Saturday, November 1, 2008

Belcome to Bollywood

Remember when mrs smith used to write blog posts? Man, those were good times... Until she chooses to grace us with her presence further, I thought we could entertain ourselves with a little discussion about Bollywood and Bollywood music.

Movies and music are cultural necessities these days, or so it seems. But the cultural lines are blurred here in India (ok, probably everywhere, but we notice them here more easily because we are immersed in it). At first it seemed that everything was so different and separate from our American culture. Then we saw the influence of the west in clothing, business practices, restaurants (one can't cross the street without tripping over a McDonald's) and many other areas. One of those areas is the entertainment industry.

The largest movie industry in the world is based in Mumbai, India. Worldwide it is referred to as Bollywood, and Bollywood is larger than life. Here, the musical is alive and well. The romantic comedy is big as is the action film. The tragic love story is wildly popular as people live out their fantasies vicariously through their favorite film star. It is actually quite juxtaposed with cultural norms and realities. In Mumbai, the seat of Bollywood, last year a school banned any physical displays between boys and girls. In other words, no hugs or hand holding or anything else, for that matter. But on the silver screen anything can happen, and people attend movies here - rich and poor alike - to escape into that fantasy world.

One of the unique characteristics of Bollywood films and music is that the stars crossover all the time. In fact, in a music video from a film song you will not see the singer of the song, but the Bollywood actor from the film lip syncing and dancing to it. Sometimes the videos come straight from the films themselves. That happens at home too, but the previous way doesn't. I always feel bad for the singers who get heard but not seen, while the actors get seen and seen and seen... In any event, these things have enriched our lives here immeasurably.

Below is a collection of Bollywood music videos from various films. We have come to love the music, its passion and depth, and the fun nature of the sights and sounds, so I thought it would be fun to share some of it with you. Number One Son is quite an afficionado now, so he might be able to tell you more if you want to know. And try to ignore the contrast between the booty shaking, the outfits, and the lawsuit filed by some local people when Richard Gere kissed Shilpa Shetty on stage last year. Some things I just don't get... ENJOY!

First, a music video starring my favorite Bollywood actor - Akshay Kumar:

This next video snippet is from Singh is Kinng (yep - double "n") - a movie also starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif (they are an oft-paired bollywood duo). It is almost enough to get me to tie on a turban. :o)

This next song I actually sang at a company event. It was a lot of fun, and I sang it for the employees who attended, as well as some of my visiting company representatives. And yes, I sang it in Hindi. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it has pigeonholed me a bit as I am now asked to sing it everytime the company in India gathers for any reason. So I am learning another song...:

The next video is from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, a popular movie that is filled with fun music, This song is currently very popular and may be my next hindi music performance:

This video is just fun to watch in any language. It has Akshay again, Ritesh Deshmukh (at least, I think that is who it is) and the guy that makes the grand entrance in the end is the current king of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan:

This last one is just fun, and because mrs smith looks cute doing the little hands together head bobble Kareena Kapoor does in the song:

mr smith


Prithi Shetty said...

Wow ! Cool list ! :)

Aunt Carol said...

Great intro to "Bollywood". I want to hear you sing in Hindi. For those that don't know, Mr. Smith has a wonderful voice. Thanks for my India fix. Tell Mrs Smith hello and give her a hug for me.

mr.smithsbrother said...

Might I suggest "Baby's got Back" by Sir Mixalot as your next company get-together song.

mr smith said...

Actually, I sang that at a mission reunion to rave reviews. I just substituted "a temple recommend" for "Back". It really popped.

Toni said...

I am planning a family reunion to coincide with your next visit, and you are the entertainment.

By the way, do you know just what it is that you are singing about?