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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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Badshah: Indians Don’t Take Rapping Seriously

Sunidhi and Badshah will be judging the second season of the reality show "Dil Hai Hindustani"

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Badshah Says, Indian Don't Take Rapping Seriously
Badshah Says, Indian Don't Take Rapping Seriously, flickr

Rapper and music composer Badshah, who is excited about his new reality show “Dil Hai Hindustani 2”, says that rapping is not taken seriously in India as an art form.

Badshah was interacting with the media at the launch of Star Plus channel’s forthcoming reality show along with singer Sunidhi Chauhan on Monday.

Badshah, who has delivered some chart-busting rap songs like “Chull”, “Saturday Saturday” and most recent “Tareefan” is eager to spread awareness about rap as an art form.

Talking about it, he said: “Rapping along with dance and stand-up comedy is not taken seriously as an art form in India and this misconception should change.”

“That is one of the main reasons why I have chosen to be a judge on the show. But apart from that, I’m here to have fun as well, and have a better connection with the audience,” he added.

Badshah
Badshah, flickr

The rapper is also gearing up to produce Bollywood and Punjabi movies and also launching a web series soon through his production house.

Talking about the future of the digital platform, Badshah said: “I think it (digital media) is the future, so it’s very important for any production house right now to concentrate on digital media.”

Sunidhi and Badshah will be judging the second season of the reality show “Dil Hai Hindustani”, along with Bollywood singer and composer Pritam.

Also read: Malaysian Rapper’s Dog Video Sparks Claim of Insulting Islam

The show, which first aired in January 2017, provides a platform for people from all over the world and of varying age groups to showcase their talent in Indian music. (IANS)