We are, according to a very eminent author I read recently, living in an era of Coca-Colonization. So it came as no big surprise to me when I realized that our favourite , sorry, favorite soaps are not the desi saas-bahu sob stories, but Uncle Sam’s tattle tales. Not Kkusum, but Caroline, not Saans, but Sex and the City. No, I didn’t take a TN-Sofres mode survey, but just a random one on a friendship portal called Orkut [yet another Yankee one].
Which brings me to think: why does the US of A so dominate our entertainment?
The only answer that comes to my mind is that the Indian entertainment industry doesn’t really cater to the Multiplex Audience [a term coined by the Indian English media to describe the Angrezi speaking crowd]. Which it should, considering that we are not just a niche audience anymore, what with our growing numbers as more and more youngsters come under the call-center umbrella with phirang accents that don’t seem so phirang anymore.
Let's face it, English IS our national language. If not, why don't Bollywood films roll titles in Hindi, or even Urdu as they used to[or any of the 746 languages and dialects spoken in various parts of the country, some beyond the reach of Bollywood]?
Or, why is The Times of India the largest selling daily not just in India, but [according to ads published regularly] the largest selling English daily in the world?
It's about time we moved away from so-called Hinglish [or Tanglish or Manglish or Kan-hin-glish....if you don't believe me on the last one, sample this from an Uppi-starrer: "goli maaro ee society-ge/goli maaro rowdyism-ige/goli maaro duniya-ge"(!)] spoken in today's phillums to more realistic language which gets spoken in our metros. And no, I don't mean the fake accents of Shahid Kapur["luvv storry? Hah, diz iz gonna be a heit storry" in Fida] or Koel Purie ["Oi lloike theiss kut" in Everybody says I'm Fine].
It's about time the English speakers of India standardize Indian English [and we needn't use the Queen's version as reference] and thus get the Indian English entertainment industry [which includes literature, music and films] organized and help us English types get some decent entertainment in a language we speak and understand.
Or, we can surrender to the Foreign Hand. In that case, not much remains to be done. We just need to continue watching Friends, lifting themes from Hollywood, watching the Oscars awestruck........and most of all, keeping our fingers crossed hoping that an Indian wins an Oscar. Colombus is probably grinning in his grave, he did get the Indians somehow.