Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dear Bollywood, mind your language (and accent!)

The first thing that impressed me in 'Shor In The City' was the immaculate American accent of Abhay (played by Sendhil Ramamurthy). Ofcourse Sendhil being an American actor helps but the point is that his accent brought to life the NRI character he was playing. Compare that to the American NRI that Abhishek Bachchan played in 'Delhi 6'! Abhishek's accent was limited to rolling his 'R's and that too for about first 5 minutes.

Another standout example from the same film is that of 'Sawan Murthy', a young cricketer who belongs to AP but is in Mumbai from past several years. He speaks fluent Hindi but still has got that tinge of unmistakable Telugu accent.

Talking of contrast. In Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Swades' the poor farmer who (whose home Mohan visits) speaks not only extremely pure but even poetic Hindi, strikes extremely jarring note in otherwise spotless movie. Even his most perfect film to-date 'Lagaan' was sort of inaccurate on this front with characters in 'central India' speaking Awadhi dialogues but it went on fine with the setting of the story and nobody complained. Similarly in RGV's 'Jungle' even though the forest was based somewhere in South India, the bandits spoke in Haryanvi(!) but it was passable.

The importance of correct language and accent can not be overstated but due to some unfathomable reason our mainstream movie makers prefer to take us, the viewers, in a world where people speak chaste Hindi and are completely unaffected by their surroundings and the people living in those surroundings. Wherever they may be.

So in 'Patiala House' even though Bau Ji's whole family has lived and grown up in Britain, they still speak that Punjabi mixed Hindi which Karan Johar made trendy in his NRI films. And in Priyadarshan's shameful remake (if they gave due credits)/ripoff(if they didn't!) of 'Children Of Heaven', 'Bumm Bumm Bole' the setting was definitely a place where they don't speak that good Hindi. (But to be fair in Priyadarshan's asylum of movie making language is perhaps last thing to worry about!)

Can you imagine how depleted would 'Peepli Live' be if Nattha and his village folks, specially Amma ji, didn't talk in that characteristic western U.P. accent, or if the Deccan accent is taken out of the dialogues from 'Well Done Abba'? Or the Himachali taken out of 'The Blue Umbrella'?

Perhaps in mainstream Bollywood, such things as correct pronunciation and proper dialect are somethings not to be fussed about much. Perhaps they still think that public to hero ko 'dekhne' aati hai!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The broken roads of HITEC City!

The HITEC City area in Hyderabad once used to be the sole hub of IT industry in the city with the presence of best knows corporates in one of the various IT parks in this area. While many other areas like Gachibowli have gained prominence in the recent years with biggies setting up their own campuses in the area, HITEC City still rules in the minds of people.

However on one hand we have the swanky looking glass and aluminium buildings which make the area look really hitech and on the
other hand is the complete Govt. apathy which has ensured the roads of this area are worse than many slum areas!

And if the roads are good enough to rattle your bones the speedbreakers are good enough to break down your vehicles.

There are several foreign honchos who visit companies everyday. On one hand they witness the efficiency of the private companies and on the other they witness the pathetic state of infrastructure outside. Hope the authorities will wake up and see that they spend some of the money they generate from HITEC City on its welfare too!