Taking a guided Bollywood tour of Mumbai
Writer Tamara Hinson gets a crash course on the Indian film industry with a trip through the heart of Bollywood.
Bollywood expert and guide Yogesh Pawar in front of the G7 multiplex, Mumbai’s first multiplex cinema. (Tamara Hinson)
MUMBAI, INDIA—To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t entirely convinced when my guide, Yogesh Pawar, pointed out the home of Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan.
I certainly wouldn’t have known it was his house if it hadn’t been for the clusters of young Indian men eagerly snapping photographs of each other pulling Khan’s signature pose: arms spread, eyes half-closed in a don’t-mess-with-me-squint.
In Bollywood, it’s the men who seem most enamored with India’s film stars, and it’s the male actors who appear to attract the most adulation. Their roles are often stereotypical — key accessories include leather jackets and a piercing stare.
I didn’t see a single woman posing outside the houses we saw in Bandra, the Mumbai neighbourhood popular with Bollywood’s biggest stars. Only men, gyrating their hips or clutching their belts in carefully-rehearsed imitations of their idols’ favourite moves.
The majority of Bollywood’s superstars live in this palm tree-dotted seafront in western Mumbai. The first property I’m shown on a four-hour walking/tuk tuk Bollywood Treats tour with Urban Adventures belongs to the aforementioned Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan.