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How well known is Bollywood in the land of Hollywood?

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Photo: http://blogtobollywood.com

By Sugandha Rawal

Be it using phrases in conversations, having songs for almost any situation or using the book of Hindi cinema to find solutions to real life problems — as a Bollywood junkie I decided to go on a quest to find trail of Indian showbiz in this land of Hollywood.

My findings? Some blank stares, questions like “Is it big like Hollywood?” and a Raj Kapoor fan humming a song from one of his classic movies.

At a time when American showbiz has opened its doors to Indian actors like never before — whether it is Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Anupam Kher or divas like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, who have landed plum projects like “Baywatch” and “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”, respectively — the only query that popped into my mind as I set my foot here was to know how well foreign audience know Bollywood.

With a nip in the air, the walk towards Universal CityWalk from my hotel here seemed to be a scene direct out of a romantic Hindi movie with lush surroundings, flowers blooming around each corner and music playing in the background.

Snapping out of my filmy mode, I met a young 20-something Sheri Tittrich. She was clueless about Hindi cinema, King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan or even Salman Khan.

“I don’t know but would be interested to know more about it,” she said, asking this IANS correspondent “Is it big like Hollywood?”

Mary from Alabama also asked, “Do they have stars like here?”

My next target was a group of four women, followed by another one, who requested anonymity. None of them was acquainted with Hindi cinema. Another blow to my Bollywood obsession.

But there was hope in Kesia Williams, who said: “I have never heard about it and the reason I think is the language barrier. It is not like I don’t want to see it. When I think of Hindi films, beautiful outfits, traditional ladies, Indian dresses, dancing shows come in my mind. I have seen some TV shows here talk about it”.

To add to it, Alison Silcoff from Vancouver, Canada, jumped with the mention of Bollywood, and said: “Ya, I know about Hollywood of India.”

Partially satisfied with the findings, I decided to return to my hotel. But as Shah Rukh famously said in “Om Shanti Om” — ‘Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost’.

My cab driver from Ukraine not only turned out to be a Bollywood buff but a fan of late Indian cinematic icon Raj Kapoor. He dropped me at the hotel porch humming a song from one of the icon’s films, reminding me of the reach of Hindi cinema in a foreign land.

And he gave me a $2 discount. A perfect end to my search for Bolly in Holly. (IANS)

 

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China, US Set To Take Action Against Each Other

US business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng's arrest

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USA, China,
President Donald Trump with China's President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. VOA

China and the US are set to take action against each other as tensions escalate over trade, cyber hacking and espionage as senior American law enforcement officials identified Beijing as the most serious threat to Washington’s national security, officials said.

China’s methods of non-traditional espionage, including their use of ordinary Chinese expatriates instead of spies at universities and businesses, and intellectual property theft, were explained by the officials from the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security who briefed US lawmakers on Wednesday, CNN reported.

“As the US proceeds a whole of society response to this threat, we must address the vulnerabilities within our system while preserving our values and the open, free and fair principles that have made us thrive,” E.W. Priestap, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Assistant Director of Counter-intelligence told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“What hangs in the balance is not just the future of the US, but the future of the world.”

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) top national security official told lawmakers on Wednesday the administration was reacting to China’s “steadily increasing” economic espionage activity, which costs the US an estimated $225 billion a year.

From 2011 to 2018, more than 90 per cent of the DOJ’s cases alleging economic espionage by a state have involved China, and more than two-thirds of trade secret thefts have a nexus to China, Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

Donald Trump, democrats, government,, pakistan
U.S. President Donald Trump. VOA

“From underwater drones and autonomous vehicles to critical chemical compounds and inbred corn seeds, China has targeted advanced technology across sectors that align with China’s publicly announced strategic goals,” Demers said. “The play book is simple: rob, replicate and replace.”

Priestap and his colleagues testified hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed in an interview with Fox News that the US believes Beijing was behind the massive cyber-attack on the Marriott hotel chain, CNN reported.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the assault was part of a broader Chinese operation that also targeted health insurers and the security clearance files of millions of Americans.

Also Read- Bug Spotted in Microsoft Office 365, Outlook

Those disclosures came a day after President Donald Trump said that he would be willing to use Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Canada for violating US sanctions on Iran as a bargaining chip in his trade war with Beijing, which for now is in a 90-day pause.

A Canadian judge on Tuesday night granted Meng a $7.5 million bail, while she awaits extradition to the US.

US business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng’s arrest. (IANS)