Bollywood is going pan-Indian. The Punjabi 'mundas' and 'kudis' - the staple of so many movies - are making way for Marathi 'mulgis' and Parsi 'dikras' as Hindi films roll out a tapestry showcasing the diversity that is India.
From Parsi and Marathi to Gujarati and Bengali, filmmakers are bringing diverse cultures to the Hindi film firmament. And the credit for this versatility goes to changing tastes and mindsets of the viewers.
Sujoy Ghosh's Kahaani is a case in point. Made in Hindi, it had a strong Bengali flavour and was also shot in Kolkata, appealing to audiences so much so that it earned Rs 75 crore -- almost 10 times more than its total cost of Rs 8 crore.
Lauding the new trend that he believes is a "great time for India cinema", said Ghosh: "We make films with themes we are familiar with. For me, it was easy to write about Bengali culture, as I am a Bengali. Thanks to the audience, they are allowing us to experiment."
Another small budget film, Vicky Donor, wove both Punjabi and Bengali cultures to show an interesting cultural contrast. And it worked.
A film's success is estimated on the basis of its box-office earnings and this Rs 5-crore project, made by director Shoojit Sircar on an unconventional theme of sperm donation, got the thumbs up from the viewers, earning Rs 45 crore.
It is a win-win situation for all - the viewer gets fresh stories to watch, directors are able to explore and experiment and producers are laughing all the way to the bank.
Said an excited Sircar: "This is a new trend, which is very fascinating; and the best part is that these films are accepted by the audience. I really appreciate this era.
This is a tribute to Indian cinema."