Bollywood: Society, System & Self




Bollywood and Indian society shares wonderful and mesmerizing relationship. Both are reflection of each other. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to find out, whether Bollywood reflects Indian society or Indian society is reflection of Bollywood. From Indian fashion trends to relationship trends, from routine life to romantic life Bollywood has played vital role in framing communal as well as individual experiences.
This week I came across typical commercial Bollywood movie, starring Salman Khan, named as KICK. For me, nothing was too special about the movie, except a thought, that Hero playing negative role and showing positive turnaround at climax, convincing the audiences that his steps was RIGHT for noble cause.

Villains are inseparable elements of Bollywood formula. As said above, since inception, Bollywood has reflected Indian society in very dramatic and interesting way. I attribute efforts of reflecting society in cinema to villains and not heroes. Villains are actually reflection of problems which society is facing while hero are imaginary solutions or methods of solving that problems. For instance, villains before independence were British colonizers; during 50’s were pity picketers and thugs; during 60s & 70s villains were smugglers; during 80’s villains were capitalists which gave birth to the iconic figure angry young men who was surrounded by labour class difficulties; during 90’s there appeared social villains who tried to sustain rigid marriage norms and tried to curtail romantic relationship between girl and boy from different class; the decade followed after year 2010 saw special kind of villains i.e. diseases (mental & physical) as projected by movies like Guzaris and Tare Zameen Par.

Interesting part of Contemporary Bollywood is its amalgamation of various perception and reflection of Indian society ranging from increasing stress levels in urban centres to gay & lesbian inclusiveness. Along with various sensitive issues Bollywood is also moving towards critical spiritual area of projection of reality. Movies like Bhag Milkha Bhag, Zindgi Na Milegi Doobara, Shaitan to name few are projecting urge of self-realization from commercial platform. While movies like Singham & Dabbangg, and others with similar genre has proven commercial success in projecting the urge to make ‘system’ corruption free.

Coming back to villains; since ages, Bollywood has clearly demarcated between hero(the Right) and villain(the Wrong) and this demarcation changed as society changed. The worrisome issue came up in mind is that the demarcating line between villain and hero is getting blurred in contemporary commercial Bollywood. More Bollywood stars are adopting anti-hero role or so called negative hero role. Movies like Once Upon Time In Mumbai, Dhoom, Kahani and most recently Ek Villain and Kick showcased hero as adopting wrong means to achieve noble cause. The commercial success of these movies makes it clear assumption that Indian audiences are getting convinced with their hero about doing wrong things like a villain. Moreover, the villains are now seen as person in mob, its hard for hero to identify such villain and he challenges hero with moral/ethical questions (like joker does for Hollywood superhero).


If contemporary Bollywood is reflection of current situations in Indian society, then one has to be aware about the villains residing in our self and community in/for we live and die. These villains needs to be addressed by adopting RIGHT means. Decision of adopting RIGHT means to defend villains within us is toughest task I can foresee for Indian society with the hope that Indian society will revive its SELF HEALING attribute and will enable individual to defeat villains hidden in self  without adopting WRONG means.

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Syam Vichar Kijiyega (THiNK YOuRSELF) !!!!!!!



Mahabharat, great mytho piece, always inspired me, forced me and stimulated my thoughts about ethos of society at large.  Luckily, my generation is able to watch two good commercial manifestation of this mythological work.  Comparative minds always rate any one of these better than other. I am not in favor of judging which version is better and which is not. At every point of time society has its own preferences and it manifests its cultural capital in accordance with that time, nothing new!!!
 The thing which stuck my thoughts in new Mahabharat (broadcasted by StarPlus) is ability to rationalize religious notion which was projected ‘as it is’ in BR Choppra’s Mahabharat (broadcasted by DoorDarshan). Previous version showcased my favorite character, Krishna as god (and this didn’t attracted me much) but contemporary attempts to project Krishna as a bright, smart and intelligent knight who is humanistic, modern, socialist and pro-feminist (a true hero, in my sense).  I am not gonna a share thing s about Krishna for time being…. What I need to share is concept of CHEATING as projected by character of Krishna in contemporary version of Mahabharat… so, what does cheating means?

