When Frank Sinatra crooned his love for New York, “I want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep…”, he couldn’t possibly know that India’s glam set would be joining in the chorus nearly 30 years later.
It is like Bollywood, the Indian fashion community and Indians in general suddenly just heard about this place called New York. Till yesterday, Switzerland was Bollywood’s favourite destination, but today they are heading for the Big Apple.
It all began with Dev Anand’s Love at Times Square which sank without a trace at the BO, but it kicked off the I love New York theme in Bollywood. Kal Ho Naa Ho saw Shah Rukh Khan sing his ditty with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, so did Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and even Sajid Nadiadwala’s Jaan-E-Mann.
And that is just the beginning, there are many others like Suneel Darshan, who has scheduled a shoot of Shaka Laka Boom Boom in New York in mid-October and Siddharth Anand who is busy doing the rounds of the NY mayor’s office to get clearance for Rani Mukherji, Saif Ali Khan-starrer Ta Ra Rum Pum.
Karan Johar, who directed Kabhi… and produced Kal… agreed, “The dichotomy makes New York an intriguing backdrop. Amidst its buzz and vibrancy lies loneliness and emptiness, which is very interesting.” Darshan believes New York is pretty much a virgin territory. “It has stunning locales which are still unexplored,” he said.
Rounding it all off is that unstoppable juggernaut of the travel business — the Indian tourist. Braving visa hurdles and terror threats, Indians are travelling to New York in sizeable numbers. “Last year, 200 tourists headed for New York and this year, it has already reached 175,” said a travel agent.
Indeed, Switzerland’s loss is New York’s gain.