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September 10, 2007 / conceptbin

Bollywood virgin

My credentials as a public intellectual are somewhat skimpy, but at least I’ve been on the BBC.

Too bad that they wanted me for my ignorance.

I spent Friday afternoon in the desolate, air-conditioned depths of the Wandsworth Cineplex, watching Dhamaal, a Bollywood remake of It’s a Mad Mad World. Good fun, actually, but it would have been more fun if there had been more people in the theatre than myself and four others. Then, on Saturday morning I trekked up to White City to go on the BBC Asian Network radio show Love Bollywood, and flaunted my “Bollywood virginity” on the publicly funded airwaves.

Being interviewed precisely because you know nothing about what’s under discussion frees you from all anxieties of expertise and authority. Nobody is going to take me seriously on the topic of Bollywood film anyway, so I can say what I want without any risk to my academic career and credibility. And Raj and Pablo were incredibly nice, even if they weren’t particularly impressed with the film we were discussing.

Great fun. Definitely worth getting up for at 7am on a Saturday morning.

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