Tea and the Bollywood Movie

Hubby and I have been so busy with the fix-up on our new (old) home that we haven’t had a lot of chance to attend many of the events around the area. A festival downtown featuring crafts and food, a 4th of July fireworks show, and now a presentation by one of the local university professors on Bollywood! Actually, that’s a pretty good line-up. Especially that last one. And, of course, it all went better with tea!

The Tea Princess Carafe saved the day:

This tea carafe is good for many occasions, from Jury Duty to watching long Bollywood movies! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)
This tea carafe is good for many occasions, from Jury Duty to watching long Bollywood movies! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

At the presentation about the phenomenon known as Bollywood, we learned that this uniquely Indian style of movie is named after Hollywood and the city of Bombay (now called Mumbai) where the style originated and where many are still produced. According to Dr. Cowlishaw, who gave the presentation, each movie has to meet certain criteria to qualify as genuine Bollywood:

  • Long (averaging 3 hours) — Usually the entire family goes to the movie together and want to be sure to get their money’s worth, so a long movie feels more like a bargain.
  • Truly family friendly — When they say “family friendly,” they mean a pretty clean vocabulary and things of interest to all ages.
  • No kissing on lips — It’s considered too intimate and even pornographic, so you can also guess there’s no other touching of a sexual nature, all part of that “family friendly” code.
  • Lots of long dance numbers — We in the US and elsewhere have shrinking attention spans, as the popularity of Twitter with its 140-character limit can attest, so imagine sitting through a dance number that goes on and on.
  • Arranged marriage — There is at least one arranged marriage conflict where one or both parties fall in love with someone else before marrying the person to whom they have been promised.

Oh, and another little secret: the people in the movies who are supposed to be singing are just lip syncing (sort of like Milli Vanilli and others). Now, it is normal for actors to lip sync in movies, but most often to their own voices. In these Bollywood movies, they all lip sync to someone else singing. And those singers are hugely popular in India.

[Note: Just as not everyone in India dresses the same and eats and drinks the same things (in fact, they are a country of amazing variety), not all of their movies are Bollywood style.]

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan recently appeared at the Tata Tea ‘Jaago Re Campaign’ press conference. Tata Tea is a large Indian company that even owns a brand or two here in the U.S. Just like other hugely successful movie stars, Bollywood stars deal with paparazzi and get hounded to do personal appearances.

Shahrukh Khan on left at tea press conference (click on photo to go to source site)
Shahrukh Khan on left at tea press conference (click on photo to go to source site)

Bollywood inspires tea vendors, too. Here are a couple of offerings, both meant to imitate the color and activity of a big Bollywood movie dance number:

  • Bollywood Chai (a mix of Black tea, fennel candy, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, pink peppercorns, natural ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon flavoring).
  • Bollywood Star Tea; an exotic, sweet combination of candied fruit, flower petals and fine black teas in a colorful swirl of flavor. Ever seen a dance sequence from a Bollywood film? Then you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Not sure how the folks in India would like these, but you never know, they could be big hits!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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