Today, May 3rd, is Bollywood’s 100 year anniversary/birthday. I obviously love Bollywood films otherwise I would not have started this blog in the first place right? But it is more than just love you see, it is my passion. I have yet to meet someone who completely gets what this means. I finally found some friends who like Hindi movies and are always up to watching them with me. They know who the actors are and the songs that I am currently listening to on repeat. Still, they don’t watch the movies like I do. To most people a movie is a nice past time. It’s fun. They won’t be restless if they can’t go the first Friday and they don’t look for the cinematography or background music. To be honest I did not notice these things at first but as I grew older and as I watched more films this changed. When I watch a Bollywood film the colours, the dance, the music, the culture and so many other aspects make me feel a high I don’t think many people feel. I notice the choice of background music in a particular scene. I take note of the cinematography. I want to know who has written the screenplay, the story or the lyrics. If a movie or song is playing on the TV downstairs I can recognize it almost immediately. I know all the directors by name and by face. I recognize production companies and I know who heads them. I love watching interviews on the movie making process. I just love everything about them.
Recently, one of my classmates asked me what do you love about these Bollywood movies anyway? Why Bollywood? I found it difficult to give an answer. I mean the standard answer is the song and dance, the romantic songs shot in the Swiss Alps, the chiffon sarees, the dancing in fields, etc. But then movies like Udaan, Barfi, Gangs of Wasseypur, Vicky Donor, Kai Po Che, Paan Singh Tomar, Delhi 6 came to my mind. These did not have the huge song and dance with a superstar grooving to catchy songs. Yet I knew in my gut these films are different from Hollywood films. But how? I told him that I love them because I can relate to them more. I get the references made in them because that is what my parents talk about at home or because I learned about them while watching NDTV with my parents. I get the moral dilemmas the protagonists face in them. I understood Sid’s dilemma in Wake up Sid. I too felt that confusion when I was figuring out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Ek Main Aur Ek Tu resonated with me because I too feel that parental pressure though no way near as severe. Indian parents are unique and these films showed how. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum taught me about the place parents are given in Indian culture. I love my parents just like Shahrukh’s character Rahul does. Hum Saath Saath Hain made me wish I had a family so close knit. Delhi 6, Kai Po Che and even Mausam were commentaries on communalism and it shaped my outlook on Indian politics. Taare Zameen Par and Barfi helped me understand the world of differently abled people. There is a film called Gippi releasing next Friday that basically is the story of my life. A chubby, unpopular girl who is unusually close to her brother and mother and struggles to fit in. I even ran for Vice President and she is running for Head Girl! In the trailer she participates in hotdog hugs and erupts into dance with her mom just like me! Watching the trailer I thought to myself “Is this based off my life?!”.
Basically Bollywood is my passion. I could write at least a twenty page paper on why I love it. I could cite a hundred films that shaped the person I am today. Unfortunately I have time constraints and you probably don’t want to read twenty pages so all I will say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOLLYWOOD, YOU ARE A HUNDRED AND STILL LOOKING GOOD!