Movies and television are how a society caricatures itself. I’m not talking about gritty crime dramas where the protagonist has a dysfunctional family and more physiological issues that King George III. Actually, I take that back. Those shows are caricaturing dysfunctionality. Real people are almost never as satisfyingly messed up as in TV and on film. I’m also talking about “fluff” programming. It is always endlessly fascinating to watch Indian television. It is so different than that in the west and so similar at the same time.

One observation really struck me. TV, Film and advertising here are highly sexualized – less so than the US and much less so than Europe – but nevertheless much more so than the populace is; at least in public.

On the street: Men and women don’t even shake hands, the swimsuit dress code would have suited pre WWII western societies, baring a shoulder is risqué and public displays of affection are frowned upon. Women only seem to wear jeans in downtown Bangalore.

In Bollywood: The two protagonists spy one another and begin daydreaming about making out, right then and there; okay, making out with lots of singing and dancing mixed in. Then the daydream breaks and everything is back to normal. Everyone wears jeans.

This is interesting and I wonder what it means.

Oh and on Saturday I saw a couple walking together and the man had his arm around the woman’s waist. Innocent enough in the west, but that was the first time I had seen it here. It happened on Brigade Road, but it was interesting nevertheless.


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