Changes between Version 3 and Version 4 of Rebellious Tapori by Ranjani Mazumdar


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  • Rebellious Tapori by Ranjani Mazumdar

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    66If a simmering rage drove the “angry man” and the “psychotic” in their explorations of the city, then the tapori (vagabond) speaks to a structure of feeling strongly rooted in the hybrid cultures of Bombay’s multilingual and regional diversity. Performance and performative gestures are crucial to the tapori’s agency. This performance deploys sharp street humor and an everyday street language, in addition to a deep skepticism toward power and wealth. Using the popular Bambayya language as his weapon against an unequal world, the tapori creates a space through insubordi- nation that endows him with a certain dignity in the cinematic city. Drawing attention to the self through linguistic and stylistic perfor- mances, the tapori creates a space where control is possible. Deploying an irreverent masculinity that contrasts with the dominating male pres- ence of the “angry man” era,1 the tapori stands at the intersection of morality and evil, between the legal and the illegal, between the world of those with work and those without work. Lacking a home but long- ing for a family, the tapori occupies the middle space between the crisis of urban life and the simultaneous yearning for stability. Part small-time street hood and part social conscience of the neighborhood, the tapori embodies a fragile masculinity that is narrated through a series of en- counters with the upper class and the figure of the woman. In perform- ing and depicting marginal figures whose narrative predicaments seem to mirror their psychological states of marginality, we see a verbal and social alienation expressed in the tapori’s performance. This alienation is countered through style and gesture to both shock and play with the signs of the everyday. 
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    79The tapori’s hybrid speech creates the possibility of transcending vari- ous other identities. It is important to stress this point because the Hindi film hero typically tends to be a North Indian figure. Scriptwriter Javed Akhtar sees Hindi cinema as “another state within India” that does not need to be located or defined specifically as a region (cited in Kabir, 53). He does, however, acknowledge that the “usual Hindi screen hero is a North Indian, perhaps a Delhi Haryana U.P mixture” (cited in Kabir, 53). At the same time, Akhtar reiterates that the hero is “from everywhere and from nowhere” (cited in Kabir, 54). This contradiction in Akhtar’s perception about the Bombay film hero is revealing. Whatever the dif- ferent inflections may be, Hindi cinema has by and large retained the visual, emotional, and cultural iconography of a broad-based North Indian experience. It would be difficult to try and establish this as other- wise. What I propose to show in this chapter is a “field of tension” within Bombay that provokes us to think through the image of the tapori—a figure whose performance has the potential to destabilize the “North Indianness” of the hero — as an ensemble of sounds, signs, phrases, and gestures. Performativity and style operate here to create a rebellious figure of the street. This is a formulation based on the different ways in which the tapori’s imagination has emerged out of a complex web of linguistic, spatial, and imaginary journeys. 
    810Language, the Film Industry, and the Rise of Bambayya 
     
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    1315The Bombay film industry was born in the shadow of linguistic con- flict that carried on well into the twentieth century. The silent era did not have to deal with the language issue. It was only with the birth of the talkies in 1931 that language became central to the imagination of the Bombay film industry.3 While catering to large sections of the population in North India, the industry was located in the capital city (Bombay) of a non-Hindi-speaking region (the state of Maharashtra). What is inter- esting is the decision of the film industry to use Urdu/Hindustani as the language of Bombay cinema. This is all the more remarkable in the face of the entrenched position taken by Hindi-language elites, who advo- cated a Sanskritized rendering in opposition to Urdu. 
