EXT. OBERI MALL, MUMBAI- NIGHT
After a stressful last-minute bandeau and spandex shopping trip for the shoot of their Bollywood dance number the following night, SCARN, IARN, and SETH GREEN scavenge for an open rickshaw on the hectic streets of Mumbai, India. This’ll be their third attempt with one of these three-wheeled, miniature rollercoasters.
Amidst the chaos surrounding Oberi Mall, Seth catches sight of an open and purty swagilicious “auto.” The three flag down the rickshaw and use their recently-learned hindi to direct the driver to “Andheri East, Chakala Church jana hai, highway se le lo.”
INT. SWAGGIE RICKSHAW- NIGHT
The rickshaw looks like the end product of Pimp-My-Ride: Mumbai Style. There are glowing blue lights strung around the inside of the ceiling, green patterned and laminated cushion in the front, and modern club-like white walls in the back. To accompany this pimped-out style, Seth, Scarn, and Iarn sing a little Lungi tune “coconut me lassi mi like it” and dance around, being the typical crazy white folk that others think they are.
During the second half of the ride, the three realized that their surroundings looked unfamiliar. Expected from a pimped out ride, they got a deceptive back-road driver, hungry for more rupees to pimp out his ride even more. Thankfully, the three backseat tourists arrived at their location, the magical Sai Palace Hotel!
INT. SAI PALACE ROOM 511- NIGHT
Scarn and Iarn drop their purchases on the marble floor of the elegant room adorned with neat bedspreads and cleaned counters. Iarn savors the complimentary chocolate with some refrigerated bottled water, while Scarn takes a look at the days moments captured on her Iphone.
The two collapse atop their respective twin beds and feel the soreness of the day’s activities taking over every muscle in their bodies. After two days of yoga and choreography for the Bollywood number to be shot Friday night, these twin beds felt like clouds and marshmallows.
Yoga is held three times a week at 9 am at Whistling Woods International in the acting studio in the Wifi zone. The SUBollywood family uses this time as one to connect to the outside world, to their bodies, and to each other. This acting studio encloses movement and harmony. Yoga is a chance to feel at peace with yourself and realize your worth in the world and in your own skin. Chanting “om” with hands clapped at the chest, one vibrates and connects to a spiritual world.
Learning the choreography for the Lungi Dance Bollywood number is a bit different. There is more room to fool around and connect with your fellow dancers rather than your internal and external spirits. I’ve had many conversations with my fellow female dancers about the overly sexualized choreography and dance style in India and in the Lungi dance that we are learning. During my mid-afternoon bathroom adventures I contemplated the attitude and sexuality that Bollywood dancers embody. In America, relationships and sexuality are a part of everyday life, and are encouraged or educated at a young age. In contrast, relationships and sexuality are less encouraged in traditional India but are a method of revolution or rebellion. While us Americans feel awkward doing these hip movements and lip pouts, Indians take it as an opportunity to express emotions that would have been looked down upon in the past. They take it as empowerment and as a way to be in complete control of their own bodies. I love that we are given this chance to defeat the awkwardness and hopefully embrace our bodies as a gift and as something that should move and bend independently and with dancers at your side, in unison.
I am rushing this a bit because I need to get ready for the 6pm to 6am dance shoot that we are having tonight so here is a list of glorious things that happened that I couldn’t express quickly enough because typing is hard and hard is no fun and yes, okay.. cool:
-lecture by production designer Sabyasachi Bose. He is uber talent and is a grand being who, in his lecture, solidified my love for the aesthetics and story-world building of filmmaking.
-Thali nom noms. This is the circle of nine foods that illustrate the Rasa or nine emotions that Popular Indian films attempt to concur in their 2-3 hour movies. Also delicious and nutritious!
-“Best pesto in the world grilled veg sandwich.” Nah it tasted like poo but I got this FRESH MANGO + MANGO ICECREAM + MILK + NOODLES + CHIA SEEDS that was ERMAHZING to clean my pallet of the horror of the pesto!
-Iffy tummy probs
-Glorious veg dominos pizza (better than US dominos)
-ALL the Bollywood song numbers are so beautiful and colorful
-PROPS ON PROPS ON PROPS
-The people on this trip are amazing
-It feels like we are leaving soon, but really we get to stay for SO MUCH MORE TYME AND THAT MAKES ME SO EXCITE AND HAPPY!