Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor
Recently I came across some YouTube videos by Jaby Koay, an American dude with a channel focused on movie trailer reaction videos. What makes this channel special is an impressively wide collection of Bollywood reactions. Basically, he and his lovable co-hosts watch trailers and react in the types of humorous and perplexed ways you would expect for Americans to react to Bollywood as they dig into India’s bizarre, disturbing, unique, and entertaining film industry: with a combination of WTF? / OMG she’s hot! / why?! / don’t!?!
While some Indians may find this patronizing, I would argue to the contrary. Jaby’s channel is creating a virtual bridge between American millennials and the wonderful world of Bollywood. It also gives Indian folks a window into how Americans might view Bollywood. This is exactly the kind of disarming “soft diplomacy” the two countries need. Beyond all of that, there is also a cause. And YOU can join this cause.
Like many Americans, Jaby has been exposed to Bollywood megastar Priyanka Chopra thanks to her work on the American TV series, Quantico. He also did a reaction video to one of her films Jai Gangaajal, which is a great representation of why these are fun, whether you like Bollywood or not:
Jaby took things a bit further by expressing an (understandable) desire to marry Priyanka and have her babies. He even created a 5-step plan to make this goal a reality. The first step: he wants to grab her attention with 1 million subscribers. You can help!
And just for giggles, watch the hilarious response (and response-response) to the 5 step plan from a YouTube threesome called Obnoxious Indians:
Ah… to be young, in love, and connected in a globalized world. When I was a kid all we had were pen pals.
Thanks to Komal Keni for bringing this channel to my attention.
There’s been a lot of buzz around this music/dance video. Watch it, and you can see what it’s all about. It’s a fun rendition of Justin Bieber’s hit song ‘Sorry’ that came out in late 2015- and also helped Bieber himself mount his comeback. What better way for him to do that than with a seemingly heartfelt apology?
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Here, Shereen Ladha and co., also known as MAAFI, have put together a jubilant East-West fusion remix featuring a number of different Indian dance styles. The remix also works because the original has a distinct Bollywood feel to it.
This song is a tribute to both Western pop music and traditional, age-old Indian dance- in addition to proving how far an apology can go in any culture.
Prashantt Guptha is a unique character on the Bollywood stage. Born of Indian-American parents, he grew up in New York City, but decided to return to his motherland to make his acting dreams a reality as a young adult, against the odds, with zero contacts in Mumbai. Many Indian kids grow up wanting to be a Bollywood actor one day; Prashantt actually went for it.
I had a chance to meet him in 2012 at Sun ‘N Sand in Juhu Beach for a highly entertaining and free-wheeling chat about his experiences and about Bollywood in general. One of the themes of that interview was the challenges that Prashantt had to overcome as a young actor paying his dues. Since that time, his career has been on a successful upward trajectory worthy of an update for all of you film buffs out there.
As a New Yorker, I was pretty excited to meet Prashaant Kumar, an up-and-coming Bollywood actor who was entirely raised in the New York metro area. Prashaant was born in Booth Memorial Hospital of Flushing, Queens and lived in locales such as Forest Hills and Manhasset on Long Island while growing up. Prashaant decided to leave the United States behind for good four and a half years ago to try and make it in Mumbai’s legendary film industry. His previous role was in India’s first-ever creature-based horror film called Kaalo released in 2010, about an evil old desert-witch. The 29 year old Kumar’s next film called Issaq will be out in July.
This man’s personal story arc intrigued me for several reasons. How and why would an Indian-American actor- who was getting some acting experience Stateside, who had family and friends there- head to India to find his destiny? How does an American adjust to the pollution, traffic, chaos and craziness that is Mumbai, or the dramatic ins and outs of Bollywood life and its infamously dark side, with no contacts in the industry? My goal for this face-to-face interview was to find out these things. Read the rest of this entry