This post will focus on five commonplace professions most abused and warped by Bollywood.Though there is a slight smattering of truth and tiny chunks of reality hidden in them somewhere,like those chocolate chip cookies,on the whole,what you see on screen is nowhere close to reality.
(Warning: Long post)
1.Doctor/General Practitioner: Perhaps the most unfortunate souls in a movie,doctors are pathetically reduced to strict stereotypes.
- The setting:Often,a plush clinic/gleaming hospital.
- Attire: Hindi movie doctors refuse to be seen without their mandatory white coats and faithful stethoscopes.It’s blasphemous to appear without the two.
- Standard dialogues: Docs in a movie regularly spout them though I’ve never heard these words from a real life doctor.
Ab ise dawa ki nahi,dua ki zaroorat hai.
Aap foran do lakh rupaye jama kara dijiye,nahi toh patient ka operation nahi ho paayega.
Ab bhagwan hi maalik hai.
Humne poori koshish ki,magar afsos,hum patient ko nahi bacha paye.
Sthithi gambheer hai.Hum ma aur bacche mein se kisi ek ko hi bacha paayenge.
All accident/attempted suicide cases are treated just like normal ones.Unless of course the patient is the progatonist’s mother/father/sister and the perpetrator in question is a big shot.Then,you’ll have the following dialogue.
Aap pehle yeh form fill kijiye.Police ki poochtaach ke baad hi hum operation kar sakte hain.
At which,the protagonist visibly reacts by saying:
Kya?Yahan ek patient ki jaan jaa rahi hai aur aapko form ki padi hai?Doctor saab,log aapko bhagwan ka darja dete hain aur aap…..meherbaani karke operation shuru kijiye.Baaki formalities main dekh loonga/loongi.
So,of course,against all rules,the doctor performs the operation and all is hunky dory till the cops barge in and demand an explanation.All this in the recovery room,with the patient barely conscious.So much for rest and relaxation.
Manipulative techniques: Doctors are as hard as talc.One tear here,one whimpering look there,and they’re putty in your hands.And being Hindi film doctors,they are at par with the hero/heroine at displaying liberal amounts of goodliness and godliness.One can simply put a gun to the doc’s head and demand that he perform the operation for free/for his only dying son and the good doctor will oblige.What’s more,your entire clan can camp in the hospital for days,sing bhajans and even do an impromptu jig.
Essentials: Doctors will often be found poring over X-ray charts and microscopes.A serious expression sometimes crosses their face when informing someone about their diagnosis,like,”lymphosarcoma of the intestine” or “aapko cancer hai.Aur woh bhi final stage mein.”
Diagnosis for Dummies: A good Hindi movie doctor is omnipotent.He/She will simply check the pulse of the patient for diagnosis.How profoundly simple.Just pulse checking.After four brutal years of undergrad med school,followed by two years of specialization,followed by a grueling license exam, when all you have to do is to check the pulse.Wizard.
Hera Pheri: Hindi movie docs are also very sympathetic to the plight of hapless and helpless people.They will switch babies and hand over the wrong birth certificates because they don’t want any trouble for the protagonist afterwards.
Kill Pill: Doctors gone astray,doctors wanting revenge on society/mankind/God/rich father in-law make use of their awesome ability to mix poisons,crush colorful pills and play around with the IV line to kill their enemies.No one suspects a doctor,because,in the end;
Ek doctor ka darja bhagwan se bhi ooncha hota hai.
Being a student of psychology,I’ve never seen a profession so totally mutilated and disfigured as a psychologist in Hindi movies.
- Setting: A private clinic (almost always) or a chic hospital.
- How to recruit psychiatrists:
Position applied for-Psychiatrist in a Hindi feature film.
Qualifications-Males,above fifty five,bearded,thinning hair,five inch thick spectacles.Must always wear grey,grey and brown.Having a social life is a no-no.(If you’re a female,you must be fifty,dress like thirty and act like a twenty year old.Only unhappily married/about to get divorced females need apply.We assume all the single females who want to apply are not right in the head.We’re all for the equality of the genders,yo)
Desirable:A huge sized poster of Sigmund Freud,complicated looking charts which nobody will understand,least of all,you,an American/British accent.
Extremely desirable:A two tone expression,one for puzzling over the problem,the other for acting smug when your diagnosis is proven right.Mouthing words like “multiple personality disorder” “amnesia” “retrograde/anterograde” will automatically establish you in the big league.
