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Bollywood Sirens Over The Years

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By: Arya Aiyappan
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Gone are those days when the Lakshmi of the gharana, coy and shy never ventured beyond the four walls of the safe hearth or for the matter the kitchen, her private domain. The ideal Indian woman clad in attire graceful and elegant, dared not cross the boundaries of decency, lest society should ostracize her for exposing. Hindi cinema heroines are indeed the 'Devi' incarnate as against the vamps sizzling on screen. Demure in her own way, under constant surveillance she could never overstep the society's 'lakshman rekha'.

Times have changed, so also the mind-set once clustered and cloistered. The winds of change are blowing across violently lashing against all odds. Taboo once the norm has given way to sex and exposure. Revealing clothes, sensuous ada and titillating song-dance sequences are the vital ingredients that go into the making of an appetizing film. The recipe is rather simple - an overdose of sex, sleaze, titillation and violence . Echoing B. R. Chopra's observations about the modern Hindi films, "It's about sex sex sex."

The sudden turn of events has definitely taken the film industry by a storm when every other day a hullabaloo crops up over some controversial scenes - vulgar dresses, obscene dance numbers, dirty language and to top it all the camera zooming in to augment the vision. Gyrations, pelvic thrusts, revealing costumes, seductive and enticing looks, and kiss-and-tell scenes, not to overlook dialogues with sexual undertones have become the staple diet. Movies suggestively portray skimpily clad actresses indulging in a luxury bath apparently semi-nude. These sensuously provocative scenes arouse the audience' sexual urges.

In these recent times heroines are on the contrary rather bold enough giving in to the demands of the director sans inhibitions whatsoever. Mallika Sherawat, Meghna Naidu, Amrita Arora, Rakhi Sawant, Neha Dhupia, Isha Kopikkar, Bipasha Basu, etc. These new women have changed the perception of Indian beauty. While the ghoonghat and the pallu once defined the Indian beauty today biknis and swimsuits have usurped the position. Timidity has given way to audacity, with the nerve to expose unabashed and acknowledge the title 'item girls', 'sirens', etc.

Mallika Sherawat in Khwaish, Bipasha in Jism, Neha in Qayamat, and to the latest controversy of Aishwarya Rai's (the to-be Bachchans' bahu) scanty clothes in Dhoom 2 have conferred a new face to Hindi cinema wherein overexposure is quite commonplace. The trajectory is astounding as we move on from "Chaudhvi ka chand..." to " Choli ke peeche kya hai?" to " Sexy, sexy, sexy mujhe log bole...." Apparently the "don't-give-a-damn attitude of actresses" has contributed to the birth of a vast plethora of movies focusing on sensuously vivid themes.

It is indeed ironic that heroes are well dressed from head to toe, with blazers even enhance their macho image. However heroines cast opposite these heroes, the demi-gods of the film industry are mere objects of desire, exploited to the core. Pathetic as it can get nowadays a film gets marketed on account of some controversy or sleazy scenes. These obvious publicity gimmicks degrading the cultural ethos of cinema, churns out masala movies day in and out.

Obscenity and sex are becoming irresistibly charming to an audience craving for more when their palates are full to the brim.

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