Blown away by the spectacular show at the Kingdom of Dreams, Towheed Feroze recalls Delhi and some of its non-publicised thrills
Perhaps once upon a time the Hindi film industry and the culture that accompanied it was a topic of ridicule within international circles, but when Indian films have mind-numbing budgets and equally awesome financial returns and, take entertainment to a whole new level of razzmatazz and grandeur, the once expression of ‘whatever’ is now replaced by some serious acknowledgement.
Come to think of it, Hollywood also makes films that have no logic and therefore, there is no reason to denigrate Indian films because, in comparison, they provide better entertainment. Well, in civil circles we may talk of piano concerts and violin sessions but in our dreams Sheila is relentlessly assaulting us with her jawani and we would dump all pretence if Chikni Chameli agreed to dance with us. Or, how about titillation from Jalebi Bai? The end line is, Bollywood, with all its excesses is now the quintessential mood-lifter.
Forget some of the sloppily made films of the past. If they were sub-standard due to technical backwardness then the acting was always top class. And that desire to act properly still exists. Only top it up with state of the art effects and women and men who can turn heads anywhere. Beauty, brains and brawn – Bollywood has them all!
And so, the India film is no longer foolish but fun and the Kingdom of Dreams, in Gurgaon, just outside Delhi, is a tribute to the inextricable bond between India and Bollywood. It’s a theme park that celebrates all those roles that inspired and thrilled millions and the evolution of film based glamour and obsession reach a climax with a special show called Zangoora. If you want to experience Bollywood melodrama on stage then this is not to be missed. Zangoora is the tale of a prince who is saved from an evil king during infancy and grows up a handsome gypsy performer. But destiny has it that he will fall in love with a princess and then fight the villains to regain the throne and in typical fashion the tale continues on stage punctuated by instantly recognisable Bollywood hits starting from the Fifties till the present day.
Of course the story line is trite! You have heard it and seen it a million times but you are not here for the story but to immerse yourself in magic. And magic it delivers! Flying mermaids, exploding colours, changing stages and dance that is almost perfect – the entire package is one big party and the best thing is, the audience is part of it. Zangoora is the ultimate stage show which brings all the energy and passion of Indian films and while at times, the show appears over the top, it has to be admitted, without some drama this would have become too cerebral. No, you don’t come here for profound entertainment; you come here for some drinks and then a dive into fantasy. Don’t tell me the thought of wooing a princess never appealed to you.
Kingdom of Dreams is a new venture, opening in 2010 and so far, Bangladeshis visiting Delhi have not heard of it but this is a must-see for all tourists. Going to India and not experiencing masala cannot be right at all. Next time you are in Delhi, make a point to go to the Kingdom of Dreams. Who knows, you may come back with a dream of yourself!
Before this, when I was last in Delhi in 1988, I went to the Taj Man Singh and had Chinese food at the Ming House and reportedly, the food is still super. Though I didn’t try it this time, must say that the same praise does not go for other restaurants selling Chinese food. Somewhere, that kick is missing and unless you go to top end places, stick to road side dhabas specialising in kebabs.
And the shopping malls are all in the ‘sale’ mood and most brand items are giving 30-50 percent reduction on actual rates. That means one gets good bargains.
Friday is the party night and by 11pm all hip places are packed. If you don’t know where to go just ask the hotel concierge and he will direct you to your preferred place for unwinding. But what if you feel like staying in your room with a little ‘exclusive’ feminine touch? Well, the classified sections of the newspapers advertise escort services who are supposed to be smart, pretty and educated.
Hmmmm, education adds extra flair right? I mean you are not going to dissect Russell’s philosophy with her but then, the conception is that polished women make better lovers. Whether that is right or wrong you can find out for yourself. Maybe talk about the enigma of love while the massage is on. What did I think? Come on, not going to fall for that one! Someone told me, if you have the money, you can have the best. I am sure you have enough to have a grand time?
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