The Greatest Costume Party on the Planet

Pop Culture

The Greatest Costume Party on the Planet

Illustration: Namaah/Arré


m not sure when my entanglement with popular Hindi films began. I’d seen some of the more refined outputs from the subcontinent in my teens and twenties: Umrao Jaan, Mirch Masala, and Sara Akash in graduate school Hindi class. But I feel sure that some intuition of the verve (and nerve) of commercial films must have preceded my first visit to India in the late 1980s.

On that trip, I remember walking past a poster of a gun-toting Rekha in a ghaghara choli and a painted hoarding of Maine Pyar Kiya in which Bhagyashree, channelling Ozzy Osbourne, looked like she was biting the pigeon in her hand.