The main theme of the short story “Hollywood” by Bobby Nayyar is self-discovery through romantic attachments, supported by motifs such as frustration, cultural gaps, and art.
The story shows how even a brief romantic attachment can contribute to one’s development, as the protagonist gets the courage to admit his desire of becoming a poet and acts on it, thanks to meeting an Asian girl temporarily living in London.
Self-discovery through romantic attachments
“Hollywood” sets this theme in a modern context, as the two characters are ethnically different and meet in London (a marker of the globalised world we live in). Neither Tarsem nor Sae is ethnically British, as one is Indian and the other is Japanese. Furthermore, their romantic attachment is also modern, as the two of them never actually form a romantic relationship, but only have a brief affair. Even so, both of them undergo an eye-opening experience which helps them discover more about themselves.
Before meeting Sae, Tarsem is a fru...