Thursday, April 17, 2008

Love in a Cheesy Climate

Look out the window. Very funny. Let's have some fun today with Bollybutton's Step by Step Guide to Bollywood Romance.

Stage one involves pretending to hate the person you are actually in love with. You have to be mean to them. If you're a girl you should be sheltered and somewhat obnoxious. If you're a guy, ideally you have to be street wise and a bit of a cheeky chappy, as demonstrated so eloquently in this song. Oh how they want each other, but damn it they're not going to admit it. Not yet anyway.

Stage two - the declaration of love. Some of you might recognise this song. Apparently the Greeks loved it so much they made four versions of it! It probably explains why a lot of the older generation I speak to in Greece actually know who Nargis is.

In this song, two lovers get caught in the rain. The man says "You're in love and you admit it, so why is your heart still afraid?" The woman replies, "My heart says the journey is difficult and the destination unknown." Cheesily enough, I thought of this song when I first fell in love because that's what I felt like too. So that's stage two in your Bollywood love story - admitting your love.

Stage three is trying to do something about it. Here is a song from 80s Bollywood and portrays a scenario which men all over the world are familiar with, your woman taking forever to get ready for a date. The guy sings "Come on, the evening is drawing near, so what's all the fuss about? " The girl replies, "You go, I'll follow." Ah yes... your first date counts for nothing if you're not avoiding your parents while brandishing phallic shaped vegetables. Oh you tease, you!

Stage four is the naughty stage when things start to get steamy and we return once more to the rain. Why the rain? You need to understand, unless you get caught in the rain with your lover, preferably with the female in a sari, your romance doesn't count for anything. Nothing. You might as well pack up and leave for the nunnery right now.

In the movie the guy is magically invisible. Watch how he kisses the actress - that's cutting edge camera trickery. Incidentally, I must admit this was one of my favourite movies as a child. I wish I could report that my tastes have improved since then, but they probably haven't. This movie was released round about the time when Bollywood started moving away from the strong matriarchal figures of Nargis's era and began sexualising women more in really weird and creepy ways. See 3:28 in the video. Hmmm. Orgasmic.

The chorus goes "My days and nights won't pass, there was something I needed to say to you so today I do..." and I don't need to translate the rest. Rain was regularly used as a metaphor for sexual desire in Bollywood movies, not so much now. Maybe because of global warming the monsoon is getting harder to predict and throwing lovers into disarray.

The final stage, naturally, is getting married. But this being Bollywood, things can't just go smoothly like that. This is one of the most famous Bollywood songs of all time and also pretty sad because in the movie the woman is in love with someone else and marries someone else because her parents say so. That's why she don't look too happy about being molested on her wedding bed by this strange man. She's singing a song her lover used to sing to her which says "Now and then my heart wonders, it's as if you were made just for me. You were in the stars somewhere before now, and you were brought to earth for me." Aaaw!

Of course if you're lucky and things go well, then this will happen instead. I hope this happens at my wedding, really. Not one Bollywood wedding ever just goes ahead. Something dramatic always has to happen and I've never in my life seen anything dramatic at a wedding so I'd like to give my guests something to remember.


stassa said...

Ah, but, love is a many cheesy thing. You can either admit it and get on with it, or deny it and suffer the embarassement anyway... :)

I wanted to comment on your other post, the one about the dreary, miserable London. Once again, you put me to shame with your love for my country, that I can't replicate- meaning, I still haven't managed to fall in love with your country, after almost three years here. But then, maybe if I went to your Old Country, I'd see why your heart is still there with my own eyes and love it much easier than I love these cold and grey Isles...

bollybutton said...

stassa don't worry I spent 10 years in the UK and never fell in love. It was like a doomed arranged marriage. That's why I left, I wanted to leave after only 2 years there. I'm only with Mr Zeus because he got me out of that country, ha ha! But you'd like the Home Country much better. I never fully took to life in the UK and not love or money would make me live there again.

Anonymous said...

How about this for a typical Punjabi love story? HAHA

teacher dude said...

I remember reading that Indian musicals, dubbed into Greek were very popular in the 60's. They were a staple of the open air cinemas in the summer, at least here in Thessaloniki.