that word is a regionalisation of ‘picture’, which is how we (in india) usually refer to movies as.
but then, everything here is divided on the basis of caste, creed, colour, language, height, weight, shoe size, possessions owned…and then, where there is so much segregation, you would naturally expect the ‘jungle ka kanoon’ to kick in with all its might, smashing a few secular mandibles to smithereens. so emerges a leader, or a bunch of leaders who have the clout to make the laws.
which brings me to the main issue of this post. i have news. the official language of the country’s film industry is punjabi. i might have missed the bus when this radical change happened. i’d have been too young to even notice. but yes, the offical language is punjabi. consider the songs being played on that most monstrous invention of all humanity, television. it’s always “mennu tennu jaawaan kardi lagdi soni sohneya kudi munda apne rab naal wich…”
‘disgruntled maharashtrian syndrome,’ you might sneer. well, whatever. the fact is the entire television industry has been northernised. reality shows on ‘youth’ channels like channel v and mtv reek of the delhi accent, films like singh is king are super hits, names of characters are from up there…everything. coming to think of it, it was always the kapoors, johars, sippys who ‘created’ the industry as we know it. they were always the ones who had the money to pour in. and as the clan increased (both in numbers and girth!), it became evident which way it would all turn up in a few decades.
the kind of films coming out are crap, to start with. the industry keeps on throwing up (literally!) some of the worst films in years. ghajini, the blockbuster of 2008 was grating on the nerves, illogical and terribly frustrating. then was chandni chowk to china, a nausea-inducing rip-off of kung fu panda. i could go on and on. coming to the better ones, there was delhi six (which everyone hated!) and dev-d. i haven’t seen too many, but then, i am writing this as a disgruntled, irritated, terrified movie fan.
coming back to the main issue, 2008-9 saw a sudden upswing in films based in delhi or centered around north indian characters. and closer home, in mumbai, you have the communality between the localites and immigrants from bihar and uttar pradesh. things have gone beyond control in that area. a slum with close to 20,ooo huts has come up within a span of five-six years close to where i live, all filled with people from outside of the state. ready vote banks for the vultures.
everything is crumbling. everything. and it’s a one way street.