I’ve never quite understood why it took the fame of Slumdog Millionaire to put India, much less Bollywood, on the map here in the States. It’s not even Indian! It’s British!
What really tipped me over the edge was watching the Pussycat Dolls’ remix of “Jai Ho,” the hit song by A.R. Rahman from Slumdog. At first, I was fascinated to see Nicole Scherzinger and the other Dolls dance in Indian-inspired clothing with khol-darkened eyes. Then, I heard the lyrics, some of which were literal translations from Hindi, and was incredibly confused. So much is lost: the subtle meanings and layers of context make a literal translation sound absurd and tacky. And finally came frustration and disappointment at the jazzed up “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)” that was more a failed imitation than a successful remix. Read the rest of this entry »