15 June, 2021

Plumbing The Bowels Of Pop

An engaging analysis of Eastern popular culture’s ascendancy

Plumbing The Bowels Of Pop

A plot to facilitate world domination through mind control, subtle suggestiveness and emotional seduction. It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that’s the ground on which Fatima Bhutto’s New Kings of the World is based. USA, she writes, embarked on a plan for world domination through soft powers, flooding the airwaves with enthralling drama that showcased the American dream. What she was referring to was the soap opera—shows like The Bold and The Beautiful, which stopped conversations in houses across India at a certain time. However, after being mesmerised for a while, the East decided to fight back. Bhutto proceeds to explore the pathways by which Eastern pop culture was able to rise and rise.

Bollywood is the most obvious beginning.  From a legendary old bazaar in Peshawar emerged Shahrukh Khan, who against all odds won hearts, whether he played a serial killer or a man with Asperger’s syndrome. Bhutto grills SRK through a shoot in Dubai despite gruelling schedules and shared omelettes and helicopters to get to the...

In this article:

More from Anjana Basu

Latest Magazine

June 21, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section