Now BusinessWeek goes Bollywood!
Ela Dutt, IANS
Bollywood and everything Indian have become so hot in the US that even conservative economic magazine BusinessWeek is starting a column on the Hindi film industry.
Starting in two weeks, the column to be entitled "My Bollywood Adventure" will be written by Vivek Wadhwa, the founder of Relativity Technologies, a Cary, North Carolina-based legacy software company.
Wadhwa, after suffering through the downturn and a heart attack, is spending his "spare" time making a Bollywood-Hollywood movie named "My Bollywood Bride".
He will recount his experiences in this new venture in a bi-monthly column in BusinessWeek.
The movie is set to begin shooting in India next month and is about India and Bollywood seen through the eyes of a Westerner, an American cinematographer who falls in love with an Indian actress and goes back to Bollywood with her to experience the Indian tinsel-town and enraged Indian parents.
The lead actress is Kashmira Shah and the script has been written by her husband Brad Listermann.
For Wadhwa, who battled "vulture capitalists" trying to take over his company, movie-making is a much-needed release. And it all started with his teenage son asking if he could meet up with Bollywood stars on their next trip to India.
For BusinessWeek, however, there is a story within the story of going to Bollywood.
"It's really a straightforward story about what it is like for a person with a technology background to make a big career switch and make a movie," Alex Salkever, technology editor at BusinessWeek, told IANS.
"Bollywood has only come into the radar in the West in the last few years," said Salkever.
"I think that's partly because of a fascination with other cultures and partly because the United States is a melting pot. I think Bollywood in part also taps into the American love of musicals."
With movies like "Bend It Like Beckham", "Guru" as well as "Monsoon Wedding" and "Bollywood Hollywood" going almost mainstream, Indian culture has brought out the lighter side of India, different from the Indian American doctor, engineer and IT whiz that Americans generally encounter.
Wadhwa sees BusinessWeek's interest in this story as part of a trend. "It affirms my theory that the cultural pendulum has now begun to swing from East to West. Could one imagine doing a column or even a single story like this in BusinessWeek a few years ago?"
"For decades, India had an inferiority complex, and looked up at everything Western. Now the opposite is happening. The country is in "feel good mode."
According to Wadhwa, "Americans are developing positive stereotypes of Indians because of such movies as 'Bend It Like Beckham' and 'Monsoon Wedding', and the successful Indian technologists, doctors and business people that they meet."
BusinessWeek carries similar columns in other fields.
As for how long it will go on, Salkever said, "We will see what response it gets. We did 'The Rise of India', and got a terrific phenomenal response. We think this is a topic our readers are interested in."