Bollywood Babylon

'You know, what they never tell you when you come here...'

The speaker's voice is dreamy and sing-song, that tone of voice denoting extreme boredom, supreme idiocy or ultimate wisdom.

Or possibly all three simultaneously.

' that you'll end up as an extra in a Bollywood movie.'

No mocking laughter. No baffled shouts of 'What?!?!'. No puzzled silence.

Just a thoughtful pause as the listeners consider this datum.

Which usually denotes that the _listeners_ are either enlightened, brain-dead, or utterly, mind-numbingly bored.

'Yeah..?' The question suggests that the speaker is definitely *considering* the information, but could the first speaker please elaborate?

'Well, you've got the gratuitous musical numbers...'

The WANKERS leap out from behind the trees on the hill, and start singing 'Young, Dumb, and Ugly'. In outfits remarkably similar to those of a Hong Kong action movie star's.

Except _these_ look as if they'd been taken from their mum's closets...

'...two rival factions who can't stand the sight of each other...'

Cue ADF commandoes racing up the hill towards the singing WANKERs.

Who immediately stop singing, and prepare to do what they always do in these situations.

Run away.

'...utterly, and *totally*, gratuitous fight sequences, with moves you wouldn't _believe_...'

Unfortunately, the hill is surrounded.

Cue scenes of WANKERs getting seven hells pounded out of them, with much display of interesting and never-before-seen martial arts from the ADF (who'd been practicing).

'...mindless, really *splurgy* violence, with blood and stuff...'

Cue Adric walking through the 'Round's car park, looking around nervously.

Cue Psycho Nyssa slipping up behind him and driving the harpoon she's borrowed off a Raston Warrior Robot straight through his chest.

'..._and_ the comic relief...'

Cue Francois, coming out with mop and bucket, muttering about 'clean up after themselves...'

'Then you've got the two star-crossed lovers...'

Intercut between scenes of Nyssa lovingly planning out future methods of killing Adric, and Adric's friends convincing him that 'no, we're serious, _this_ is what she really means every time she kills you, so why not try asking her out?' And Adric ranting in disbelief at aforementioned friends.

'...or sometimes, the love-triangle...'

Cue Number One as Ember Ashe, trying _not_ to grimace as s/he talks to Adric...

...with requisite adoring glances in Nyssa's direction, naturally. With him in male form - after all, this *is* a family film.

'...with much hilarious confusion and moments of really serious drama.'

Cue scenes from any BKWillis To Die For story.

'Oh right. So what happens at the end?'

'Well, either _he_ gets killed, and the two sides get together behind _her_ to mourn...'

The others consider this. Then... 'Naah.'

'...or _she_ gets killed, and the sides unite behind _him_ to mourn her loss...'

The others consider this. Eventually, the unanimous verdict comes. 'Fat chance.'

'...or _both_ of them get killed, and everyone unites in mourning...'

'Yeah, *right*.'

'Or the _third_ person in the love triangle dies, and everyone gets together to mourn _his_ loss.'

Thoughtful pause.

Cue outraged yell of 'WHAT?!!?!?!' from Number One.

'Indian cinema doesn't exactly have much originality when it comes to endings, y'see. Now, where was I... Oh, yeah. Or the "happy" couple get together and everyone comes together at the wedding.'

The others try *not* to imagine this.

'That it?'

'Well, there should be a really, really nasty landowner around. Megalomaniac will do, in a pinch...'

Cue really, really nasty landowner.

What do you *mean*, he's on strike?!

Okay, cue megalomaniac.

The Bradleyard walks on set and proclaims, 'At last, I have BKWillis' Muse!! Nothing can stop me now!!!'

'... preferably with really, really overblown dialogue.'

Cue 'Oh, one of *them*'s and 'You should have _said_'s.

'...And, these days, modern Asian woman who's either a) a cold, calculating bitch who's better off dead, or b) gonna fall at the feet of the first "traditional" man who comes her way...'

'What, no making your own way in life? No finding fulfilment in your _own_ way?'

'Like I said, Indian cinema's really, *really* unimaginative...'

Thoughtful pause. 'Hey, Anj...'

'*No*, Fitz. Besides, you've already _got_ a date...'

'Don't remind me...'

'So... how's any of that differ from a film over here?'

'More musical numbers.'





Copyright 2001 Imran Inayat