Love Bollywood Masala? Thank The Parsis
Think of Parsis and the image that conjures up is that of an eccentric and hyper but a good-hearted community of simpletons, with the men wearing the dagla and a black topi, and the women in a pastel shaded, lightly embroidered saree, going 'dikra ' to one and all. It is unnecessary to point out that this is one of the many stereotypes perpetrated by Bollywood and has little agreement with reality. Without generalizing however, most Parsis actually are fun-loving, close-knit, and though fanatical about their religious and social identity, are tolerant to a fault. What is most amazing however is that their bit sized population has always had an out-sized impact in and on India.
Take their influence on…show more content… Soon many more Parsi drama groups were formed, including in colleges. Although the plays were initially in English, over time, for financial and / or nationalistic reasons, the performances veered towards Indian languages and were soon incorporating traditional and folk music and dance, as well as Indianized versions of Shakespeare. This led to the origin of theatre groups, by non Parsis, in other languages, including Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. As the troupes started to travel around the country many realized that theatre could be a medium to reach out to the common men and women, and many of the works started gaining moral and social…show more content… Even though Parsi theatre is rightfully acknowledged as one of the major influences on popular Indian cinema - along with the Indian epics, Sanskrit as well as folk theatre, and Western culture - it has very likely had the maximum impact since it built from and on the rest, creating a kitsch of music, dance and songs, realism and spectacle, message and entertainment, humour and melodrama, all of which became extremely popular among the masses. This was a recipe that was time tested and proven successful, and thus adapted to the new medium that was Cinema. And so those of you who wonder why Indian cinema has had and even today continues to have songs that do not flow with the larger narrative, now you