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A Staff Postcard from the Field: Bollywood by the Beach

September 22, 2009

Bollywood by the Beach
Notes from South India from Marilyn Downing Staff, Asia Transpacific Journeys’ Founder and President

Bollywood, South India

Bollywood, South India

It doesn’t take much to draw a crowd in India, and when a gathering occurs, like a moth to a flame, I too am drawn.  Some of my best moments during my travels in India have come from joining in. What ever has captured their interest, usually captures mine as well. So I found the crowd gathered on the beach at Pondicherry irresistible. I was rewarded by a full Bollywood shoot.  A camera boom with full crew were filming male dancers, dressed in black in the sweltering midday tropical heat.  They were going through a dance routine with full athletic rigor, as only Bollywood can.  The non-dancing star, who they surrounded, was a portly middle aged man with a pouf-do that required constant attention from his stylist.  Music, action, cut.  Music, action, cut.  Time and again they filmed the scene. Time and again they ‘cut’ and shot again to achieve utter perfection in the dance moves.  The crowd grew and before long there were a coterie of vendors making the most of the opportunity – ice cream, snacks, toys for the children-a spontaneous happening that made our day.

Pondicherry, the old French colonial capital, is about 120 miles south of Chennai, India. Learn more about travel in South India.

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