For the past 2 months, every conversation with any Brazilian I meet (be it someone in a museum or a coconut vendor or a taxi driver or just friends), it always begins in the same predictable way.
Brazilian: Da onde voce? (Where are you from?)
Me: Eu sou da India (I am from India)
Brazilian: (truly excited) Aaaaaaaahhhhh… Indiana…. Que legal…. Nos tenhemos uma novella Caminho das Indias… blah blah blah… (Aaaaaahhhhhh… Indian….. How cool…. We have a soap opera Caminho das Indias… blah blah…)
And this is the story of my life. Ive heard this line over a hundred times and now… and last week, I finally tuned into TV to watch a few episodes. Novella (as soap operas are called in Brazil) are dramatic, romantic and emotional…. an escape from reality, it is medicine to the overworked housewife… no different from the classic K series of India (For those who dont know what K series is, its soap operas from the famous Ekta Kapoor in India.. all the soap operas have names that begin with K.. Like Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi…. Kasauti zindagi ki…)
Coming back to Caminho das Indias, Imgine Ekta Kapoor making a Brazilian romantic drama in Hindi.. Caminho das Indias is the Brazilian version of the same (http://caminhodasindias.globo.com/). The story of a girl who obviously falls in love with a guy from a different caste with a romantic triangle angle to it as well…. (Most of the time, my task is to explain to the people the entire history of caste, scenario of arranged marriages, cultural nuances of not kissing in soap operas, movies in India, etc…)
With Portuguese actors all dressed in extremely jatak (gaudy) Indian clothes (looking thoroughly North Indian), speaking Portuguese, its a total riot. I laughed so much watching one episode. The episode was a wedding….. the background music that was playing in the wedding as they did the saath phere (sacred walk around the fire symbolifying marriage) was Kajra re (one of the most popular songs to play in dance bars in India). Its almost like playing Shakiras ‘Hips dont lie’ when someone is walking down the isle in a church.
In another scene, the heroine Maya (Juliana Paes) walked over to the buffet table and made eye contact with the hero Bahuan (Marcio Garcia) and trying to be Indian in all ways possible, they showed a dream sequence of them holding hands… not in person. It was hilarious.
I guess till I leave Brazil, Ill be subject to Caminho das Indias in some way or the other. Im seriously considering approaching the director for a small role, considering Im actually Indian. I dont mind playing an extra.
Guest Appearance: Aparna Shekar
TRPs up big time.