Bangalore: These days India is under the international camera more than ever before, and we are liking it! It is portrayed beyond the stereotypes which it was once featured for. The status of Indians on the global screen has changed tremendously over the years from roles like saints and hermits or rajas and maharajas to more accountable roles, like Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreations played by Aziz Ansari, a popular American comedian.
This vibe has opened the doors for many Indian origins to be the part of International screen and films as in many cases Indians are played by some Caucasian with heavy sooty makeup. These roles do make our presence felt more around the world, and it has broadened the idea of India and Indians too. Still to come days when there will be many roles written keeping Indians in mind or wide range that can be played by us.
Recently a clip played in America's National Football League of Priyanka Chopra's debut single 'In My City' featuring Will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas was viewed by 8.6 million viewers. This change may yield in future or not is hard to say, however it has put India on a continuous global plate, asking for more in days to come. From Indian actors playing small roles in Hollywood films, like Om Puri playing the superstitious railway track worker in ‘The Ghost And The Darkness’, there are the recent once where Anil Kapoor plays Brij Nath in ‘Mission Impossible 4’ (2011) and President Omar Hassan in ‘24’ (2010, TV series) to major roles played by Naseeruddin Shah in ‘The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ and Irfan Khan in ‘A Mighty Heart’(2007) as Mir Zubair Mahmood, he is called Captain all through the film. These portraitures show how Indians were taken for most parts where the character has the Middle Eastern or Indian connection. Now these images are changing by allowing Indians to play on a broader playground.
Another actor who has set a strong mark is Kel Penn, also known as Kalpen Suresh Modi who has done a series of major work, like ‘American Desi’, ‘The Namesake’ Directed by Mira Nair, and the most remembered of his roles is Kumar Patel in ‘Harold and Kumar’.
On the silver screen no one can miss the Indian character Dr Raj Koothrappali, A rich Indian boy, who has trouble speaking to the ladies when sober, he need to have the liquid courage to muster the strength to impress them even by overboarding sometimes, which is quiet the need of the show. He is presented as a typical India boy with all the cultural trouble and an American misfit. Ironically he enjoys the western food which he’d miss if deported to India. The character is drawn from the Indian stereotype, but it has its potential and isn’t tardy when comes to entertainment.
Another show ‘Outsourced’ is a telly version of the movie by the same name, its set is all Indian presenting a call centre in Mumbai , all cast except a few are westerns of Indian origin with actors like Parvesh Cheena who is American and Sacha Dhawan who is a British film and stage actors.
A new sitcom launched by FOX called ‘The Mindy Project’ it’s a series on the life of Dr Mindy Lahiri, an American Indian dealing with the professional and personal situations. The series is a stimulating presentation of the life in action for the OB/GYN doctor. Vera Chokalingam also known as Mindy Kaling plays Dr. Lahiri, she is known for writing and acting in the popular sitcom “The Office’. ‘The Mindy Project’ is seen as the sitcom to watch out for as per some parts of American press.
Theses seem like the tiny little lights glittering form a distance, yet by making it this far, the time can be imagined when we can have shows and screenplays with Indians for their skill of acting, still it seems ‘so far so good’ for most Indians when we see our people make an appearance in any venture of Hollywood, even if it’s a small or a major one, it does fills us with awe.