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Holi: Has Hindi cinema lost the plot of this festival?

March 7, 2012 05:27:27 PM IST
Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
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When one talks of Holi the immediate connect that flashes into the mind is that of a Big B playing on a harmonium and singing gay abandon 'Rang Barse bheege chunariya' from SILSILA, or the brooding look from SHOLAY or the song from BAGHBAAN 'Holi Khelain Raghubeera' beyond that there is a total eerie silence as far as Holi related songs from the Hindi films during the last decade or so are concerned. Now he also sang a song eulogizing virtue of Holi in a Bhojpuri film GANGADEVI, which though has been sung by Sudesh Bhonsle, for a change, but it already is scoring the music charts all over.

Be it a Shah Rukh Khan or a Salman Khan, an Aamir Khan or an Ajay Devgn, they do not have a hit Holi song in their repertoire which there seniors like Big B, Dilip Kumar, a Sunil Dutt or even Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra had. One often wonders if a Tomatino festival can be used as a backdrop for the climax of a film as it was done in ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, why the famous Barsane's lath mar Holi of Mathura cannot be used as a backdrop. After all, it is a major tourist attraction around the world and even then it has not fallen within the radar of the cinematic fraternity in the country to include it as a backdrop for a film.


Festivals like Holi which is an expression of cultural ethos and celebration of the community feeling seems to be losing its relevance from the space of Hindi cinema. Is it owing to the fact that the picturisation of community feeling is not finding expression through the cinematic oeuvre of the recent times?

CHECK OUT: Bollywood's best Holi songs

Spirit of individualism seems to be the predominant motif and with such a fait accompli opportunity does not arise in the course of discourse of cinematic expression to create the ambience of one of the most colorful festivals around the world.

Surprisingly enough celebration of Holi that Hindi cinema has let go by has found a revival with the television series in a big way and most of the serials have devised an episode coinciding with the celebration of Holi tomorrow. The manner in which television has picked up Holi in a big way is also owing to the fact that the contents on television these days have themes which are interspersed with the rural milieu or have a character which has had a rural nostalgia associated with the festival.

When one talks of the trigger that could ignite love between a boy and a girl it is the festival of Holi that worked as a perfect catalyst. Remember the introduction of Kajol in BEKHUDI which is one of the most eloquent introductions Hindi cinema has ever made, or the trigger for latent romance between Big B and Jaya Bachchan in SHOLAY or for that matter that between Rajesh Khanna and Asha Parekh in KATI PATANG.

Holi going out of vogue from Hindi cinema could also be a manifestation of the present crop of writers who have an element of urbanity in their social psyche and do not have a feel of the Hindi heartland to understand the importance of Holi. The form of Holi or the usage of colors to express the joy and the mood of fervor is finding cinematic oeuvre through the celebration of Ganesh festivals on screen, as it was done in AGNEEPATH. While this expression also underlines assimilation of cultural ethos, maybe the time has come for the present generation of actors to step out of their urban moorings and come up with a song that could become their signature statement for the festival of Holi. Is it a tough task?


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