Bollywood diplomacy could well open a few doors, or so one would think, from the latest Sherlock Holmes movie being filmed in India.

An adaptation of creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sign of the Four, this film is filmed entirely in India and stars a British Diplomat, Simon Wilson.

The grapevine has it that Mr. Wilson is a thespian who started off as an advisor on Sherlock Holmes stories to Indian director Ashok Vishwanthan.

However, he ended up featuring in the movie as Sherlock Holmes.

Perhaps he took a leaf from the books of Peter O'Toole, Peter Cushing, and now Robert Downey Jr in the Guy Ritchie movie 'Sherlock Holmes' which starts filming early October.

Sherlock Holmes in Bollywood

In the movie, Holmes appears from the waters in true Bollywood style to the aid of Indian detective Prashant Saigal.

The violin-playing detective with his pipe and deerstalker hat then helps the protagonist sniff out clues and solve crimes in the bazaars, bylanes and tea gardens of India.

The movie stars veteran actor Victor Banerjee who played Dr. Aziz in "The Passage to India", and it is being filmed in Shillong in the North-east of India.

Ironically, Shillong is called the 'Scotland of the East.'

In this surreal adaptation, Wilson does a cameo as Holmes to help Indian actor solve crimes.

The Game's Afoot

From "The Study in Scarlet", to "The Valley of Fear" and "His Last Bow", Arthur Conan Doyle has written 56 short stories and 4 novels with Holmes as the central character.

Countless movies have been made in the UK, Japan, Russia, America and now in India.

Perhaps the most popular figure in the history of investigation, detectives the world over have been modelled after him.

But who inspires Holmes?

Interestingly, a professor at the University of Edinburgh triggered Holmes' imagination.

Sir Joseph Bell and Forensic Science

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle served as a clerk to Sir Bell in the later years of 1870s.

Bell would observe each character visiting him, and deduce their skills and occupation simply based on observation.

Holmes' observation skills are loosely based on Sir Joseph Bell.

Would the Victorian detective's techniques still come in handy in modern-day forensic science?

Mr. John Waine, who doubles as Dr. John Hamish Watson at the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street says, "Holmes’s skills and methods are helpful to the Metropolitan Police."

Sherlock Holmes, who kept his pipe in a Persian slipper and conducted complex chemical experiments, could let his observation skills do some talking at the next G20 summit.

About his success in winning over a global audience, we don't have an inkling of doubt.

Photo by Natasha Kesh
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Sherlock Ho(l)mes in on world audience

By: Natasha Kesh