Guest Post by Indian Author Summerita Rhayne
Hi Devika! Thank you for having me on your blog.
I think you have a very valid question here. The setting of a novel always has a big influence on the story. Why did Bollywood feature in this book?
My first response is, how could it not? But, upon reflection, I think I can pinpoint certain reasons which make the background a must for this book.
Is it inspired by a Bollywood movie? I’m a big fan of Bollywood, though also a big leg puller of the masala films. With all due - or undue (hope the directors are not listening!) respect for the spicy celluloid smashes, I can’t think of m(any) films which center completely on the romantic emotional arc of the protagonists, as this one does, not in recent times, anyway. If you can suggest any such movie, I’d be happy to hear of it.
Why this book was set in Bollywood goes back to my love of the Indian cinema. If we cast a look at the older classics, they are much more versatile and ranged in their type of protagonists. Similarly, Piya’s character is a complete antithesis of what heroines are supposed to be. I heard snatches of what celebrities experience and some of it ended up in the book, though never in the same way. For example, actresses often die lonely and un-cherished even though they are celebrated in their heyday. Piya feels a fear of being lonely that might spring from being on the same platform. That fear is one of her motivations to get married even when she has no intention of doing it as a successful heroine.
In no other field is the requirement to be competitive so urgent, because many times talent and looks are so intermixed in this industry, especially for women. That is again a battle that Piya faces. I must say the Indian leading ladies have broken the bar set for being skinny. We have many plump actors in recent releases. Age and marital status is also rapidly becoming a non-issue where certain female actors are concerned. Hope this trend continues.
The foremost reason for Piya being a Bollywood diva is that her character justifies that role. She’s faced the ups and downs of the cinematic world, but her own personal fears make her suspicious of emotional ties and she discovers that she has many lessons to learn before she can open her heart to love.