I wanted to start this with a dramatic line like ‘Bollywood has come a long way’ but really it's 2013 and we have Grand Masti, so... Anyway, I am noticing that increasingly, the starlets and extras of Bollywood are slowly getting leading roles which is a matter of grave concern- not.. But since I must, here we go.
Bollywood romanticizes everything. Yes, everything. But even to the most artistic mind, getting a clothesline to have more expressions that the leading lady is tough. But it happens. I can bet a couple of clotheslines have already hiked their rates and will only work with big banners. I mean lets admit it, clotheslines didn't really think they would ever make it to the Swiss Alps league. Yellowing underwear, tattered pyjamas, a long lost sock and very-crisp-from-being-in-the-sun clothes are usually found giving each other company on these wires. In a Bollywood movie however, the clotheslines have bright, vibrant sarees stretched out languidly, fluttering in the breeze which makes the perfect backdrop for romantic interludes. Much pursuing happens within the seams of these clothes. The heroine walks into a glorified version of dhobi ghaat and ducks behinds some sarees. The hero chases her ducking behind other sarees. Much ducking and sareeing ensues and in the end, usually due to the inability to even play the basic game of hide-and-seek properly or sheer negligence, the heroine ends up running into the arms of the hero. Voila, romantic song done. In fact, to add authenticity to these scene, sometimes, the actress is even asked to carefully wring a garment. Of course, this is performed to melodious tunes and she does it like its a long last art done requiring the talent of a crafted artisan. Let’s just hope no one ever comes clothes to my clothesline which is nowhere next to glamorous and usually has our very irate maid wringing and drying the clothes with alarming strength and disgust.
My hair is usually tied in a bun and I make a concentrated attempt to make sure that it is clipped away when I am doing any sort of work. Nothing mundane like work or concentration can stop a Bollywood heroine from having her hair softly framing her face and flying at the exact angle as dictated by the choreographer. Her hair will fly when she walks, when she stands and waits for a bus, when she is looking at herself in the mirror, when she attempts a push out a baby during labour and all those other emotional stages of life. To those new to Bollywood or life, when an actress tosses her hair back with much force, it is her being haughty. When she is thinking, a nice strand, shiny and straight is made available to her to twirl around her fingers. During romantic moments, one strand also obediently pops out of place so the hero (in what is a moment that establishes his sensitive side) can tuck that wayward hair behind her ear. And of course, the hair doesn't frizz when left out in the humidity too long or look like a mop during the monsoons. Nor does it ever get stuck in a hairbrush causing her to pull at it. It’s all very detangled.
On a good day, they will not knock on your window and manage to put you on a guilt trip. On a bad day, you will be willing to empty your wallet and give them your property when you look at the slum kids. You really can't help but feel bad. In movies, things such as pity or guilt are done away with completely. In Bollywood, slum kids are cleaned up, given new clothes and will sit in the frame gleaming in the background. They will do nothing useful in the background till a song streams in. Then, they will get up and prance around the heroine who looks suitably thrilled at being in their midst. She will also smile sweetly during this time establishing the fact that she is a kind-hearted soul and that she is merely a prop in the movie much like the kids. Around this time, a decent choreographer introduces rain. For the other, slow motion does the trick. The song usually ends with these kids cannon-balling into a water body and frolicking around. If the actresses’ character demands that she be chirpy, she will be seen having a whale of a time with the said kids. The end.