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Streaming entertainment is one of the greatest privileges of the current generation. They are unaware of how difficult it was for people of my age and older to procure movies and music in the old days. We’d record, and re-record, and share, and save up, and cherish each cassette like a pot of gold. We were habituated to grainy, scratchy textures and spooling in wayward tapes. Our expectations were low.
Today, you get high-definition, high-production-quality, aesthetically and intellectually sophisticated movies and music at the touch of a button or the click of a mouse in the comfort of your home practically for free. This has not only raised the bar for audiences but also given producers a wider canvas for both stories and storytelling.
It has democratised the entry points so that a Falguni Shah in New York and a Bawari Basanti in Delhi can both be seen and heard in the same place. Our cover personality Rasika Dugal is as famous for her role of Safia in the Bollywood blockbuster Manto as in a nuanced role in the web series Mirzapur set in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh.
Creators and artistes are no longer just entertainers. They make us politically aware, socially sensitive and personally empowered. It is the digital revolution of the performing arts.