry its name. It is no wonder that one of the first things the Taliban did upon entering Kabul was to shut down the Bollywood video rental stores. The Taliban also banned, wouldn’t you know it, the keeping of songbirds…But the best answer to the terrorists is to dream bigger, make even more money, and visit Mumbai more than ever. Dream of making a good home for all Mumbaikars, not just the denizens of $500-a-night hotel rooms. Dream not just of Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai or Shah Rukh Khan, but of clean running water, humane mass transit, better toilets, a responsive government. Make a killing not in God’s name but in the stock market, and then turn up the forbidden music and dance; work hard and party harder. If the rest of the world wants to help, it should run toward the explosion. It should fly to Mumbai, and spend money. Where else are you going to be safe? New York? London? Madrid? So I’m booking flights to Mumbai. I’m going to go get a beer at the Leopold, stroll over to the Taj for samosas at the Sea Lounge, and watch a Bollywood movie at the Metro. Stimulus doesn’t have to be just economic.

(Read Mehta’s full article from the New York Times HERE.)

Mehta’s other Bollywood related articles include:

Bollywood Confidential and Welcome to Bollywood.

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motiba1.jpgI recently read Motiba’s Tattoos, a memoir by Mira Kamdar. Kamdar is an American born Jain woman and her book traces the life of her grandmother. I was reading along, not expecting anything Bollywood, but when describing her time spent in Mumbai as a kid Kamdar served up some spicy Bollywood dish:

The slum was still cloaked in darkness, but on the other side of the street, the mansions of stars were lit up here and there with the garish florescence of hundreds of high-voltage projector lights illuminating the last of the nightlong marathon of shooting. ‘Bollywood’ movie stars are rich people in a poor country. Their real-life homes provide ready-made back-drops for the improbable lives of the wealthy heroes, heroines, and villains they play in their films. We children would often go up to the rooftop terrace of our Jehu apartment building after dark and pick out the homes of the stars where scenes were being filmed. ‘Look! Over there. Tonight they are shooting at Amitabh Bachchan’s house over on Tenth Road. You know who is starring, Hema Malini.’ Star struck teenagers in the neighborhoods waited patiently outside the gates of these villas for hours hoping to capture a glimpse of a favorite actor. When shooting was going on late into the night at Meena Cottage, directly behind our apartment it was hard to sleep. The bright lights and the knowledge that just yards away from where we slumbered, one famous star or another was breathing, walking, sitting, or drinking tea was simply too enervating.(p.150)

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Now everytime I see Bollywood movies, I’m going to wonder if the homes featured are possibly some star’s actual home. How exciting! Want to learn more about where Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Rekha, Aishwarya Rai, Aamir Khan, and John Abraham live? Click HERE, though it’s a bit dated, it’s still interesting. Remember what you see, because it could show up in a movie. I wonder if SRK’s home, Mannat, pictured here will or has ever been in a film?  For a thrilling and humorous account of seeing Mannat first hand, check out In Praise of All Things Dharmendra related.

In addition to writing about Amitabh, Kamdar also writes about Rekha’s romantic involvement with her cousin on page 165. Wow!  I also like Kamdar’s description of Bombay:

Bombay has been called a whore, a temptress, a slut. The city is a woman, enticing, betraying, extricating great sacrifice, sucking one dry. Indian speakers of Marathi, Gujarati, and Hindi call the city ‘Mumbai’ after a local female deity, Mumbadevi, whose distinguishing characteristic is the lack of a mouth. (p.131.)

Until I read this, I didn’t know anything about the Mumbadevi and that she has no mouth. Of course I this made me think of Hello Kitty, who also has no mouth. I fell in love withbarbielogo.gif as a kid, and sanr_icon_kitty_1.gifas a much older kid, and Bollywood is my adult Barbie-Hello Kitty. Now I feel more justified in this hobby, because the Mumbadevi has no mouth.
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