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Posts Tagged ‘Hindi cinema’

Psyched by Hindi cinema

Yes, I shamelessly admit that my formative years were heavily influenced by Hindi movies. And as wild as I was with my imagination, the movies were a definite escape from reality, very far away from reality, at times. My mindset as a eight-year-old, completely resonated with the high-strung emotional drama. And even as others would cringe that the bullet-ridden good guy/mum/dad/brother/sister should just die and get it over with, I was fascinated by the heaving sobs, interspersed with dialogue that created such torture for the living.

Every Sunday, at Kano Club, Hindi movies were screened for the cluster of Indians who socialised there. And despite the fact that I was seven or eight, and had no understanding of Hindi, I watched the moving pictures with fascination. The movies of the late sixties were enthralling love stories, and I sensed the pain and suffering in Rajesh Khanna’s expressions, and the sacrifice of true love in Mumtaz’s pretty face. The same formula was applied to Dharmendra-Hema Malini movies and they too moved me to tears. Every Sunday night I would head home with a heavy heart. When I discovered that Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz were not married in real life, I was devastated, more so, when I heard that Dharmendra was married to someone else and had two-three kids. Real life is not all it’s cut out to be, I realised, and neither was love.

When I was in Singapore, the movie ‘Bobby’ was a trendsetter. It was the first every screened in a movie theatre. First time ever, there were promo materials, black and white pics of the hero and heroine. And just ’cause my cousins had Rishi’s pictures to gaga over, I had to have one too.  I was starting to get cynical about the early eighties era of movies and lost interest in the many revenge-formula, love-triangle, lost brothers, etc. stories. I was beginning to understand Hindi and wanted more out of the culture of cinema. What really entertained me were movies like: Guddi, Chasme Budoor with Farooq Shaikh and Deepti Naval, Masoom, Naseeruddin Shah was and still is my fav actor.  And as I got older I reveled in  old black and whites with Waheeda Rehman and Nutan. I liked to watch Meena Kumari and Madhubala, and read about their loves, and pain in real life. I was searching for the creation of art, in the artist. What made them who they were so that they could communicate with such intensity on screen. I wanted to find out what made these actors tick. It was an interesting phase.

Modern cinema is still an animal that demands attention. And with a mindset of acceptance, suppressing the cynical side of me, I do enjoy some of them. There are many modern movies that have been personal favourites. I must admit, I do enjoy a good song-dance, lovely clothes, handsome faces, great scenery, and emotional drama. It’s like being a child again.

If you get a whiff of filmy in my novels, I apologise in advance…accept that I have been contaminated, I can’t help it.

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