Tuesday, March 3, 2009


If someone goes to Mumbai and enquire where Bollywood is, the answer would be that there is no place around there in that name. Unlike Hollywood which is a district within Los Angels there is no place called Bollywood in India.

 In my opinion India should have found a name of its own for its filmcity in Mumbai other than becoming a cousin of Hollywood. Besides, the name being imitative in nature sounds funny also.  There are Tollywood and Kollywood  in use for film industries in Chennai and Kerala. Those phrases were really coined by cine- Magazine writers and later came in general use.

The film industry in Mumbai is one of the largest in the world spread in regions like Andheri,Goregaon(west and East)Bandra and Chembur. The industry is well equipped both in talent and technology.The first silent film, 'Raja Harischandra', came out from there in 1913 by Dada saheb phalke in whose honour the Phalke award  was instituted in 1969, which is given  for  a chosen person annually for lifetime achievement in Indian film industry and it is also the highest award in Indian cinema. Since the first film in 1913 films were rolled out incessantly from Mumbai using contemporary technology.

The Indian films are a class apart from films elsewhere. The dance and music are abundant even at the cost of commonsense. For example,  though couples or lovers do not go about singing and dancing in public  films depict such scenes and people enjoy it without a second thought. The interesting thing is that the people have learned not to mingle the song and dance sequences with the realities of the film.

It is not confined to films alone.'The Kathakali ', a classical Indian dance-drama is littered with them. The short dance sequences are abundant in Kathakali in between the performance of main story and they are very enchanting  as it saves the show from going monotonous.  The earliest Sanskrit Dramas do also depict dance scenes.So, it is to be assumed that the dance and song remained with the Indian psyche and culture  from long time past and is continuing in all its performing art forms.

The films elsewhere in the world are not that liberal or permissive  to get away from day to day realities. Of course there are many musical films from Hollywood like 'come September',sound of music,etc but they remain in a realm of their own.

It is not that there are no exceptions  There are directors who took cinema very seriously like Satyajit Ray, Hrithik Ghatak, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, and Aravindan  who have tried to depict life as it is but they could not reach out to the mass mainly because the films turned out to be too serious and dry for the ordinary.

There are little in common between Hollywood and Bollywood films. Although noted Hollywood films were accepted in India and made bumper collection,  Indian films are rarely accepted in other countries or got successful. It is not only a question of theme of film, but it is also a question of  cultural difference.

The English Film shot in India with an Indian story, 'The Slumdog millionaire',  had opened up ways for co- producing  films with Hollywood film industry  for the Indian producers.

In 2011 the Bollywood made Rs 2590 Crore out of 120 films released and the industry was not affected by the recession when people washed their recession blues in Cinema halls.

Images from Google