Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bollywood is in our blood

In India movies have a huge influence on people. We all grow up on a healthy diet of Bollywood movies. And contrary to popular view, the influence is not all negative.

Let me give an example how this works. I was just talking to a friend about tax saving. The talk veered to a common friend who takes a fair bit of liberty in interpreting the tax laws to his advantage. I disapprove of it but I haven't said so on the common friend's face. Anyways, as we were talking, my friend stated that sometimes circumstances may make a person push the limits and my reaction surprised even me. Before I could even think, I referred to a scene in an old Amitabh Bachchan movie Deewar where a teacher condones his son's act.

The scene is something like this ... A police officer, played by Shashi Kapoor, arrives at a scene where he sees a boy being chased by a big crowd screaming "thief, thief." The police officer joins the chase and after a couple of warnings shoots at the running boy. I think he hits his legs. When the police inspector discovers that all that the boy had stolen is bread, and the reason he steals this is because his father is a retired school teacher and there is no other earning member in the family. The police officer feels guilty and takes food to the old teacher's house and confesses that he was responsible for the shooting. The boy's mother takes off but the old teacher says that there are many other people in the world who are hungry; does it mean that all of them become thieves? This of course is the lesson our brave police officer was waiting for. He then takes this lesson to heart and goes on to shoot and kill his elder brother, a smuggler, played by Amitabh Bachchan. In all this there are some fantastic dialogs and a couple of memorable songs and romances ... you get the idea.

I think I saw the movie about 30 years ago. If my first reaction is to refer to an ancient movie, then you can very well imagine the impact Bollywood movies have on us.


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Anonymous said...

I recollect my first lesson, from my guru "Rules are made to help not to trouble people". So It is nothing wrong to interpret to one's benefit.


Amitabh said...

Fancy meeting you here!
I sort of agree.
But think! What if everyone interprets rules according to their own convenience?
Chaos, right?
In any case, this particular post is hardly about the right and the wrong. Rather it is about the dream world woven by Bollywood and its influence on us all. If as an old man I still remember a scene from a 30 year old movie, imagine the impact of fresh mobies. A few may say that art imitates life. Actually it is vice-versa true also.

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