    14 Alok Rai suggests a rural-urban division in the language debate. The Persian stream was represented by urban Muslims, professionals, and Kayasths. The Nagari stream was more rural, but it represented a signifi- cant proportion of upper-caste Hindus, including Brahmins, Banias, and Thakurs (Rai, 255). This rural-urban split may have been decisive in the industry’s decision to favor Urdu. Urdu was the language favored by urban poets and writers, many of whom joined the film industry. The predominance of Urdu/Hindustani in the industry is now an undisputed and acknowledged fact and can be traced to a number of reasons aside from the rural-urban split. In an interesting foray into the linguistic roots of Hindi cinema, Mukul Kesavan suggests that the melodramatic nature of the Hindi film form could best be captured through “Urdu’s ability to find sonorous words for inflated emotion” (249). Javed Akhtar traces the connection between Urdu and the film industry to the pre- cinematic urban cultural form of Urdu Parsi Theater. These theaters were owned by Parsis living in Bombay. The early Parsi theater created a certain style that combined drama, comedy, and song (Kabir, 50). Akhtar says: 
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     18Alok Rai suggests a rural-urban division in the language debate. The Persian stream was represented by urban Muslims, professionals, and Kayasths. The Nagari stream was more rural, but it represented a signifi- cant proportion of upper-caste Hindus, including Brahmins, Banias, and Thakurs (Rai, 255). This rural-urban split may have been decisive in the industry’s decision to favor Urdu. Urdu was the language favored by urban poets and writers, many of whom joined the film industry. The predominance of Urdu/Hindustani in the industry is now an undisputed and acknowledged fact and can be traced to a number of reasons aside from the rural-urban split. In an interesting foray into the linguistic roots of Hindi cinema, Mukul Kesavan suggests that the melodramatic nature of the Hindi film form could best be captured through “Urdu’s ability to find sonorous words for inflated emotion” (249). Javed Akhtar traces the connection between Urdu and the film industry to the pre- cinematic urban cultural form of Urdu Parsi Theater. These theaters were owned by Parsis living in Bombay. The early Parsi theater created a certain style that combined drama, comedy, and song (Kabir, 50).  
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     20Akhtar says: 
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    1523The Indian Talkie inherited its basic structure from Urdu Parsi Theatre and so the talkies started with Urdu. Even the New Theatres in Calcutta, used Urdu writers. You see, Urdu was the lingua franca of urban north- ern India before partition, and was understood by most people. And it was—and—still is—an extremely sophisticated language capable of portraying all kinds of emotion and drama. (cited in Kabir, 50) 
    1624Urdu was definitely the most important language for the Hindi film industry. Urdu’s accessibility for a huge mass of the North Indian urban population made it appropriate for the film industry to adopt it. The 
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    172744 The Rebellious Tapori 
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    1830presence of many writers who wrote in Urdu was the other reason for the popularity of the language in the industry.4 The use of a poetic, highly cultivated and developed language was thus accepted by the industry and by the audiences that patronized the cinema. Even when filmmakers made the effort to address the streets of the city, the characters retained this poetic language (as in the film Kismet, 1943 ). Urdu’s survival in the film industry is not only remarkable but was possible because of the in- dustry’s location. It is this very location that has allowed for significant innovations in the image of the tapori, who speaks a peculiar, hybrid Hindi called Bambayya. 
    1931In a city of migrants, where new migrants meet old ones, language tends to acquire a life of its own. The context of a powerful Hindi film industry that emerged in a Marathi-speaking state has made Bombay’s relationship to language fascinating. In the image of the tapori, we see both the performativity of a hybrid city and the language of its multi- lingual rough streets. In his use of the Bambayya language, the tapori represents both the specificity of and the conflictual nature of the city. Through his linguistic performance, the tapori shifts the course of a well- defined language system. What is interesting is that the tapori’s language embodies a polyglot culture that does not fix itself within a traditional Hindi-Urdu conflict, but rather enters a space where a multilingual street culture inflected with diverse regional accents can be captured. The first film to popularize the Bambayya language was Amar Akbar Anthony (popularly known as AAA, Manmohan Desai, 1977),5 which featured Amitabh Bachchan in the role of a small-time (Christian) bootlegger. 
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    2034The spoken language of Bombay cinema has over the years been con- sidered dynamic and cosmopolitan, speaking as it does to a wide audi- ence in a multilingual country like India. As stated earlier, the arrival of the talkies first put pressure on the film industry to evolve a language (Hindi) for a wide audience. Amrit Ganghar says: 
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    2137The question to be resolved was: what kind of Hindi? Sanskritized? Persianized? Or low-brow Hindi? In the event the cinema developed a Bazaar Hindi of its own called Bambayya, which is widely understood throughout the country. (233) 
    2238The reference to the Bambayya language here seems a little out of place. In the early years, the film industry used a cultivated Urdu. Bambayya as a language inflected with the resonance of multiple tongues was clearly 
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    2444identified with the Bombay streets. It was used neither by the elite nor by the middle class. The bulk of the people who used this language be- longed to the working classes. It was not a language that could be easily heard in cinema. Sometimes comedians and other peripheral figures would use this language (for example, Johny Walker as Abdul Sattar in Pyasa, 1957); the hero, however, continued to speak the more “civilized” Hindustani. 
