Mumbai's Porn Films: Ganda Hai Par Dhanda Hai Ye

January 06, 2007
Sakshi Juneja

The Hindi film industry is mostly known for Big Budget films, heavy-weight production houses, mega stars and their starry tantrums and over-the-top scandals but what many fail to notice and at times even acknowledge is the bustling 'C' grade films market - in simple words the Hindi porn films.

Mumbai Mirror reports:

The South used to generously churn out these mind-boggling films, until Mumbai decided it wanted its share of the easy profits as well. Think about it. Most of the budget is wisely invested in the heroine's lingerie and whatever's left goes into production. The script? Er, well the heroine can exercise and strip. Or she can cook and strip. Or? So many excuses to strip, such few films?

The male actors in the films are, well, disposable. Any man can do that job! The actresses earn more. Shakeela and Monalisa are the babes of the bosom brigade and rake in up to Rs 2-3 lakh per film. The newcomers earn Rs 5,000 per day.

Frankly speaking, never have I myself watched any of the desi-porn flicks for many valid reasons - they are shown in shoddy theatres in some shady nooks and corners of Mumbai city, they mostly appear to be tasteless and lastly, the leading actors can easily win the "Ugly Duckling" contest.

But I remember once having a chat with a well-known Bollywood Film Producer's son over the rise in 'C' grade films in past couple of years and was shocked to hear from him that many well-known production houses also invest money in such films. Since the amount put in is very less as compared to commercial Hindi films, the earnings are much more and the risk of failure is bare minimum.

Another aspect of this industry which I find pretty disheartening is that, as the article points out, many young girls are encouraged by their family to be a part of such porn films. Obviously there are reasons galore - need for money, stardom dreams, easy income, etc.

Kishan Shah, the Subhash Ghai of this industry says, "The parents of the girls are aware of the implications of entering this industry, they actually encourage them too. Unhein actress banne ka shauk hai. Unfortunately, prostitution and the casting couch are rampant in this industry. How do you think that Monalisa, a girl who earns Rs 2 lakh per movie and does five films a year, can maintain a house of Rs 60 lakhs and two cars worth Rs 10 lakh each?"

I'm not saying that prostitution and casting couch do not take place in other affluent sections of the Hindi film industry but I guess it's done more discreetly, plus the parties involved belong to much higher ranking and therefore can easily afford to hide behind the glittery showcase.

As for the censor board, well they are effortlessly hoodwinked.

The Censor Board passes them with an A Certificate, but usually they're shown the 'clean' version. The 'real' reels are inserted later at the single-screen theatres and dingy video parlours. Raids and crackdowns have not proved to be entirely effective.

All in all, one can say that such people and such films exist because there is a huge demand for it. Just the way a popular Bollywood song goes "Ganda hai par dhanda hai ye".

Take a look at these imaginative and highly amusing film titles:

Ek se mera kya hoga

Bhooton ka honeymoon

Bedroom mein burning story

BP - Bed Partner

Meri life mein uski wife

Saakshi O. Juneja is an active blogger, feminist and overboard dog lover. Currently working as a Business Development Manager for a sportswear manufacturing company in Mumbai, India. Did graduation in Marketing & Advertising from Sydney, Australia. As far as blogging is concerned...is a complete Blog-a-holic.
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January 6, 2007
01:26 AM

Very interesting information Sakshi.
Will this be part of Bollywood gossip as well?

January 6, 2007
12:13 PM

I'm not surprised to hear it. I think the one thing I like about the US is the fact that even though sexuality is everywhere, they don't try to hide and mask it. They properly rate the films based on its contents of sexuality and vulgarity and actually check IDs (or at least where I am). It's simply become a part of the society, but whether it is accepted or not is up to the people, of course.

January 6, 2007
09:47 PM

You say, Vi that "I think the one thing I like about the US is the fact that even though sexuality is everywhere, they don't try to hide and mask it. They properly rate the films based on its contents of sexuality and vulgarity and actually check IDs (or at least where I am)."

Huh? US doesn't try to "hide or mask" sexuality? From this side of the ocean, US looks extremely puritanical, withe serious issues regarding sexuality and the normalcy about it (quite similar to parts of the middle east or India in fact). Girl gone wild type of junk is the just the other side of the coin - the guilt, the trauma of sexuality is always present.

TWO: Sakshi points out clearly that these films are given "A" certification. That is an "adults only" certification. Yes, the reels are inserted - something that South Indian producers perfected, but no-one walks in expecting "family entertainment": these films are shown in dodgy theatres, have titles that conceal nothing, and are generally marked by an predominance of male viewers lining up outside.

Not THAT different from the 42nd porn district before Guiliani got to it. Or indeed from any other porn flick theater in America!

January 6, 2007
10:20 PM

You're right, Null. My comment was ill-phrased.

Yes, the porn industry here is booming. It is a few clicks away on the Internet and is also readily available around the corner. There are porn shops, theatres, and almost anything else porn-related that one can think of.

I am not sure where the puritanical appeareance comes from--but take it from someone who has lived here quite a while, there is nothing subtle about sex and the use of sex, especially in the media. Yes, there are serious issues, but I feel that those issues are universal--they are shared by any and every country.

The typical Bollywood film is filled with double entendres and jokes. This is being marketed as family entertainment and I've seen adults and children watch it together. I may be biased because I do not watch Bollywood movies (I don't know Hindi) and prefer the English ones, but I can say that when something here is marketed as 'family entertainment', it does not contain anything inappropriate.

I merely meant that for a large part, discussing sex is taboo in India. It may vary from person to person, but that is how I was raised.

I see porn as an industry and as a business--those who chose to partake in it make their own decisions. As Sakshi pointed out, as long as there is a demand for it this will continue to exist.

Sunita Dasgupta
January 7, 2007
02:51 PM

Funny article :)

In reference to the comments above - the USA is a pretty conservative country by European or Japanese standards - there is a fundie culture there that tries to cover up sex, although maybe not in more open cities like LA or NY.

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