The Pervasive Presence of Punjab in Bollywood

2017-04-19 07:27:03  Posted under topic: Interviews


April 13th or 14th marked Baisakhi, a joyous festival celebrated in Punjab with much enthusiasm. It marked the New Year where Punjabis spread cheer over the first harvest. For many years, Bollywood has drawn inspiration from Punjab, be it its celebrations, its way of life or even the regional food. This Baisakhi, BollyCurry brings to you the importance of Punjab and Punjabis in Bollywood.

The first thought that crosses our minds when connecting Punjabis and Bollywood are the families that have ruled Indian cinema. The Kapoors have governed the industry for four generations and are still going strong. Prithviraj Kapoor laid the foundation, not only as an actor but also for the Kapoor khandaan. Raj Kapoor then took it forward, followed by actors Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor. Today, Ranbir Kapoor takes the lead alongside his cousins, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Karisma Kapoor. There is also another Kapoor family who have dominated our screens. Anil Kapoor along with his brother, Boney Kapoor, and children - Sonam Kapoor and the recently debuted Harshvardhan Kapoor. Another clan that has been an integral part of Bollywood are the Deols. Dharmendra is regarded as one of Indian cinema's biggest stars and so are his children - Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol and Esha Deol. His nephew, Abhay Deol, has also made a name for himself. Bollywood has also offered us some brilliant directors such as Yash and Aditya Chopra. We must also mention India's first superstar, the late Rajesh Khanna and his daughter actor/entrepreneurial daughter, Twinkle Khanna.

The Indian film industry has been utilizing Punjab and their vibrant culture for as long as one can remember. The lush fields from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) come to the forefront of our memories. In the film, a Punjabi man leaves his homeland and establishes himself in a foreign land, only to come back years later to reminisce how beautiful his motherland is. We also observe two families fighting due to cultural difference in 2 States (2014) where one family is proudly Punjabi. In Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), a dysfunctional Punjabi family come together to celebrate a wedding anniversary on a cruise ship. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) was an autobiographical movie of a Punjabi athlete who won accolades throughout his life, including the Commonwealth Games. The latest to join the bandwagon is Phillauri (2017), a film completely based in rural Punjab.

It is not only names and locations that have had influence drawn from. The Indian film industry has also tapped into the rapidly growing musical scene. With its distinctive dhols and instantaneous shoulder-jerking sounds, Punjabi music is instantly recognisable. Be it peppy numbers like "Nagada Nagada" from Jab We Met (2007), heart-breaking song such as "Layi Vi Na Gayi" from Chalte Chalte (2003), a wedding track like "Balle Balle" from Bride And Prejudice (2004) or a romantic song such as "Jogi Mahi" from Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008), all the songs incorporate the flavour of Punjab in them. Various upbeat Punjabi songs or reworked versions have also appeared in Bollywood with the latest one being "Kala Chasma" from Baar Baar Dekho (2016). Needless to mention, Bollywood has songs to suit every emotion!

As we glance through history, there is no doubt that Punjab and Punjabi's have a piece of Bollywood's heart. It is actually intriguing to see how the Punjabi culture has become such an integral part of Bollywood. The love affair between Punjab and the Indian film industry is ever increasing and we hope to witness the energetic culture in all its glory for many years to come. BollyCurry wishes everyone a very happy Baisakhi and hope the year ahead is fun and filled with happiness.

Writer: Peehu A.
Editors: Myraa S. and Jenifer A.
Graphics: Amiyah R.

Have a suggestion or comment for BollyCurry? Drop us a PM at BC_Dropbox today!

Share your views about this Actor