From ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’ to ‘ladki, paisa aur aaraam’

Yes, thats the curve we are looking at.

At least as far as Bollywood cinema goes. Recall the movies of 70s, when AB would fight the bastard (?) dad for vengeance of his mother. Then in 80s, we saw a large family of 9-10 driven out of their small but lovely home and still found them singing “thoda hai thode ki zarorat hai.” 90s saw a young and dabaang Salman leaving home to literally break bricks n order to prove his love.

Then the inevitable happened. Thanks to Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram.  Indian economy opened to foreign investment. The lower class became the lower-middle class. The middle class became higher-middle class. An elite middle class became higher class.

Now, Salman doesn’t have to labor physically to win love. Now ‘family values’ were stressed upon. To keep the dough under a roof ofcourse. So, Madhuri Dixit had to sacrifice her love for Salman to marry his elder brother when her sister who was also Salman’s sister-in-law died. (The junta had more expendable income!) Or, when SRK would not ‘run away’ with the girl of his dreams because ‘dad ka aashirwaad nahi mila’. Let the girl sacrifice each time.

Of course, there was an alternate, much less popular cinema, where there was a Godmother, a Rudaali, and a Damini. But we are more focused on the main stream Bollywood curve here.

Next came girls who would be willing to dance to ‘tu cheez badi hai mast mast’ and ‘Sexy sexy sexy mujhe log bolein’. Who would have thought at that time that 2 to 40 years olds would be shaking on ‘My name is Sheila’ in a decade’s time! Not to say about the change in sets. From Kashmir and Ooty, BW has moved across the globe. From small houses of the angry young man to plazas of investment bankers-cum-drummers of Rock On!

Its so romantic to see a young woman from Kolkata getting settled in Mumbai in a studio apartment with a terrace-view near the sea! Its even more encouraging to find NASA astronauts to leave the pleasures of the developed world to work in a village. Or find school teachers working on innovations in remote places in the country. The new mantra is to follow your heart. Be it for a girl (read DevD, Yeh Saali Zindagi, etc etc), or money (read Company, Satya, etc etc) or lifestyle (Rang de Basanti, Wake up Sid, DevD again!).

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