cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 06:17pm on 13/11/2005 under , , , ,
On Thursday night, Eric and I decided to try out a new restaurant near us, a Indian Chinese (!) place called "Royal India."

The food turned out to be, at best, mediocre. Slightly scorched garlic naan, dry keema mutter. Their "Chinese" dishes are supposedly Hakka Chinese, which Eric says is a non-Han Chinese ethnic group. Unfortunately, Hakka style appears to mean "breaded, with lots of chili sauce." The "Drums of Heaven" (spicy faux chicken wings) were okay that way, but breading the pieces of lamb in the spicy lamb stew made for a fairly noxious concoction.

However, the restaurant had a large flat screen TV that was continually playing music videos. Hindi music videos. All of the songs had female lead singers (with very pleasant voices) and all of the music was quite forgettable, except for the Hindi attempt at Jamaican-style rap music, which was just weird. What kept me watching was the oddness of the images. Unlike a lot of Western music videos which merely show the singer in concert from umpteen different angles, these videos tried to tell a story.

And what strange stories they were! One was clearly about a young Hindu working girl. We see her getting dressed in salwar kameez (a kind of tunic top with loose pants combination that is often worn by young Indian women in place of a sari), and hopping a rickshaw bicycle cart to get to some kind of classical Indian dance class. Later on, we see her girlfriends trying to match her up with a young Hindu man who is acting as though he is very interested in her. They re-dress her in a tight sleeveless top and blue jeans for the Big Date.

Another number featured a European-looking young man, who keeps admiring and fondling (only the non-sexual body parts of) a young, sleeping Hindu girl. Repeated shots of Russian saint icons and snow-bound cemeteries are apparently meant to tell the viewer that the man is Russian. However, why the girl doesn't wake up and either cooperate with his caresses or slap him is beyond me, since I don't understand Hindi.

There was another video featuring a high-voiced woman in a red sari (a wedding sari?) and a man in a white shirt and black pants. This video gave me the impression of being a Hindu version of a Lucy and Ricky Ricardo sitcom. Judging by the gestures, she seemed to be trying to tell him that she was going to have a baby, and he was being extremely clueless and kept missing the point.

And there were many, many more--including a strange one with horror movie imagery and another with spy movie imagery.

It was also interesting how little skin was showing on the attractive women singers and extras. Many of the videos had large batteries of female dancers, and all were very good looking in the modern conventional sense--slender, long-legged, clear skinned. But the only skin showing, for the most part, was torsos, arms and faces. Some of the numbers put their dancers in long filmy skirts with bra tops, but most of the outfits didn't even show cleavage. It was as though the producers wanted to hint at the erotic without actually going so far as to *be* erotic. Pretty sorry stuff for the home of the "Kama Sutra" to have generated.
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative


2 3
6 7 8
13 14