Thursday, November 24, 2005

Post-it Notes

The last week or so has been incredibly hectic, but in a good way where work is concerned. I leave home around 9:00 in the morning and get back around 9:00, discovering new parts of Mumbai each day, simultaneously admiring and cursing the way this city moves! Here are some post-it notes...

#1: The Morning Commute: We've all heard stories about how incredible the morning train commute in Mumbai can be. Well, this is one aspect of Mumbai life that lives up to all the hyperbole. I now know the best spots to wait on the platform, and how to deftly avoid the mass of people rushing out of the train while getting a toe-hold. Yes, there is only space for toes, and on some occasions, I've found myself walking on others' feet. And I now know how to shove the person in front of me without pissing him off.

#2: Meeting Channel [V] Folks: Anyone remember "Quick Gun Murugan" and "Aunty 303"? Well, I met the folks who wrote those brilliant promos and even got to talk to the woman who played Aunty 303! While talking about those promos was exciting enough, my conversations with those involved with programming during the early years of [V] has given my project a very important dimension. It is impossible to understand contemporary Bollywood's intersections with the Web and the mobile phone without going back to the early years of [V], and the manner in which [V]'s programming of Bollywood content led to the emergence of a "Hinglish public." More on this later, but I now have a chapter title :)

"We Are Like This Only": Bollywood, New Media, and the Emergence of a Hinglish Public.

#3: Waiting for Jackie Chan: I'm usually a patient bloke, willing to wait 30-45 minutes for an interview that may or may not be worthwhile. But I lost it a few days back. I was to tag-along with a film journalist who was on his way to the Jackie Chan press conf at the Marriott in Juhu. So I got there, and parked myself in a plush seat in the lobby, looking around at all the stars and starlets walking around. But I ended up waiting for more than an hour, only tobe told by this journo that I'd have to wait longer. Apparently, there were so many folks from the press waiting to talk to Jackie Chan, things were getting delayed a lot. The only nice part of it all was, I did get to see Jackie and his tour-guide Mallika Sherawat.

#4: How Bollywood Music Became Cool: Play 6 film songs one after the other, and it does nothing to change the way film music is perceived. It is not "cool." Think Doordarshan's Chitrahaar and you know what I mean. Now consider [V]. You have a Bryan Adams number, followed by a Bally Sagoo remix of Chura Liya, followed by a song from a film. And this is not once a week, but every day, wall to wall. Suddenly film music is juxtaposed with "cool" remixes and pop music from around the world. This programming shift is one of the key elements that lends film music a "coolness" in the mid-90s that wasn't the case previously.


  • i also remember an early version of kajra mohabbat wala... by shaan. Not only television, it also brought hindi music to the pubs and dance club.

    By Anonymous mandira, at 11/25/2005 12:46 PM  

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