Bollywood in Talibwood
The first thing that an Afghan asks when he sees me (or any Indian) is ‘Do you know Shahrukh Khan?’ Or ‘have you seen Aishwarya rai?’ If the Afghan is older, the essence of the question is the same but only the stars change to Amitab and Hema Malini.
Bollywood has given to Afghans what Bush or Kofi Annan can never give them with their dollars –REAL ECSTASY!
One can find posters of Bollywood stars everywhere in Kabul. Barber shops,
Butcher shops, Restaurants, Car wind shields, T-shirts and of course in the hearts of afghans! Taliban were so afraid from Bollywood than any other force on earth that they banned bollywood music & movies altogether. It was a crime that could have given you a punishment that would have made John Wayne Bobbitt feel lucky. But still the brave Afghans secretly traded photos of bollywood stars even when they openly traded drugs. But those gloomy days are over and the stars are back in limelight. Bollywood music rules the TV channels. And Bollywood CDs rule the streets.
Afghans talk about the shooting of Amitab’s “Kudha Ghawa” in afghan soil like the way we talk about the Indian Freedom movement or the‘83 Prudential cricket world cup. Its amazing how they have followed bollywood, in spite of their domestic turmoil all these years. Mark my words: Kabul has the biggest CD bazaar in the world!!! That’s what happens when you ‘entertainment-starve’ a society for decades.
Last month, when Sonu Nigam came to perform (the first stage live show by an Indian star), the frenzy it generated would have made the Americans here believe that Michael Jackson is performing a cabaret in Kabul. But the show got cancelled midway as the stage collapsed, shattering the spirits of all Kabul. Perhaps the Talibs sabotaged..hahaha!!! .But I’d rather love to blame Bush’s men (Bushmen sounds easier) who envied bollywood popularity.
I proudly walk on the streets of Kabul. I come from Hindustan, The land of “Bollywood”.Fooh……In Life, You never know what you would be proud of one day!