Most Used Tool: Hypnosis. For any and every problem,out pops this handy little tool.Dangle a round object suspended from a thread in front of the subject,oscillate it ten to twenty times while shouting on the top of your lungs and voila,the subject is under your control. Conveniently forget the fact that hypnosis is still not considered a valid and legal medical practice,that it has to be done by an expert,that you cannot hypnotize an unwilling subject.All that be darned.
The Diagnosis: Beat around the bush for a while,then dramatically announce to the befuddled people that the patient is suffering from “multiple mental disorder”. Don’t ask what it means.Just nod your heads like you comprehend everything.
The Cure:All disorders of the mind can be cured by a)hypnosis b)a tantrik baba,spouting verses c) a combination of the above.
Rule of the thumb: All females portraying a psychiatrist to look glum,grim and deliver the verdict with an ominous look.Chirpiness of any sort,any semblence of a social life/partner to be squashed out of character with immediate effect.
Absolute No Entry For: common sense,video conferencing with experts,a plausible explanation for the diagnosis,a viable treatment program. (Note: Psychologists/therapists routinely dole out advice to their patients.Even if it means going against the basic tenet of therapy).
Q: What is a corporate executive as defined by Bollywood? Describe their appearance,lifestyle and habits.
A.A corporate executive is someone who makes money for a living.He/She is a one dimensional character without any depth.There is usually a mono expression on their faces,but if the movie is being directed by a National Award winner,then there are dual expressions.Following are their characteristics:
These creatures dwell in an oblong boardroom.Their life consists of making multibillion deals,living in houses that would shame Buckingham Palace into oblivion,wear Armanis to bed and treading the fine line between good and bad.There is always someone in the company who turns out to be a mole/informer/vengeful employee.The execs have a fleet of cars,always at their disposal.Some have personal helicopters and chartered planes.Yet,during emergencies,the execs prefer taking the bus/train/taxi/auto and relish the unending traffic jams.
Q2: True or false- A female corporate exec is always fiercely ambitious and career oriented.
Q3: The overly ambitious aforesaid female has a fulfilling life outside of work,is happily married and also has kids.
Female 1: I’m a super bitch.I have slick looking hair.I have a flawless complexion.I speak with an accent.I wear heels on every assignment.If I’m wearing a designer dress,I’m not a serious journalist.If I have cropped my hair and am wearing a pantsuit,I’m as serious as they come.I talk in a monotone.If I don’t pepper my news with important sounding words,my boss’ll fire me.I manage to look gorgeous in any situation,be it a war front or a hostage situation.Gimme a mike,a cute cameraman and a van and I will get you your news.I’m that fabulous.
Female 2:Um,what about your qualifications? Your experience? Your interviewing and reporting skills? The endless preparation for a live news coverage?The fact that your job is potentially dangerous? The fact that you represent a major channel/newspaper? Your social responsibility?
Female 1: Hindi movies rock!!
5.Cop: Usually,you have the good cop-bad cop routine in interrogations.In Hindi movieland,you have the following:
Good Cop: Painfully honest.Willing to give his life for the police station/nation/profession.Either a havaldar or the DIG/DGP/ACP.When young,sings a few duets with a lady (who either turns into his wife or is killed after the duet,following which the good cop starts on his revenge saga).When older,is called upon as the chief guest to a school function,where he will either make a rousing speech or be killed,following which his nalayak son will turn layak and hunt his father’s killers.The most favorite dialogue of the good cop goes something like “Kanoon ke haath bade lambe hote hain,tu bach nahi paayega”
Bad Cop: They have the most fun.They get to chew on betel leaves,nuts,candy bars and spew the most amazing dialogues like ” Ab tujhe mujhse koi nahi bacha paayega” and “Bahut ho gaya tera naatak.Ab dekh mera keher” and the like.They like terrorizing the general public,most specifically the protagonist’s family members,until the protagonist sees red and charges after the bad cops.
Baap of the Bad Cops: Pure evil in looks and mannerisms,these creatures are the stuff nightmares are made of.Very seldom employed in a movie.
I know I’ve missed out on some more professions,like politicians,lawyers,medical examiners.I’m hoping somebody takes the cue and writes about them.(Jhims,ho jaaye!!)
Coming next:A post on women in the Bollywood workplace,the most common diseases the protagonists are afflicted with.