Coming back to Mumbai has been fun. The last time it was only my wedding frenzy. But during this trip, I’ve had the time and space to soak in the feel of my home-town. I’m not sure whether the country has changed, or whether I have become un-used to it, but it definitely took me a while to acclimate myself.
In my naïveté, I thought India was still quite touchy about bedroom-affairs. People still ooh-aahed when a crazy Richard Gere kissed an embarrassed Shilpa Shetty, and talks of “culture,” “tradition” and what-not immediately took center-stage. But that, from what I see, is not only a hypocritical way of seeing things, it’s also given rise to people wanting to freely talk about things that Indian “culture” still considers evil in a very Puritanical way. Case in point, Rakhi Sawant, who – and I cannot believe I am saying this – is admirable for her efforts to say things as they are. Ok, so she’s totally artless as far as speaking her true point is concerned, but at least she does not hide behind a façade that allows many of our lead actresses to go from 3-minute item song-dancers to “ideal” bahus in a heart-beat.
What goes on on the TV is simply ridiculous. I wonder where the talks of the Indian tradition disappear as far as advertisements are concerned. One has to see the Amul Macho ad to understand what I’m saying. Call this ad whatever you want – but you cannot help but raise an eyebrow, or giggle at its openness. I don’t call the ad “bold” – it’s only an attempt to create havoc. Why does this ad still play during prime-time television? I don’t know, but I do care.
They say art imitates life; and what we see on television and on the silver screen might be dangerously close to what’s going on in people’s minds. But for me, I’d like to think that what I see around me is not art at all. It’s just a bogus attempt to stay in the viewer’s eye for more than a breath, earn a little moolah and then disappear – hopefully for good.