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    2547In films made prior to the 1970s, the presence of migration from rural India into the city was marked explicitly by dress codes and speech. Depictions of rural presence in urban life had to rely on the use of dialects like Brajbhasha and Avadhi, which not only marked the figure as a rural migrant in the city, but also metaphorically presented “rurality” as the imagination of the street (for example, in the films Ram Aur Shyam, 1967, and Don, 1978). Rural dialects could be contrasted with the more cultivated and sophisticated Hindustani. The everyday space of the street was therefore clearly seen as the imagined space of the village. In Raj Kapoor’s Shri 420 (1955), the song “Ramayya Vasta Vayya” generates an imagined universe of the village as a counterspace to the harshness of the city. The community of rural people singing collectively represents the “good city” as they invite the protagonist Raj to join them and identify with their communitarian spirit. The tapori is, however, marked as an ordinary man of Bombay whose language emerges out of a polyglot city- street culture that is entirely urban. The lack of sophistication and street speech is not introduced through village dialects as in earlier films, but through a combination of English, Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, and various other linguistic resonances. While retaining an overall Hindustani speech, the tapori’s linguistic turns and phrases evoke a new imagina- tion of the street, wherein the urban identity of a multilingual Bombay street culture gets constituted and reinfused with cinematic iconicity. 
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    2650It is difficult to trace how the Bambayya language actually emerged. Scriptwriter Sanjay Chel, who coauthored the script for Rangeela, offers an explanation based on a sense of the street and the nature of Bom- bay’s hybridity. Chel says: 
    2751People come here from all over India with their languages like Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali. All these languages merge to form a unique language of survival in the city, to stubbornly fight for existence in the city. This language is understood by all. This is a language of the street with its own texture. It may not be grammatical, but this Bambayya language 
     
    2953is hard hitting and satirical. (interviewed in Mazumdar and Jhingan, 
    3054“The Tapori as Street Rebel”) 
    31 Chel’s assertion about Bambayya’s ability to contest the power of a uni- tary language, drawing on the experiences of the city, has interesting possibilities. 
    32 Mikhail Bakhtin has argued that language is densely saturated with the concrete experiences of history. Language is a contested site, a space within which “differently oriented social accents as diverse ‘sociolinguistic consciousness’ fight it out on the terrain of language” (Stam, 8). Since language exists within an unequal regime of power, its uni-accentual drive is constantly challenged by the multiaccentual presence of the oppressed. Language is deeply implicated in a politics of the everyday, whereby it becomes imperative to recognize the different ways in which “Politics and language intersect in the form of attitudes, of talking down to or looking up to, of patronizing, respecting, ignoring, support- ing, misinterpreting” (Stam, 9). Clearly, attitudes, expressions, and ges- tures have a unique relationship to language. It is in this combined ter- rain that power is both constituted and challenged. 
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     57Chel’s assertion about Bambayya’s ability to contest the power of a uni- tary language, drawing on the experiences of the city, has interesting possibilities. Mikhail Bakhtin has argued that language is densely saturated with the concrete experiences of history. Language is a contested site, a space within which “differently oriented social accents as diverse ‘sociolinguistic consciousness’ fight it out on the terrain of language” (Stam, 8). Since language exists within an unequal regime of power, its uni-accentual drive is constantly challenged by the multiaccentual presence of the oppressed. Language is deeply implicated in a politics of the everyday, whereby it becomes imperative to recognize the different ways in which “Politics and language intersect in the form of attitudes, of talking down to or looking up to, of patronizing, respecting, ignoring, support- ing, misinterpreting” (Stam, 9). Clearly, attitudes, expressions, and ges- tures have a unique relationship to language. It is in this combined ter- rain that power is both constituted and challenged. 
    3358Like Bakhtin, Michel de Certeau invokes the image of the “ordinary man” as a figure through whom the “vanity” of writing encounters the “vulgarity” of language (1988, 2). Both Bakhtin and de Certeau are inter- ested in the tensions that enable the anonymous figure or ordinary man the possibility of dislodging the vanity of elite linguistic formations. In aural terms, this tension becomes striking when one deals with the spo- ken language of ordinary people in a communicative and visual medium like the cinema. The tapori is the cinematic figure whose language defies the pure and moral absolutism of other heroes. Emerging in a city that is crisscrossed not only by the differences of class and caste but also by that of region and language, the tapori’s Bambayya speech becomes a nonlanguage, defying linguistic purity through a performatively charged acknowledgment of the everyday.6 To trace the specifically local dimen- sion of the image, we need to understand the cultural imagination of the “Bombay experience.” 
