Bollywood, Society & Morals.

I like indian movies, a lot. 
From Bollywood to the new indian cinema. 
I’ve lost count of how many bad movies I’ve watched, but I can’t count on my fingers the ones I do like. Some of those I do believe are great film pieces, however, make me feel incredibly revolted regarding the message behind. 

Nowadays there’s a trend among people… It’s cool to blame Bollywood for the behavior of people. 

Very well, Cinema is part of the culture, but things got to the point that people blame Bollywood and the portraying of girls with minimal clothes and sexy moves for the countless rape events in the Indian society. Because girls will be influenced and behave like men-tease objects… and men, well… they can’t control certain things. Yes, that line of thought exists and it’s out there being defended by A LOT of people. Revolted much? 

I agree, media does influence the behavior of people. And yes, I agree certain things shouldn’t be out there open for all the public. But no - a big fucking NO - to that stupid idea. What the fuck is wrong with these dickheads who get aroused by the sight of an ankle, a sleeveless shirt or a long hair?! 

You might think the white girl here can’t say much about other people’s society, that I should look into my own garden first… But no. I am aware of my society, and since I live connected to this other one I will definitely talk about it. 

Now let me go back to the main subject…. the revolting messages in Indian movies. So we have this big midia vehicle, Bollywood. It reaches millions of people worldwide and it does influence their lives. As a conservative society, what should we do? 

Let’s teach them all some moral lessons! Yaay! 

Let’s teach them it’s wrong for a widow to use some colors and smile for being alive another day! She should mourn every single day of her life and feel guilty she didn’t die first. 

Let’s teach them parents are always right no matter how wrong they are! One should always obey, even if it means you’re gonna be unhappy for the rest of your life. Cheer up! At least you made your parents happy. They’re dead now… You, however, have at least 40 long years more to come. 

Let’s teach them love is only a good thing when the person is rich, virgin (or with a damn good excuse not to be) and VERY Indian (I mean a hard core traditional). Because if they are not filthy rich you’re gonna be unhappy, you won’t have a big house (for you and the extended family you got as a gift), frequent travels to UK and servants (imagine doing all those chapatis by yourself?!?!). Because if they’re not virgin they’re sluts and they’ve slept with the whole city, everyone would know it, talk about it and rub it on your face. And because if they’re not hard core traditionalists, who would teach your kids about Rama, about Krishna, how to make Rangolis at the doorstep on Diwali and how to cook a nice daal? Who would prepare chai and visit the inlaws or receive them for iftar? You’re so doomed if you had to adapt things. 

I was watching a movie called “English Vinglish” these days. It’s about a very traditional housewife, who doesn’t speak English. She lives in India with her kids, mother in law, and a very demanding and abusive husband (he has all her basic needs sorted out, but couldn’t move his ass to pick up his own chai). She’s a proper decent woman, who takes care of everyone and still finds time to cook and sell her delicious ladoos to make some extra money and because she really likes to cook. The family is invited to a relative’s wedding abroad and Shashi (the lady I described) has to go to the USA by herself a month before the wedding date to help with the preps. Her family would join later on. Her husband (mainly) always puts her down, after all, if you can’t speak English you are a stupid fuck begging to be turned into jokes. So our insecure lady has a lot of trouble here and there until she decides to take English classes. That’s when the twist shows up… in the shape of a nice, caring, handsome, incredible French guy. And he is in love with her. 

The end. 

That’s it. The end. 

Let’s show people that Shashi is a nice decent lady and she can make a speech that will change the way her husband treats her for the rest of her life. That she would never think, not for a second, that the French guy was actually a better option. That she is such a good Indian lady, always wearing a sari and bindi, always cooking, always sacrificing her wishes because her priorities are not at all her own. And most of all, that she would never, EVER, put herself in the first place. 

I’ll tell you what… “English Vinglish” is a well done movie, and I like it. But I hate these fucked up morals that mold a conformist society. Or rather conformist women and hypocrite men. 


  "The characters in this text are fictitious and any resemblance to persons 
living or dead is purely coincidental."

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

I tried to prepare myself for my visit to Dhaka, but this is one of those places you can’t be fully prepared to go to… it’s much more than what you expect you’ll encounter.

Through the bus’ window I could already see what awaited for me outside… the cacophony of horns, cars, bikes - a lot of bikes, people everywhere wearing the most colorful fabrics, and poverty. It is everywhere.

As I entered my hotel room, the first thing I did was thank God for providing me with a warm shower and a comfortable bed to sleep on.

I wore a hijab, put on a shalwaar and left my comfort zone.

You can't help feeling shocked by the poverty on streets and the amount of people that approach you to beg for money.
It took me sometime until I got to walk freely without being stopped by a kid with a baby on her arms or an old man showing off his deformed limbs, all of them trying to get some coins…
Later on I found out many take advantage of their disabilities or put their child to beg in order to earn easy money .

Visiting the bazaar (a market) was quite an interesting thing to do. Not only for me, but for the local people as well who regarded me with a lot of curiosity. I guess in the end that was the actual purpose of my adventures in the streets of Dhaka… to interact with people.

I managed to chat with some kids for a few minutes. The picture came out with a bad framing, but that’s what I could manage.

The butcher house was another unforgettable experience. 
At first I was outside playing with some baby sheep, five minutes later I was inside the butcher shop seeing blood everywhere, being stared at and trying to register the images. If I could register the metallic smell of blood in the air I’d do it as well.

I’m sorry the pictures aren’t better. I admit I was feeling a bit intimidated by all the stares back at me, plus, my camera wasn’t the most appropriate for the adventure.

In the end, this trip was more like an anthropologic experience, whereas the observer was more observed than the other way round.

On my way back home I met a famous Bangladeshi photographer. He invited me to visit his gallery whenever I return to Dhaka - and that’s exactly what I intend to do…