The 2005 Bollywood Lexicon

We're all familiar with sites such as Bollywhat that have lexicons mapping showbiz Hinglish. You know, stuff like:

USP: Unique selling point. "The USP of KNPH was Hrithik Roshan. Or more specifically, Hrithik Roshan's killer abs. And killer biceps, and killer dancing, and his hair looked cool..."

Paisa Vasool Means something akin to "worth every penny," I think. "Wow, I've had this toothbrush for three years now--that sure was a paisa vasool investment!"

Item Number The totally gratuitous dance number, often a show number, in which a scantily clad young vixen who has nothing to do with the plot bounds out, shakes it for a few minutes, and disapears. Item numbers can star men ("One Love" from Rakht) and don't have to be racy ("Chamma Chamma" from China Gate was pretty family-friendly). "Sonali Bendre really rocked that item number in Mani Ratnam's Bombay."

And of course:

Dishum-Dishum is the sound made while people are hitting each other IN the end scenes of violence....when the villian gets his comeuppance. So it stands for violence; "I don't like this movie, too much of dishum-dishum."

For the more cynical and filmi-familiar, Mahesh Nair uses this device for an excellent summation of Bollywood in 2005. Some choice definitions:

Aashique Banaya Aapne (n): when a picture is worth one song.

Black (adj): the emotion you feel when you watch a fantastic film wherein a deaf, mute and blind girl narrates how a ranting old man taught a mentally retarded child to eat with a spoon.

DVD (n): another term for "original idea" or "script". When a director says, "I worked on the script for two years", you know instantly that he has been watching DVDs of Man on Fire (Ek Ajnabee) or OldBoy (Zinda).

Item Number (n): a skin show to lure people away from the theatre's toilet to the screen.

Mangal Pandey (adj): to look silly after five years.

Multi(per)plex (n): a place where filmmakers are clueless as to which film will click. The only success guaranteed here is of Pepsi and popcorn.

Myth (n): as in Jackie Chan spoke to Mallika's breasts.

(Aishwarya) Rai (n): a misguided opinion that Indians are creating ripples in Hollywood.

Swades (n): when you love your country but it does not love you.

Yashraj (v): an old Indian proverb that means packaging is profit. (n) a place where superstars hang out.

I don't necessarily agree with all of them but they're hilarious. Enjoy!

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- December 27, 2005 7:33 PM // Bollywood