Sep 2, 2005


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!


  1. :) Ashok sir, ur comparison to Michael jackson performing Cabaret was hillarious :)

  2. wow! Is that true?
    And this is a post well-written.

  3. Atleast now they are enjoying the Bollywood musics, Nice post.

  4. after a long time am visiting u r post...

    epdi irukeengaa??

    btw i liked u r architecture

  5. hey..been a long time since i got here...

    wow u're in afghanistan! i dunno but sumhow that doesn't leave me wid a comforting feeling...

    this description of bollywood mania reminds me of my dad telling me about his trip to africa in the 80's and ppl asking him if he knew "Vijay"...amitabh!! :) and also a trip i made to bhutan where i cldn't find a single hindi speaking person in a small picturesque town but could hear the song "dekha hai pehli baar saajan ke aankho mei pyar" blaring on the radio *grin*...

    urs was an interesting read...

    tk care...will be back to check out more posts...

  6. good one and for sure bush is going to go green with envy :)

  7. hahhaha!! so thats wat u r doing there han!
    long time didnt read ur posts. hope u r doing good!
    take care

  8. wow! that s good that we Indians really steal the show wherever we go ;) .. anyways .. that s really nice knowing that Afghans like Indian movies and our stars .. grt ..
    anyways hope u doing grt ...

    Btw ,, meenu is back to normalacy these days with her blog site back with heart beat so do go and chk in too :) bye c ya

  9. Checking back after a while. The last two posts were excellent and insightful. I must confess that the black background and white font put me off as they weren't easy on my eyes(sorry, you're an artist but this end-user's tastes are poor!)

    Try to visit some of the now-silent hotspots. Ilaiyaraja's music on a CD player would be a nice accompaniment :)

  10. well with the poor quality of films that bollywood and kolly wood .. or rather the indian film industry has been churning out.. its soon going to need only international audience for Indians would be busy watching hollywood movies.. pretty soon ..movies would be made for international audience...

  11. I love sharukh khan also. I think Indian movies are popular all over the world.

  12. I hv no particular affinity towards Sharukh, but cud very much identify with the affinity towards Bollywood, thats evenly spread across the world!


  13. shows how much they were deprived..good :-)

  14. i think it has something to do with the fact everythigns so lively ;) but nice to know - over here the malays are crazy about bollywood movies

  15. *IBH...tanx madam :)

    *Deepa...very true


    *Nandoo...nalla irukken...tanx boss

    *Ishita...nice to see ur comment...howz life?

    *smiley.... :)

    *unaiza...tanx and good to see u.

    *meena...nice to see u back in action :)

    *TTM... cant help it man..Iam obsessed with Black backgrounds :)

    *vishy...lets hope our movie standards dont laugh

    *starry nights....yup!

    * u dont like SRK ? hmmm...


    *visit....must be the same story there too...

  16. Anonymous8:46 AM

    The funniest thing is, on Fareed Zakaria's show a few weeks ago, he had a short piece on the Afghan Idol show that ran there recently, and the guy who won, who was quite good-looking, sang in Hindi and spoke in Hindi to the interviewer. I almost keeled over!

    PS - that must be a really early pic of Rani there; her face is less round now, more angular.

    PSS - and yes, Bollywood is loved the world round, has a great following in the US, and not just among Indians.

  17. Anonymous7:53 PM

    hi filmiholic...interesting info.
    welcome to ashokism :) Loved ur site !

  18. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Ashok, my friend, you right as always!!!!!