Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Global Bollywood

It is not clear to me why I like songs and dances from Hindi films. I am fairly ignorant of Indian classical music, I know very little Hindi and saw very few Indian films after 1960, But I love those songs and dances and follow film blogs from India to USA. As I said in one of those blogs:
"It seems that we know very little about ourselves, let alone about others. If I had known that I would like Hindi songs, I would have learnt it in school. Even though learning Hindi was popular with earlier generations during the Independence movement, we got into anti-imposition mood and did not learn. The government banning Hindi songs from AIR did not help. But there were Hindi films and songs played at functions or sung by various people in the background. I remember my mother singing Rattan songs. Later I started remembering tunes and sometimes lines I heard and after a while started looking for those songs.I used a Aan tune as a lullaby for my children (Jana gana mana did not work) as well as Pather Panchali tune. I was desperate for ‘aeri maito prem diwani’ but could not find it. Around 1992, I was n Allahabad for a conference and asked folks there. They said that it was a famous Meera tune and got me Jogan songs. When I came back to Melbourne and listened to it, it was not the tune I remembered. The search started again. Around 2000, I was in Bombay and visited Rhythm House to find Aan sons to give to my children since they still remembered the tunes. When I mentioned to a friend who came along about the Meera Bhajan and he said that it may be the Nau Bahar song and I finally got it after 40-50 years. This is how it is going on."
I just came across a book which describes the appeal in diverse places even where is no Indian diaspora "Global Bollywood:Travels of Hindi Song and Dance" parts of which are available here. A review by Philip Lutgendorff , and a discussion at Sepia Mutiny. 

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