Bollywood and bonhomie

By Satarupa Bhattacharjya ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-07-04 08:37:38

Bollywood and bonhomie

Wang Xiaoying/China Daily

Indian movie makers look to compete for greater attention from Chinese audiences after a recent success

India-China relations have been on a seemingly positive footing lately.

The giant neighbors engaged in making a bit of history, with the opening of a new route through Nathu La Pass in the Tibet autonomous region, where some 38 Indians crossed over on June 22, on their way to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar - two of Hinduism's most revered sites.

The new passage, which can be used by Indian pilgrims from the summer through November, is in addition to the region's Lipulekh Pass that was opened in 1981. Dozens of Indians are likely to make the trip this year, according to a statement by the Indian embassy in Beijing.

Unrelated, a day before the Nathu La announcement, hundreds of Chinese rolled out their exercise mats at several public venues across the country - a few even on water - to participate in the first International Yoga Day, declared so by the United Nations at the behest of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier, an Indian newspaper reported from Washington that Beijing was one of the first world capitals to back New Delhi's proposal when it was first made last year.

Photos from elsewhere on June 21, also suggested yoga's popularity among other nationalities.

But back in China, the un-catch 22 situation (a mere coincidence of the number), further unfolded: Hindi fantasy flick PK hit the mainland on May 22, becoming the highest-grossing Indian movie in Chinese box-office history. At the end of its monthlong stay, PK made 118 million yuan (around $19.2 million).

It started with 4,600 screens in China.

PK is about an alien's visit to Earth and his struggles with humans and their quirks - chief among which is superstition.

The movie's lead actor Aamir Khan wore a blue Chinese knee-length shirt at a "success bash" in India in June. Chinese actor Jackie Chan had gifted him the shirt, Khan was quoted as telling Indian media. They are likely to appear together in Kung Fu Yoga, a future product of Indian and Chinese studios.

Khan's alien in PK, lands on a location popular with Hindi moviemakers - the Western Indian desert province of Rajasthan, rich in color and folk tradition, and once home to royalty. Audiences are later told that the initially bare-bodied, nameless alien is expected to do research on the planet and the species.

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