Bollywood’s serendipitous reach

Barnard College is hosting a talk in Manhattan Tuesday about the preeminence of Bollywood films among the Hausa of Nigeria (via Mango Latte).

One of my fondest memories of Russia during the USSR is of dining with a newfound friend. His Tetris-like apartment had the look of violent meticulousness, a Tokyo sense of space. In that lockbox he had allocated a massive drawer jammed with carefully-filed Hindi films from the ’60s, which he showed off, blowing happy notes. We dined on cabbage and cold potato soup, but his Raj Kapoor impression was uncanny.

One thought on “Bollywood’s serendipitous reach

  1. My Russian and even chinese friends think indian cinema is Raj kapoor and to my surprise they even sang his “awara hu” and “mera joota hi japani, sar pe lal topi rusi, phir bhi dil hi hindustani” songs.. Raj kapoor was a showman with a special charm and made some real nice black and white movies. I think picturisation of songs like awara hu, mera naam joker songs, songs like pyar huva ikraar huva phir pyar se kyon darta hi dil ( with nargis and raj kapoor, those rainy skies, those road side tea stalls and village kids,raj kapoor himself with his blue eyes, innocent smiles, innocent village bumpkin dialogues and accent) are still some of the very well picturised movie songs of all times touching the hearts of even people from other countries who dont speak hindi.