    34 The “Bombay Experience” and the Street 
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     61'''The “Bombay Experience” and the Street 
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    3564Writers, architects, and poets have tried to represent Bombay’s diversity and its brutal contrasts in imaginative ways. The most persistent image 
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    3666The Rebellious Tapori 47 
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    3769of Bombay is the cheek-by-jowl coexistence of skyscrapers and slums, each inhabiting a different experience and world (Kudchedkar, 127). Bombay exists “in one long line of array, as if on parade before the spec- tator” (Evenson, 168). Roshan Shahani looks at the representation of Bombay in the fiction of many writers to suggest the textual evolution of a multifaceted Bombay. Says Shahani, “to locate the narrative text in Bombay, is to textualize the complexity of its realities and to problematize the unrepresentative quality of a ‘typical’ Bombay Experience” (105). Bombay emerges here as an “imagined topos,” a fictionalized landscape of history and experience wherein the city’s diversity, contradictions, and paradoxes “defy any easy definition” (Shahani, 105). Bombay is also a city that showcases the world of glamour and glitter — a “seductive trap that seems to offer much to the upward bound but actually gives very little” (Alice Thorner, xxiii). At one level, the city appears like a “three- dimensional palimpsest” articulating the ambitious drives of a succes- sion of builders; at another level, it presents the city as a sea of slums belonging to the endless migrants in the city. 
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    3872This narrative of contrasts and compressed spaces has been central to the way Bombay has been imagined in literature and cinema and has informed the city’s cultural imagination throughout the twentieth cen- tury. The portrayal of Bombay’s affluence is exaggerated to highlight its darker and uglier side. For poet Nissim Ezekeil, Bombay “flowers into slums and skyscrapers” (cited in Patel and Thorner 1995, xix). For Marathi poet Patte Bapurao, the city appears like a stage of oppositions, such as the Taj Mahal Hotel and the workers’ chawls,7 speeding modern cars and helpless pedestrians (cited in Alice Thorner, xix). The popular song “Ye Hai Bombay Meri Jaan” (This is Bombay, my love) from the film CID (Raj Khosla, 1956) evokes a phenomenology of the city in which, in the midst of buildings, trains, factory mills, and the ubiquitous crowd, there exists a subculture of gambling, crime, and claustrophobia. This is a space purged of humanity; the crowd moves mercilessly, pushing aside those who cannot keep up with its pace. This diversity and plurality of experience, language, and class produces an acute sense of the city’s hybridity. To this, one can now add the rapid proliferation of high-tech products, visual images, and the simultaneous aestheticization and decline of the streets. 
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    3975Yet brutal contrasts combined with hope have also fueled the creative imagination. Referring to Sudhir Mishra’s film Dharavi, Amrit Ganghar 
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    407848 The Rebellious Tapori 
    41 suggests that the film’s objective is to capture the individual dreams of 
    42 its inhabitants: 
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     81suggests that the film’s objective is to capture the individual dreams of its inhabitants: 
    4382Each individual has a dream of making it rich: a dream fuelled both by the glitz and affluence of actual upperclass life in Bombay, and by popular cinematic fantasies in masala movies. (214) 
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    4485Bombay has been described by Gillian Tidal as “a mecca for incoming peoples, seeking work, seeking money, seeking life itself ” (cited in Con- lon, 91). Scriptwriter Khwaja Ahmad Abbas imagined Bombay as the space for constant struggle and hope: 
    4586Some tens of thousands come here to make their future. Some make it, others don’t. But the struggle goes on. That struggle is called Bombay. The struggle, the vitality, the hope, the aspiration to be something, anything, is called Bombay. (165) 
    4687In a recent essay, Gyan Prakash captures the lure of the dream city as something that has traveled through signs, gestures, and images. The de- sire to experience the offerings of the city circulates outside of Bombay, contributing profoundly to the creation of an imaginary city (Prakash 2006). 