In general sense, cheating is bad word and worst act that human can do to other human. Cheating, normally means doing things which are ‘not expected’ to be done. In other words, it is like breaking mutual or formal contract we do with others. It may be in form of breaking (or even making fake) promises, it may be in monetary fraud, it may in form of tell lie, and it includes many such other forms. People who do this entire are ideally claimed as cheaters by society.
Cheaters are in fact, cream of society!!!  Or we can say that we all are cheaters. As human we are born cheaters (watch old season of Brain Games).  For instance, an infant cries, generally thought as he/she is hungry, that might correct, that infant may be crying to get attention of people around…. None of us can say that we always speak truth nor we can do it forever… and we all have to the accept this that we click “I agree” without reading terms and condition on website……than why cheaters are considered as bad by society ?
The clear answer to this is cheating activity hurts social order, prestige, emotions and dignity. The emotional or physical loss incurred by person due to cheating disturbs the atmosphere of trust which further makes act co-operation difficult.  And it is very well understood that how important is the act of co-operation for human kind.
As social animals we are bounded by situations created by self (or even others) to escape from disturbing (or not so comfortable) situations we tend to lie or sometimes to do fake promises. Such cheating do not hurts other so it is visible in our daily routines and it becomes visible only when it hurts others. Thus, cheating which do not disturb the other’s life is acceptable up to certain degree.
Coming to cheaters, they are my favorite people on this earth. Because they tend to creative in thinking new ways of cheating, their mechanisms to hide their cheating act are innovative, they are continuous thinkers and they are more individualistic. The interesting part of Hinduism is that it claimed Krishna as “Challiya”   which means cheater which do hurt anyone :) in theological perspective, Krishna is creator of illusion (Maya), he always tried innovative ways to cheat milk maids (Gopiya) of his village, he cheated his brother-in-law, he even cheated his brother for allowing his sister to marry person she liked and still he was not hated but loved!!! 
As projected in Mahabharat….why cheating done Sakuni is understood as bad (understood as conspiracy) and cheating done by Krishna is understood cute, innocent and acceptable act???


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I need (MY) SPACE


Interaction with Prof. G. Haragopal turned into very insightful interaction I had in this month. It is obvious that being with or listening to wise and experienced personality adds a lot to your life. At the same time, I recalled previous interactions with some of my readers. They “demanded” me to write on Human relationship. For time being I slothfully ignored their wish by saying that I am not emotionally and mentally prepared to critically examine relationships either it is between citizen and state or between two individuals. But after listening to eminent people like Prof. G. Haragopal and Jay Vasavada I feel bit confident about my view points in regard to human relationship.

Every form of relationship is based on reciprocity and mutual consent of sharing resources. By resources I mean every kind of resources i.e. either material or immaterial. Most of human relationships are based on sharing immaterial resources like time and space. People understands such “Sharing” as love. Love for others is actually an opportunity for self to go beyond (own self) and understand other’s self. Such “good” thing comes at cost of time and space. For instance “spending” TIME with loved one is mere act of getting warmth and affection from others at cost of time. We all have to PAY something or other in order to maintain this business of gives (time) and get (warmth or love). Personally speaking, failure to pay resources can lead to failure in receiving emotional resources also. For this it is very much needed to understand nature of relationship (not the nature of person, it keeps on changing with time) ;).
Time is a crucial component of any relationship. All the species on this earth is provided equal resource of time in other words, we all have 24 hours to spend. Our personality and relationships are depended on the way of we use these 24 hours. In this regard, relationships can be easily categorized into two parts i.e. extensive relationships and intensive relationships.
By extensive relationships I mean, relationships which demands more resources than  you willing to give. For instance, we have allocated 8 hours for work(or job) from 24 hours but  it is not exactly 8 hours we work !!! rather we work more or less than 8 hours. This relationship between employer and employee are demanding in terms of mental, physical, spatial and emotional efforts which is reimbursed in monetary terms. While by Intensive relationships I mean relationships which is a willing effort for resource(time) allocation. For instance time spent with our love ones. As humans we all have tendency and willingness to spend MORE TIME with family and friends. This kind of relationship is not demanding but is an emotional and mental requirement for self-fulfillment.
The reason for sharing this views here is that most of our relationships are “jumbled” and we always try to get all relationships in order for example work-life balance. We (especially people at my age) all face  difficulty in prioritizing  relationships due our ambitions, career goals, greed to earn power and money etc.  I would like to share my views quickly and briefly (so that you don’t have SPEND more TIME) J
  • Respect SPACE and TIME of others, failure to this can lead to crisis in relationship
  • Remember that you have same 24 hours which others got, make best use of it; invest it, spend it but don’t waste it
  • Application of your labor(your work) should be for value creation for self and society instead of monetary gain, labour applied of monetary gains often leads to stress in relationships
  • Spend at least 10 hours a week for your self, develop a hobby which can keep allow you to be more humane or creative. Remember this is an investment which has long term returns
  • Never ever try to constrain space and time of others, it is not offence but it is dangerous for relationships.
  • Organize your self in terms of spending(investing)time, but do n't be too strict, after all we are not calendars or clock.
  • Be flexible, keep your plan B ready in case deciding or planning something. Doing so will allow you to safeguarded from the uncertainties of time.
  • Never loose visions from ultimate goal, i.e. happiness; arrange and manage your time, space and relationships by keeping this goal in mind.
  • Never ever blame persons or institution for emotional distress, instead try to find answer why he/she did this? Is he/she selfish ? why he/she is selfish? etc. 


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