The pull of popular culture is what is driving the current worldwide popularity of mobile phones. Owning a cool phone is considered the “in thing” and makes people feel that they “belong”. Popular culture is also the reason for the current popularity of certain fringe cultural outlets like world cinema or world music. It is not surprising that these two worlds – phones and world cinema – would meet and come up with a surprisingly new and fresh fad. Bollywood ringtones on your mobile phone.
For those who are as yet unfamiliar with the term, Bollywood is a term that has been given to the Hindi-language film industry in India. The term “ Bollywood ” is a mix of the names “Bombay” (which is the old name of Mumbai) and “Hollywood” the acknowledged center of the American film industry. The Indian film industry is one of the most robust in the world. It is considered as one of the most prolific in terms of the number of films released each year. It is also the number one when it comes to the total number of ticket sales.
The most unique (or most peculiar, depending on your personal taste) feature of Bollywood movies are the musical numbers incorporated into almost all movie offerings. This does not necessarily mean that Bollywood movies are all musicals. It is just that by tradition, a movie is not considered complete without a song and dance number. And unlike the typical musical, these numbers contain plot points and action that are not found in US-style musical. For most Indian moviegoers a movie that does not contain at least one song and dance number is considered incomplete and not worth the price of the ticket. Traditional Indian dance and music forms heavily influence these song and dance numbers. Even pop or modern songs and dances are injected with distinctively Indian elements that make them quite unique.
It is these unique Bollywood songs (also known as filmi music) that are gaining a renewed popularity as ringtones for mobile phones. There may be two major reasons for the growing popularity of Bollywood ringtones. First, Indian cinema is gaining a new level of international popularity in other countries. Film lovers are discovering that Bollywood films have merits that makes them so compelling to watch. Lovers of kitsch, on the other hand, find Bollywood movies fantastical enough that it captures their attention.
The second reason for the popularity may also be attributable to it being such a peculiar yet cheeky way of having a ringtone. A bollywood ringtone on a person’s phone may paint a picture of that person as a lover of film and / or a person who has a sense of humor and loves to bring something unusual to his phone.
Customizing your mobile phone’s ringtone with a Bollywood ringtone shows that you are a person that is both a lover of culture but not afraid to poke a little fun at yourself. These qualities may be the reason that Bollywood ringtones are becoming such a popular choice among people.
by Philip Nicosia