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    4790Bombay is also part of a global chain like no other city in India. This is amplified in the visuals and sounds that circulate through the city. The circulation of an intertextual network of visual and aural signs makes contemporary urban landscapes into “culturescapes” (Olalquiaga). In the “culturescape,” temporal movement is represented in a pastiche com- bination of the here and the now, the past and the future, the global and the local. This supposedly nonrational configuration within the “culture- scape” points to the city’s inability to cater to the requirements of its growing population. Though not about Bombay, Olalquiaga’s descrip- tion is a dynamic aspect of urban life, a chaotic city, its hybridity visible in all aspects of life, its dreams circulating within the “ruins of moder- nity.” This hybridity can be neither romanticized nor rejected, for it cre- ates a uniquely specific topography. To wander in the streets of this diverse city as a “have-not”, and yet retain a sense of identity and be- longing is to create an imagined landscape of resistance. The space of this resistance belongs to the cinematic tapori. 
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    4893Writing on the culture of cities, Henri Lefebvre made a distinction between the different levels and dimensions that go into the reading of a city. The buzz of what actually takes place in the streets and squares con- 
    4994The Rebellious Tapori 49 
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    5097stitutes the “utterance” of the city. The language of the city, on the other hand, is made of “particularities specific to each city, which are expressed in discourses, gestures, clothing, in the inhabitants” (1996, 115). Seen in this context, the tapori is the cinematic articulation of a “Bombay expe- rience” whose body operates like a text that lends itself to multiple pur- poses. Sliding from ordinary humor to everyday resistance, the tapori emerges as a rebel who represents the vibrant “culturescape” of the street. 
    5198The historical importance of the street in Hindi cinema was dis- cussed in chapter 1. The changing function of the street alludes to differ- ent kinds of representational possibilities. In the post-independence period the street in cinema became an extension of the nation because it was the space that could transcend the regional boundaries that actu- ally divided different parts of the country. Madan Gopal Singh offers an interesting connection between the street and homelessness: 
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    52101Immediately after Independence, if we look at the popular forms of address, we have Chacha, we have Bapu, we have Sardar. So the idea of nation as extended family is very clearly entrenched. The street is seen 
    53102as an extension also of home and to the extent the person involved is actually celebrating the state of homelessness in a new order, where he is on one hand part of an extended family, on the other hand there is no specificity of space where he can be located. I think that paradox is very interesting. We are in the process of discovering where we would be at that time. This is a recurring theme in popular cinema in the 1950’s and Awara is a seminal film. (interviewed in Mazumdar and Jhingan, “Tapori as Street Rebel”) 
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    54105Abstracted from location and specificity, the street in Awara (Raj Kapoor, 1951) is invested with the power to locate and address anybody in the nation. The well-known 1950s song “Awara Hoon” from Awara shows Raj Kapoor (who acted in, as well as directed, the film) walking down a street singing. The location of the street is not specified as the song invokes a universe of images, transcending into an imagined space of the “national.” During the decade of the 1950s, cinema deployed differ- ent methods and metaphors to condense the nation in its images; the use of the street in Awara is clear evidence of that.8 In the tapori films (Rangeela, 1995; Ghulam, 1998), the metaphor of the “street” as “nation” transforms into the “street” as Bombay. The modern tapori emerges from the maze of Bombay’s streets using a unique language and gestures wherein performance becomes his sole identity. 
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    5510850 The Rebellious Tapori 
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    56111In an evocative look at Bombay through the eyes of a wandering 
    57112passerby, Marathi poet Narayan Surve writes: 
     
    67122I too move, but where? (cited in Kudchedkar, 149) 
    68123The “loafer” in Surve’s poem sees the magical, seductive appeal of neon lights and rich neighborhoods set against the expanse of slums. While desiring the pleasures of this elite world, the “loafer” rejects its authority, power, and hierarchy—these are the qualities of the cinematic tapori. The city may present itself as a glitzy, panoramic, seductive place, but for the ordinary man in the street, the panorama is a fiction. The walkers/ pedestrians in the street are people whose “bodies follow the thicks and thins of an urban ‘text’, they write without being able to read it” (de Certeau 1988, 93). These men pick up fragments from the sea of signifiers available to them in order to create their own stories. As the rebellious urban figure/body in the street, the tapori is a visual ensem- ble of floating gestures, movements, and expressions, both cinematic and non-cinematic. 
    69 Cinematic Intertextuality and Performance 
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     126'''Cinematic Intertextuality and Performance 
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    70129The creation of the tapori brought together many character types from both national and international cinema. There is a peculiar hybridity in the performance, the dress codes, and the character’s intentionality, which suggests that the tapori exists as a layered articulation of different character types. In a reflexive gesture, director Ram Gopal Varma9 alludes to this cinematic creation in his title sequence of Rangeela. Images of well-known film stars are placed alongside the credit track, combined with a sound track of chaotic city traffic. What we witness is a brief his- tory of the iconic figures of Bombay cinema. The nature of the sound 
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    71132The Rebellious Tapori 51 
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    72135track reveals an effort to make connections between the image and the city. The film’s opening is significant in its evocation of a cinematic world within the city. We are invited to participate and engage with another city icon of the cinema—the tapori. 
