India: Bollywood or Bust!

After a big, late night out at Leopold’s bar for the World Cup Final, it was tougher than tough getting out of bed and ready to go at 8:00 am this morning. Somehow, Chris and I managed to do it, and by 9:00 am we were on a special “extras” bus and heading for the studio for the last day of filming for the much-anticipated “Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna”, or “Never Say Goodbye”. There were about twenty other foreigners on the bus with us, and we were all looking forward to our day with excitement.

We arrived at the film studio in northern Bombay around 11:00 am and were immediately whisked upstairs to wardrobe. All the other girls attacked the dress racks like animals, while I leaned my aching head against the wall, waiting for them to finish. Finally, as I tried to find a dress, the bossy and high-stress wardrobe guy threw me an ugly pink outfit and told me to get changed. Luckily, the dress did not fit, so I found another, more elegant dress. Well, as I was getting zipped into it, the zipper broke. Fantastic. Miraculously, I found a gorgeous dress hidden away on the rack, and squeezed myself into it. It seemed all the dresses were either super-tiny or super-huge.

Tiff’s transformation into drag queen. Posted by Picasa

I then sat down for makeup…what a disaster! I knew the makeup would be over the top because I would be under bright lights and on camera, but this was ridiculous. Our role as extras was to be in a formal party scene, so we girls were to wear formal gowns, heavy evening makeup, and fancy up-do’s. Well, I had the heavy makeup, allright…black eyes, red cheeks, and bright fuschia lipstick. It was scary stuff, especially considering I have hardly worn makeup at all these last six months. And the hair…they put in two hairpieces in my already thick hair and brushed the curls up into a bun on top of my head…frizzy is an understatement!

Future Bollywood Stars! Posted by Picasa

So after being rushed, rushed, rushed through wardrobe, hair, and makeupI was looking quite tragically glamourous…and then the waiting began. Chris (in his tux) and I sat around with the others, chatting and getting more bored by the passing minutes. We finally had a tasty, free lunch…I loaded up, and as I was sitting back, admiring how much I had eaten, I felt a pop in my back…yep, broke another zipper. God, I need this upcoming yoga class so much!!! So, holding the strapless dress up, I shamefully made my way back to wardrobe…this time I got really lucky and found a fabulous, never-worn beaded black dress in a secret closet, and thankfully this one fit perfectly! And then the waiting continued…

Chris is bored. Posted by Picasa

Basically, we all sat around for hours waiting in our formal gear, drinking chai and water, and talking…as I mentioned before, it was the final day of shooting for this huge Bollywood film, so they had the main actor in the studio with his final shots…it was taking forever. Finally, around 5:00 pm, they called us into the studio for our scene. I looked around for Chris, with no luck, before being frantically ushered onto the set. So our scene went something like this: Famous Indian actor on a stage facing the cameras and us, the extras, who made up his audience (our backs were to the cameras! Bummer!)…he’s giving a speech in English and Hindi…blah, blah, blah…then he says some stuff and we react…then he turns around to the “band” and says, “Hit it, boys!”…and we raise our false champagne glasses into the air and cheer. It took about ten minutes, then we were ushered back outside.

Tiffany is Bored. Posted by Picasa

I finally found Chris…he had gone off in search of a coffee and missed everything! Haha…anyway, we all went to dinner, only to be told that we probably would not finish until 10:00 pm. Well, not only were Chris and I exhausted, but we have a morning train to catch tomorrow, so we asked if we could leave early. They said only four people could go, so Chris and I, along with two Frenchies, said goodbye to everyone, and changed out of our formal frocks and hairstyles. We even got paid five-hundred rupees (about $10) for the day…not bad, especially for Chris who did not do a thing except wear a tuxedo and drink coffee. All in all, it was quite an experience, but not something I ever want to do again. And hey, maybe when “Never Say Goodbye” comes out on DVD, I might see the back of my frizzy head on screen!

Tomorrow Chris and I leave Bombay and head to Nasik, which will be our home for the next month as we put ourselves through an intense yoga teacher training course. We are very excited!

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