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Bollywood's in love with the guitar

From prop to prime accessory, the guitar has finally hit the right note, write Kabeer Sharma and Vajir Singh.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2006 17:23 IST

Shah Rukh Khan and son Aryan are taking guitar lessons, John Abraham has signed up for classes and Sushmita Sen took some basic lessons to strike the right note for Zindaggi Rocks. Bollywood is suddenly renewing its love affair with the sexiest string instrument of them all.

When American band Bread strummed Who draws the crowd and plays so loud, Baby it’s the guitar man..., they had never have imagined the guitar man or woman would suddenly become Bollywood’s latest protagonist of choice.

While there is a slew of recent films with the guitar somewhere in the foreground, the instrument has been around in Bollywood. And through the decades, whether in its classical acoustic shape or in its more aggressive electronic guise, it is always been the hero’s favourite prop — the only thing that changed was the music it made, from the hippy sound of the ’60s, to the slow rock of the ’70s to that indistinguishable lump from the ’80s and so on.

Sushmita Sen in a still from Zindaggi Rocks. 

The guitar is now a prime accessory for film stars both on and off the screen. Earlier this year, Vishal Bharadwaj’s


saw Viveik Oberoi playing a guitar and Saif Ali Khan’s strumming talents are being used to the hilt in ads. “The guitar is a stylish and a dynamic instrument with a lot of attitude. It’ll be in vogue in Bollywood as long as there is music,” says director Shirish Kunder, whose


has Salman in a rock star’s role. Next is John, who belts it out in Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar.

Maybe it’s James Mangold’s Walk the Line that has brought the guitar back into the spotlight or maybe it is just another Bollywood fad. Either way, there will be a lot of stringing on the silver screen this year.