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Storytelling in World CinemasContexts$
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Lina Khatib

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231163378

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231163378.001.0001

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Qissa and Popular Hindi Cinema

Qissa and Popular Hindi Cinema

Chapter:
(p.183) Qissa and Popular Hindi Cinema
Source:
Storytelling in World Cinemas
Author(s):

Anjali Gera Roy

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231163378.003.0015

This chapter examines the presence of the Persio-Arabic qissa (story) of Majnun Laila in Hindi cinema. Given that much of Hindu tradition is not focused on stories of romantic love, or in presenting a template for the idealised marital union through the figures of Rama and Sita in the epic Ramayana, the Persio-Arabic qissa has come to provide a template for the hero in Hindi films in the form of the infatuated Majnun, and the object of his desire in the garb of Laila — creating a sensual image of the Muslim female as a site of forbidden desire. As such, the qissa of Majnun Laila is used to disrupt the dharmic principle, with the lovers meeting a tragic end because of this, but the story has been reincarnated so many times in Hindi cinema that it shows the deep implication of the Islamic in the Hindu.

Keywords:   Hindi cinema, qissa, Majnun Laila, dharmic principle, Islam, Ramayana

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