About the Writer

My photo

Not so young Fashion Graduate From National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi, India. Aspiring journalist. Amongst other eclectic hobbies, she likes writing and has written several poems and articles over her school and college life and now for a living. She would someday like to be be a more popular writer than just on her blogs. 'Tis a lady of grand splendor, who waketh in my bed every morning while the sun beckons her towards night...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brothers to Drishyam: It's time B-Town moved on from Goa, everyone else has

Holiday thrill seekers have had a unique relationship with Goa. Since the early 80s, the state (then a union territory) has topped the list of vacation favourites for Indians. Why restrict to just our countrymen? Foreigners too have headed to Goa, after landing in India, to spend breezy evenings in beer shacks and their mornings strolling around the beautiful beaches.

The middle class though, was introduced to the love for Goa through the big screens. No denying that Bollywood is the biggest trend-setter in the country. Though it all started with Raj Kapoor's Bobby, it was Rishi Kapoor romancing Dimple Kapadia in Saagar that made sure that honeymooners headed for the picturesque locales, sidelining their previous favourite - Kashmir. Westerners, on the other hand, were in love with the lazy tropical mindset of Goans. This was one place where they could have cocktail parties and sunbathe without the fear of offending the locals.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, things took a slight turn as more and more youngsters started heading to Goa. Road trips became the 'in thing', everyone was trying to emulate the coolness of Akash, Sameer and Sid from Dil Chahta Hai. Cheap beer, driving around in scooters and chilling with your friends had overtaken the love for family vacations.

And then things changedThe last five years, however, has been different. Going to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the likes have become cheaper than going to Goa for Indians. Hence, more and more people are flying to enjoy these international locations. And foreign tourists have discovered the backwaters of Kerala to spend their Indian holidays in - relaxing with Ayurvedic massages on houseboats.

Indian travellers have also become more adventurous. Many now like to go to hitherto lesser-known destinations like Gokarna, the smaller townships of Himachal, the beautiful north east and Ladakh. And of course, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. In a recent survey, it was found that Goa had totally slipped off from the list of Top 10 Indian To-Visit Destinations. Varanasi, the forts of Rajasthan, Kerala, the hills of Nilgiris have clearly captured the attention of vacationers.

Bollywood's obsession continues, though
But, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Bollywood filmmakers have not been able to get over their love for Goa. With Rohit Shetty leading the charge, B-Town never gets too far from the state. Most recently Ajay Devgn's Drishyam was shot extensively in Panjim. Last year, we saw Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor in the quirky Finding Fanny, driving around the interiors of Goa. David Dhawan remade the classic Chashme Baddoor there. Akshay Kumar's Brothers too, is set in Goa. The list is endless.

It is not that the landscape has become any less gorgeous in the past years; it is just that one expects Bollywood to explore more. Delhi had once become quite a favourite with the big guns of Tinsel Town. Two of the biggest hits of Aamir Khan in recent times have been shot in the nation's capital - Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots.

Bollywood's compass points to the north
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has been trying to woo directors and writers to base their story in the state, making more and more movies tax-free there. It may have worked to some extent. The stories of Masaan and the upcoming Mohalla Assi are both based in Varanasi. Parts of Piku too were shot in the ancient city. Last year, Arjun Kapoor-Sonakshi Sinha starrer Tevar had the story based in Agra and Mathura.

However, despite all the aforementioned points, we hear about films being shot in Goa almost daily. The Akshay Kumar-Sidharth Malhotra-starrer Brothers is on the brink of release. Then there is Rohit Shetty's big release of the year Dilwale, and then he moves on to shoot Golmaal 4 (the series has completely been shot in the state). We will have Charles and Me (a biopic based on the life of Charles Shobhraj) starring Randeep Hooda, which too is likely to be shot in Goa. It seems that it would be foolish to expect Bollywood directors to shift focus even now.

Move on, move on!
The audience is certainly ready to see other places in India being promoted through films. They have themselves moved on from the beaches of Goa to the millions of other places worth visiting in the country. And these destinations are certainly worth capturing on camera and shown on the big screen. The forts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the flowing hills of Meghalaya and Manipur and all the other parts of the beautiful country beckon filmmakers to capture their essence. It is time they too moved on from the cliffs and beaches of Goa.

This article was first published in Indiatoday.intoday.in/
Post a Comment