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Dr. Taher Kagalwala


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Old vs. New - II: Romance in Bollywood

By: drtaher Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member Posted Jun 08, 2009 Entertainment 458 Views

I grew up on a staple fare of actors like Dilip Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dharmendra, then Jeetu, then Kaka, then ... a long string of new age heroes as I touched the twenties of my age; and heroines like Nargis, Meena, Tanuja, Rakhee, Rekha, then Hema, Jaya (both Bhaduri and Prada), and then a long string of new age heroines ...

Romance is as different from scenes of closeness as a raw egg is from an omelette. Screen romance is as different from real-life romance as chalk from cheese! In older films, romance was more about facial gestures like the raise of an eyebrow, the curl of a mouth, the twist of the saree's pallu on the index finger of the right hand (for females) and the swagger of the feet, the blinking of eyes, the smile that melted hearts (for males). The role of the actor/actress was about 50%; the rest was the role of the cameraman, the director and the screenplay writer, who shot images of flowers coming closer, bees swarming over the flower, clouds in the sky, rains falling with thunder, etc.

Today, romance is ... what? Actually, there is hardly any room or opportunity for romance, as strong youthful heroes and heroines woo each other by wearing skimpy dresses, jumping and doing acrobatics, using foul language or meeting their desires through physical love-making. I haven't seen pure romance on the screen since many years. Even romantic songs sung soulfully by singers like Nigam, Ganjawala, Kher, Chauhan or others are played against the backdrop of modern scenes with a lot of hugging, kissing and so on. This detracts the viewer from appreciating even a good song.

I long for the days of yore, when a mere glance from an accomplished actress like Nutan or Waheeda caused many among the viewers to sigh with pleasure. Today, even naked flesh does not do what they could without exposing any part of their anatomy.


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