Bling, Boom, and The Grandeur of Festivals in Bollywood

Bollywood has always been a source of inspiration for the real lives of us mere mortals. Be it the weddings, or even occasions as simple as birthday parties, things have always been a teensy tiny over the top (coughs*Big B’s birthday party in K3G*coughs). So, of course, even festivals are not yet untouched from the grandeur. From Diwali to Holi, to even Durga Puja, Bollywood has never failed to unleash traditions in the most glorious format.

Take for instance, Diwali function in the Raichand family. Who, you ask? Well, the Raichands of Karan Johar’s ‘It’s all about loving your parents’ ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’. Hundreds of guests, with ladies all decked up in tonnes of gold, and a son returning home by his private jet. Cut to another function just days after probably spending lakhs on this one, and we have Yashvardhan Raichand’s (Amitabh Bachchan) birthday, which is celebrated with, if possible, even more fanfare. Seriously, money raining.

Another festival which is celebrated with an all-white theme, is Holi, and well, it is not the same dirty or even black-faced one which we have in real life, it is the one where heroines are running away in crisp and pretty white suits, with pink and red colours flying all over, resting carefully on their cheeks and forming gorgeous patterns on their outfits. Sigh, if only, life was that much fair to us. Heck, these beauties have greater chances of finding love for they don’t even put tonnes of oil in their hair to survive the wreck of artificial colours. Be it the ‘Soni Soni’ of ‘Mohabbatein’, or even ‘Balam Pichkari’ of ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, it is an unsolved mystery as to why does the colour always settle on the prettiest parts of the face, not becoming a messy affair ever.

But that one festival that takes away the cake in our list, is Karwa Chauth. A seemingly simple affair has faced the wrath of creativity, expanding the celebrations to infinite limits, with even Kitty parties being thrown on the day so several ladies can chit chat and break the fast together. Remember the ‘Bole Choodiyan’ party of ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’? Well, yeah, you get the gist. Come to think of it, the movie covered almost all possible occasions; Diwali, a wedding, a birthday party, Karwa Chauth, and even a funeral, with everyone suddenly dressed in all white (guess they always have a spare for you never know when you might need it. Duh, the rich Raichands).

However, not all the times Bollywood has been all pomp and show, as far as festivals are concerned. There have been subtle and more realistic performances too. Take for instance the Ram Leela sequence/song of ‘Swades’ which is absolutely beautiful in the simple way it has been portrayed, and even conveys the message clearly, without any ambiguity, that of win of good vs evil, a constant fight amongst our own conscience. Back in the golden era of Bollywood, songs like ‘Aaj Na Chodenge’ from ‘Kati Patang’ and ‘Holi Ke Din’ from ‘Sholay’ had more rustic and realistic vibes of festive season. Who can forget ‘Ang Se Ang Lagana’ from the movie ‘Darr’ with its intoxicating music and sultry lyrics?

All in all, yes, we do admit that Bollywood takes reasonable amount of liberty with the festivals, giving them the grandeur which probably, at times, takes away the essence, and becomes all show.

However, pragmatic or not, we still simply love the hope that the colourful and grand depiction of festivals in Bollywood, imparts. These might be larger than life, not an ordinary person’s cup of tea, but whenever you see these on the big screen, or croon to those songs that have featured these festivals, one can’t help but fall in love with this beautiful mesh of art and culture, with appropriate amounts of bling and fanfare added.

Bollywood, keep adding charm to the festivals.