" Actors in 'The Life of Shiva' get ready for their scene ... "

T.V. Series : " The Life of Shiva "

At Film City, Bollywood's largest film studio, actors in a T.V. series, "The Life of Shiva," get ready for their scene.

The first time I went to Film City, I made the mistake of going there on a motorcycle. For an hour in stop-and-go traffic I inhaled many megacarbons of spewing truck exhaust. Film City was not what I expected. Despite the fact that India's film industry rivals Hollywood in sheer production, and that actors in Bollywood, as in Hollywood, are idolised and revered, Film City was not exactly Universal Studios. We pulled off the highway, bumped down a dirt road that led past shacks selling sodas and snacks, and arrived suddenly at the entrance to the studios. A handwritten sign next to the side of the road announced without fanfare that this was Film City.

A guard woke to attention when we sputtered up. I mentioned the name of a famous director I had been told was shooting a film, and the guard waved us on. The dirt road wound up past scrubby trees and groups of people sitting by the side of the road cooking over small fires. In the distance were hills and haze and housing projects. Once in a while, we would pass a film set being built or dismantled, workers constructing gold arches or tearing down orange turrets. Most of the time, the same set was used for a succession of films, until perhaps a car was blown up and then the next film would start a fresh set. We came upon the set at last, and without any previous introduction, I was allowed to photograph freely, even during the actual filming.


Further chapters of Bombay Bazaar:
images 1 - 11
images 12 - 22