Pavlov’s dogs and the curse of making a good love story in India 

In his experiment, Pavlov used a bell as his neutral stimulus. Whenever he gave food to his dogs, he also rang a bell. After a number of repeats of this procedure, he tried the bell on its own. As you might expect, the bell on its own now caused an increase in salivation.”  


It’s been quite a while since that scene in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain. That scene in which there’s this boy. This boy who, well, he counts stars.. Or something. Not many would disagree that it would quite simply be an easier task to do that than to count the amount of love stories that have been made in India and those that are being manufactured, as you read this. Dibakar Banerjee once said, “The number of friends you have is inversely proportional to the depth of the relationship you share with them.” What would this mean? It would mean a lot of things. One of those things would include the attempt of trying to appeal to the masses and in the process of doing so, losing as much as you possibly can and still a whole lot of other things that could be considered as primary factors which add up to make a good film (Of course, with it’s few exceptions). By having a humungous and uncountable amount of love stories made in India, most of which forcefully try to appeal to the widest, there’s a definition for a love story that’s been conditioned into the minds of the largest section of the audiences. 


When this happens, audiences begin to expect the same thing over and over again. If there’s a change it has to be a slight one (with a compensation) or else, it will be a big “F*** you” to the makers who are trying to invade the love story territory. 


Try to differentiate between some (ALL) of the love stories Imran Khan has acted in. Ask yourself if you felt any different after any of those Brother Ki Dulhans and 

  I hate luv stories (heck no you don’t) ended. You never did. You enjoyed it and you cannot wait for the next one which will, as you hope, be the same thing again. 

Do not blame the makers

If you go to a cake shop and ask for the same pastry every evening, don’t blame the guy who’s making it for you. The ability to accept a different kind of a love story is always (obviously) in the minds of the audience. If you don’t want it, they won’t make any money out of it… Let alone 100-200 crores. 

Why the next 50 ‘different’ love stories have a great chance of having the Bombay Velvet fate

Say people begin to think:

IF we want to watch the same kind of film we just watched, in the same genre, with the same songs, the same action sequences, the same set up and mainly THE SAME CLIMAX, we could just watch the film we like, AGAIN. 

The capability of being able to achieve this seemingly impossible and mammoth task (by the look of things) is bound to decide the future of Bollywood in many ways. 


About Ronak Kamat

Writer, filmmaker, photographer. View all posts by Ronak Kamat

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