Bollywood and Mumbai

18 Apr

Here is the reading for Friday. Both essays are from the book, Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance, an interdisciplinary collection with contributors ranging from music, literature, and communication studies.

For those of you who couldn’t get enough of the Tata-AIG “Tree of Life” ad, here it is:

The first song we covered in Tuesday’s class, “Tere Sang Pyar Main” by Lata Mangeshkar, has an accompanying video clip from the film Nagin (1976). Mangeshkar is one of the major playback singers of the 20th century and held the world record for most recordings for many years.

The second song we covered in class, “Aap Jaise Koi” by Nazia Hassan, has a pretty amazing clip from the film Qurbani (1980):

An interesting thing about Hassan is that her popularity had much to do with the transnational reality of people from South Asia during the second half of the 20th century. She met the director for Qurbani, her playback singing debut, while she was in Britain. She was originally from Pakistan and, despite that background, she was a huge success in India. Many people credit her for invigorating the Pakistani pop scene. She was popular enough to often release personal albums in addition to releasing songs for films.

The final film song we covered in class was the title song from the 2000 film Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani by Udit Narayan. The video below features Shah Rukh Khan, one of the biggest stars in Bollywood. An interesting aside about Shah Rukh Khan (also known as “SRK” among his fans) is that he frequently has difficulty getting through U.S. customs. Just this last week, U.S. Customs held him up on his way to give a speech at Yale University.

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