Dec 9, 2008

Lifestyle - 'After Kama Sutra, it is Bollywood and SRK in Poland'

Surender Bhutani

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is a favourite icon of Polish youth and all his films are lapped up eagerly in Poland. Now, a biography of the Indian actor has been translated in the Polish language and received very well.

Massive publicity has been given to film journalist Anupama Chopra's book "The King of Bollywood" throughout Poland.

Lifesized posters of Shah Rukh Khan with the book title, "King of Bollywood", have been displayed at the underground stations in Warsaw and all important places in big cities. Word of mouth publicity is also adding to the book's sales.

Shah Rukh's popularity among Polish youth began with "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" when it was released in January 2005 with Polish subtitles. It was the first megahit from Bollywood that enchanted the Polish people. Since then most of Shah Rukh's films have been superhits in Poland, whether it was "Dil Se", "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna" or the evergreen "Main Hoon Na".

To cash in on Shah Rukh's popularity, the most important newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, a few months ago started selling Bollywood films along with its weekly edition at throwaway prices to boost sales.

"The name of Shah Rukh has become a common home name. The profile of India has gained many notches in the Polish psyche. It is a sheer phenomenon if not anything else," said Piotr Klodkowski, ambassador-designate to India and a wellknown Indologist, while addressing the Warsaw Rotary Club.

"To my mind after Kama Sutra it is Bollywood and Shah Rukh which have given tremendous popularity to India over the past several decades," said Klodkowski.

"The Bollywood popularity has given new dimensions to Indian culture," added Janusz Krzyzowski, president of the India-Polish Cultural Committee. "When we organise any classical dance recital or musical programme, people feel more attracted and our programmes are more appreciated by the audience."

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