Monday, August 16, 2010

Ghost in Glamour

In the scene
Look behind the scene - literally
“Local people believe a ghost lives here,” our tour guide stated on the way out of Film City, Mumbai. Film City is the hub of Bollywood movies and India TV soap. This is where glamor is captured in the camera.
Ghost in the world of glamor! Does it sound right?
Yes, local people are right. A ghost lives in the Film City and in other studios.
We saw it too.
A common scene in studio
Camera and crew capture beautiful girls, handsome guys, stylish dresses, opulence, luxury, decorated houses, expensive cars, and well behaved perfect lead characters for Bollywood cinema and Indian TV soap operas.
Look behind the scene. Dreadful working conditions, poor sanitation, long working hours, ghastly surroundings and pitiful treatment of meagerly paid crew members.
That is the living ghost in the world of glamor and glitz.


  1. Eye opener. Is this how Soaps are made? In such conditions?

  2. Yes Kiran. We were shocked too. I have more pictures. I took this pictures in July in our trip to Mumbai this year. I have more pictures.

  3. Very pathetic. What else can I say.

  4. Oh my!! I knew there were these sets which as extravagant and elaborate. And the surroundings were clean and sanitized. Didnt know it was like this!!! Pathetic. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This shooting is from a TV daily soap.
    Just an eye opener for outsiders... Mumbaites are well aware of these but then how it can be eradicated is another thing. *sigh*

    Good post, short & crisp... I have shared it in my reader too. :)

  6. Thanks for your lovely comment.
    Really unbelievable and quite surprising.

  7. Wow! what an eye-opener sad scenario.
    Thank you for sharing :)

  8. Good one again. Showing the other side of the India's soaps and cinema.


  9. Thats the case i guess everywhere in India...

    a bit busy thesedays so m not able to blog much...will get back to blogging very soon ...take care !! :))

  10. excellent post ya..u have exposed a serious msg in a short post..pats...

  11. When so much of money is spent in production why can't they spend a little more to keep the surroundings clean.

  12. great post
    thanks for the pic
    and showing reality

  13. This is so true. Most of the times its just outside beauty and cleanliness. No wonder we are so infection prone! Waste disposal is a serious issue in India. Thanks for sharing. :)

  14. hii

    i did not know that! are working conditions so degraded? even for the lead characters??

    ye to serial 'Pavitra rishta' ki Archna-manav hain

    My fav serial :)

  15. pathetic! we got used to these ghosts and never wanted to get rid of it.

  16. I know, once an extra did a role of a rich man throwing away the food as it wasnt according to his taste, wherea at that time in reality that actor couldnt have his food till in the evening he got money for the day.

  17. Our character is that of "chata hai" attitude.Why look at the working conditions only in the glamour world?One would see similar scene just ahead of the best buildings in town

  18. How True A.Its a ghost that hounds India in different forms...and we still look away believing that what's out of sight would be out of our life.
    Thanks for the thought provoking post!!!

  19. Hi!
    The living ghost- yes friend this ghost does haunt a lot of working circumstances in the nation which we are not aware of..but..then it ends here too, isnt it?

  20. as goes the saying that JO DIKHTA HAI WOH HOTA NAHIN HAI/.... All that glitters is not Gold..

    Pathetic conditions .. a thought provoking post .. nicely done ...

  21. The ugly truth behind the glitz and
    glamor of the dream world-
    truly a dream world which has no
    connection with the real world!

  22. I didn't know that Film City in Goregaon is a part of tourist place now...mostly you visited some small studio which is located on Ceiba-Geigy road. I have roamed around Filmcity during my school days.. entry was highly need internal connection to enter..It is one of the scenically blessed place of Mumbai...very beautiful with high-tech mountains,jungles.You need car and one full Day to take complete round around various studios and two main mountain helipads.

    I wonder how you missed all that greenary? It is true that working conditions are very hard in film industry..but Film city was very well managed...some scrap,debris of film sets are natural but not as seen in those pictures.

    Thanks for the back all my memories.

  23. Usha,

    Thanks for the comments. Filmcity entrance is still very green and hilly with woods. Entry is restricted and we paid $150 (yes $150) for an internal connection to take us there because that was one of the reason we went to Mumbai. It took us a day.

    It is not a regular tourist spot but we asked our hotel guys and they had this obscure brochure. He asked for 150$ and we did not really trust. But our reliable driver knew Mumbai very well and we trusted the driver. The guy had an internal connection in couple of studios and took us around there.

    Working condition, sanitation, debris, treatment of people...all bad. They may have high tech equipment but no respect for people working there.

    We really like Mumbai otherwise. It is an awesome place.

  24. hi ,i have another question...i see this serial usually and they have potrayed this family from the daily soap from a family of" middle class or chawl".May be they had this intention of shooting in that particular studio itself for having it natural for their daily soap?OR IS IT ALWAYS LIKE THIS? but anyways ..its a nice post..

  25. Raji,

    The picture you see on the bottom right (glasses) is not even anywhere close to shooting area. It was a common scene in the studio though.

    In the shoot area, the debris you see in the background is not part of the shot. The place is ALWAYS Like this.

    Nevertheless Usha and you have raised some questions, I will post some more pictures proving my point.

  26. well 'a'whats ur true name ? i can almost imagine how it is ,i agree that a studio could have been like that,aamchi mumbai . no arguements..:)

  27. Raji,

    Name:- The first letter of my first name is 'A' and hence I use it in the blog. In one of my recent post, my name appears. I don't know if you read that post or not.

    So that is riddle for you - expand 'A' from one my recent posts.

    One of my regular reader 'Nisha' lives in Mumbai. I am copying her comments here

    "This shooting is from a TV daily soap.
    Just an eye opener for outsiders... Mumbaites are well aware of these but then how it can be eradicated is another thing. *sigh*"

    It was practically my first trip to Mumbai and we really really liked is awesome place. (I am from Delhi and now I realize why people say Mumbai is much better than Delhi)