    73 The tapori emerged, like the “city boys” of Hollywood cinema, from the confluence of “performance, genre and ideology transmuted into popular entertainment.” (Sklar, xii). Robert Sklar’s exhaustive study of three actors (Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and John Garfield) pre- sents them as characters who represented “the teeming ethnic polyglot of the modern industrial city—especially New York” (xii). There are popular references to Bombay as the “New York of India,” which make the analogy with the tapori relevant. Film director Aziz Mirza describes the tapori as a highly urban phenomenon whose combined projection of cynicism and innocence makes the character attractive to audiences, thereby leading to the tapori’s emergence as an established figure in recent years. Mirza says: 
     136The tapori emerged, like the “city boys” of Hollywood cinema, from the confluence of “performance, genre and ideology transmuted into popular entertainment.” (Sklar, xii). Robert Sklar’s exhaustive study of three actors (Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and John Garfield) pre- sents them as characters who represented “the teeming ethnic polyglot of the modern industrial city—especially New York” (xii). There are popular references to Bombay as the “New York of India,” which make the analogy with the tapori relevant. Film director Aziz Mirza describes the tapori as a highly urban phenomenon whose combined projection of cynicism and innocence makes the character attractive to audiences, thereby leading to the tapori’s emergence as an established figure in recent years.  
     137 
     138Mirza says: 
    74139The term tapori by itself is urban and tapori is a character you can only get in Bombay beacause the very nature of the city, its cosmopolitanism makes the tapori use a language of his own, which is very Bambayya. Bombay is the only city besides New York, where you can get so many people of different cultures, different races from all areas of India who live together. So Bombay has developed a language of its own and the tapori is street smart. (interviewed in Mazumdar and Jhingan, “The Tapori as Street Rebel,” 1998) 
    75 The polyglot culture of New York City obviously resembles the multi- lingual diversity of Bombay. The intertextual current of signs can be seen in other visual characteristics of the tapori: the swagger; the attitude; the use of leather jackets, boots, jeans, and bikes; the leaning posture against the wall; and the forms of greeting in the street. These “bor- rowed” signs evoke the sensibility of many famous Hollywood rebel-male figures. Three well-known Hollywood actors — Montgomery Clift, Mar- lon Brando, and James Dean — have been described as “rebel males . . . torn between traditional and novel images of masculinity” (McCann, 28). The rebel male is seen as a figure whose “body is not unhinged from the mind as in the brute, it is the expression of self-hood, of the ability to originate ones actions” (28). Further “It is the democratic equivalent of Baudelaire’s dandy/flâneur.10 Its guiding myth is the myth of youth itself ” (28). 
     140The polyglot culture of New York City obviously resembles the multi- lingual diversity of Bombay. The intertextual current of signs can be seen in other visual characteristics of the tapori: the swagger; the attitude; the use of leather jackets, boots, jeans, and bikes; the leaning posture against the wall; and the forms of greeting in the street. These “bor- rowed” signs evoke the sensibility of many famous Hollywood rebel-male figures. Three well-known Hollywood actors — Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, and James Dean — have been described as “rebel males . . . torn between traditional and novel images of masculinity” (McCann, 28). The rebel male is seen as a figure whose “body is not unhinged from the mind as in the brute, it is the expression of self-hood, of the ability to originate ones actions” (28). Further “It is the democratic equivalent of Baudelaire’s dandy/flâneur.10 Its guiding myth is the myth of youth itself ” (28). 
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    7614352 The Rebellious Tapori 
    77144The tapori most certainly appears like the democratic equivalent of Baudelaire’s dandy. He shuns class, but desires and knows the elite world. Moving through spectacular city spaces and the city’s seamy underside, the tapori’s gaze is not that of distraction (a privilege of the dandy). Rather, the tapori masters his gaze to retain and assert his power and performative agency. Scriptwriter Sanjay Chel draws attention to this gaze of the tapori within the context of a new culture of globalization, wherein the experience of facing the humiliating aspects of inequality makes the returned gaze a defiant one: