The Trip

The bus drove down the dusty road, The air conditioning was not what
the kids were used to in their own countries. All carrying their
ionized water packets and personal temperature controllers. The
Chinese students immediately put on their pollution masks that were
standard for any travel outside China.
“But then”, Geeta mused, ” we were told to expect a bit of adventure.”

Her parents had said that life must not be selfish and that we must
also learn about those that were less fortunate than us, culturally
or materially.
“They sure are”, she thought as she saw the little urchins run after
the bus shouting “Choculatte ! Choculatte !” A strange mixture
between heavily accented Spanish and Creole English.
Of course the Chinese kids had known about the tremendous poverty
here. They had come prepared with high energy enzyme imprinted candy
bars to throw to these urchins while taking quick Videograms of them.
This then was the City she had read about in her travel sites. Not a
normal tourist path, but then Geeta was always looking to go where her
friends would not want to. Most of them would have gone to Shanghai
or Mumbai.
Down the broken streets, with people staring aimlessly. Prostitutes
hanging out in skirts too tight and stocking torn at the seams. Men
in T shirts, sweating, swigging what looked like stale beer. She
tugged at Yang’s arm – pointing to a building that looked like an
ancient Chinese palace.
“An entertainment centre” said the Guide. with great passion ” Once
this city was the centre of culture in the whole world, the great
entertainment machine.” Hard to believe.
As Geeta and Yang stepped out of the Bus to take a small climb to what
the Guide promised was the proudest landmark of the City. Up the
hill, with a lot of grumbling kids, and into the area now overgrown
with forest and shrub. There the proud Guide showed them large
letters almost falling off their steel support. Yang spelled it out
H – OLL…Y – WO…O – D
“Did you know that the word Bollywood was coined from this City ?’
said the Guide proudly.
‘Dont be silly” said Yang to the Guide. Mouth pouting in disadain.
All the children giggled. They found the Guide so funny.
Geeta felt sorry for the Guide. It’s like the myth that the word
Boogle came from an ancient site called Google.
© Shekhar Kapur

7 thoughts on “The Trip

  1. Dear Shekhar Kapur,
    TiE – Bangalore announced 2 days ago the talk to be given by you on 20th this month. I was blogging ( about it, and to link to an online id to you I googled to get your home page or some relevant news article and there I stumbled across your blog. I was very pleasantly surprised to see you blog, I knew long ago that blogging has gone mainstream but it was still a surprise to see you blog.
    I went through your posts and I must say they are very intriguing. I don’t claim to be a fan of yours, because since long long ago I stopped watching hindi movies [so I am out of touch] and also I haven’t watched any of your movies ( will watch them someday). But I do certainly know(who would’nt) that you are an internationally acclaimed filmmaker and a good thinker( your posts confirm those).
    The theme that you are going to talk about is of quite interest to me ( technology & movies ). I think about it now & then , it is highly interesting for me to note as to why there is innovation in Indian movies, why there are no Pixars, ILM here in India to help a lot of innovation happen. Why there is no embracement of technology at all in many aspects in the film industry.
    I attend TiE events regularly,will attend this one too. As you had said in one of your posts that wherever you go , there is so much media & crowd and I am sure it will here be also so I can safely rule out the possibility of touchbasing up with you in general when you are here, but I am definitely looking forward to listen to your talk. I hope that it will give me more fodder for thought and it can give me points that I can brainstorm with friends whom I think have the talent[technology](maybe not the courage) to build a pixar / ILM or a bollywoodstockexchange in their garage 🙂
    Some more thots from me
    Your real world fame would get you lot of link love here in the blogosphere, but I hope that you will be using this as a medium of conversation ( rather than just a medium of one sided communication). Other star blogs that i have seen ( aamir khans blog[] & bipashu basu[] ) are just plain marketing gimmick. It is as a medium of conversation blogs is great, sooner the gimmicks would realize that it will back fire.
    If you would like to read just one primer on how to blog , I would suggest you pick up a copy of seth godin’s free e-book( Who’s there) on how to build a great viral blog. For a few days it is free for download (, in case you are not able to download it, I have copy I can mail it to you.(It is released under creative commons and perfectly legal to share :))
    You mentioned that you are slowly adopting technology, if you think you need any assistance there I will be glad to help. I know a little bit about technology and I try to stay ahead the curve( pre-adopters/sneezers).
    Eagerly waiting for 20th september to come 🙂
    Good luck on your blogging.

  2. Dear Mr. Kapur,
    this 1 is a beautiful story. haven’t read something like this since O.Henry’s work. you have a vivid imagination, but for all i know is it may come true.
    u r a strange blend of realism with futuristic predictions.. or simply ‘now in future’ …
    very observant i must say.
    Good Luck,

  3. hi,
    mr. shekhar kapur,
    when first time i read youre interview in times of india i am surprised by your view about leck of crevity in western world becouse it’s my believe that western world society is so much librate which provide people of those country to generate some of great epic,building, painting,scienctific and cretivity genious remark’s on world history.

  4. great debate y day at the BBC show,Indians do read your blog! Its so correct India and IP are far apart.The big software cos have done a disservice here,positioning us as a nation of coders! the R n D spends are pathetic in a telecom co..painfully apparent

  5. Honourable Shekhar Jee ,
    Namaskar !
    Wish you a very auspicious Deepavali . May all your efforts for bettering the world fructify . Bhagwati Laxmi and Bhagwan Ganesh are earnestly prayed for bestowing their most divine grace upon you and to grant you the inspiration for changing your socio-economic orientation from SAMPATTI to SAMPADA so that you may lead a perfectly peaceful and prosperous life . Please have the most scintilating Deepavali this year illuminating your world in the most spectacular way.
    Bibek Kumar Anand
    Convener “SAMPADA”
    E-mail Ids –

  6. Janab,
    shekhar sahab,
    Kaise hain aap ek lambe arse bad aap ko
    surqiyaun{haed lines}me dekh rahai hain.Hamen
    aap phir yad aagai hain,isi liye maine sucha
    kiyun na aap se bhi baat ki jai.Ji han aajphir
    ek bar sari dunya saal me kam se kam ek achchi
    film dekhna chhati hai,aap jaisa directer ye
    ye baat achchi tarha janta hai ki achchi film
    banane ke liye achchi story,screenplay aur
    shandar dailougs ki zarorat hoti hai.
    Mai ek URDU WRITER hon aur achchi film
    banane me mai aap ki madad ker sakti hon,mera
    phon no,9959062425 hai agar aap meri baat se
    ettefaq rakte hon to,ek bar mera kaam zaror
    dekh lijiye baqi faisla to aap ka hi hoga.
    Mere kaam ke bare me main sirf itna bool
    sakti hon ke ye honar mujhe GOD GIFT hai,
    INSHAALLAH aap ko mayosi nahi hogi.

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