I have come to the conslusion that there are few better ways of spending a rainy evening than watching three Hindi films on cable TV. The films, I must say, are far better than generally given credit for by people who do not see Hindi film or do not admit they see them.
Their basic them are uniform and simple: good always triumphs over evil, though it may be after 17 reels; the poor are happy, the rich unhappy, especially if the rich have acquired their wealth through dishonest means and are greedy to acquire more; when a woman is attached and is about to be raped, help, invariably arrives at the last moment, before the final act is committed; little children, whose fathers have been murdered, grow up to avenge their father's death and kill the murderer, generally in the same manner and style as their fathers had been murdered, with the same music playing in the background.
A police officer's son grown up to become a police officer, and the day he puts on his new uniform and set out for his risk day's work, he stands before the garlanded photogragh of his father and takes a vow, and his mother stands next to him with tears of joy in her eyes. If police officer has two sons, one becomes an officer and the other joins a gang of villains, though eventually he realises his mistak and joins his brother in fighting the villains and dies in the process.
Those who have been struck for various reasons, see again, and when the bandage is removed from their eyes after the modern miracle operation, realise that the nurse who had been looking after them all these years is the wife that why had discarded. Kothawalli women's have golden hearts and tell their young innocent coustomers: "Go home, don't come here." When 50 villains shoot at one hero, they all miss him, when one hero shoots at 50 villains, they all tumble like ninepins.
Most mothers, when they give birth, bear twins. Most twins get separated when they are babies, normally on nights of thunder and lighting, and grow up to be two deading men of the Hindi cinema. Eventually they recognise each other because of the lockets they are wearing. Blood is always thicker than water. Bad men live in large palaces in caves, with all sorts of gadgets, disco lights, tortune chambers. Bad men from foreign countries are normally called John or Joe and talk Hindi with the same accent that Anglo-Indian mail train drivers used to before they migrated to Australia.
Children are the blooming buds of India and the power and glory of the country's future. If a good woman goes to the temple, rings the bell, and prays, god descents with a flash of lighting and brings her presumed-to-be-dead husband back to the village. Every Hindu hero has a side-kick who is a Muslim. Catholics are either drunks or priests with wavy hair, who cross themselves and say: "God will bless you, my child." All Parsis are eccentric and are dressed in the clothes that their grandfathers used to wear.
There is more. But I will list that after seeing three more Hindi films on my cable TV tonight.