Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ms. Black Bollywood or: How I Learned to Stop Trippin' and Love Indian Films

I never did explain how I feel into fascination with Indian pop culture…

As a schoolchild, I harbored a hidden curiosity about my few Indian classmates. They were brown like me but judging by their straight, shiny hair, and the fact that a couple of them didn’t realize that leaving your house ashy is NEVER okay, I knew they were definitely not “black.” I remember riding with a fellow debate team member as she partially apologized for the bhangra track she was pumping. “I love this song. It’s from this Indian film,” she explained. “It’s---you wouldn’t really understand.” That moment has stayed with me forever. My Hindi ain’t that good but try me. Then there was the lament of a Taiwanese collegemate about the beauty of Indian boys and their utter inaccessibility if for no other reason than graciousness because after college their parents were going to pair them off anyway…

Moving on…My interest was rekindled after meaning to see Monsoon Wedding, seeing Bend It Like Beckham and thinking, those were pretty good but they couldn’t be the real thing because my film production professor had said that the films were very long and when he went to the theater in India there was an intermission where people ate lunch they brought from home which was often curry chicken.

All that foolishness brings me to the point. My then boyfriend came across a film on Netflix called Dil Se which appeared to be rated highly. After browsing a bit and realizing that Sharukh guy was in 1 out of every 4 films, he knew he had found a star. One remarkably explosive ending later, I was on the hunt. I was babysitting for a Filipino friend whose husband is Indian and gave her a play-by-play of Dil Se. “Really? You liked that?” she asked. “I haven’t seen that one but we have Main Hoon Na, Mohabbatein," etc., etc. Score! “My mother-in-law really likes this one,” she said as she handed me Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. That is how I was introduced to my Bollywood Boyfriend Numero Uno and how I learned to stop trippin' and love Indian films.

8 comments:

square peg said...

Ha! I love your story. My Bollywood affliction is like a chronic illness with occasional flare-ups. It'll get really bad and I have to watch like 9 movies in a row, but then I'm all burnt out and can only watch hip indie American flicks. But I always come crawling back to Bollywood...

t.HYPE said...

It's kind of like that "Once you go black, you'll never go back" saying except for I can't think of an example that rhymes with Bollywood...

Anonymous said...

I love that scence from Monsoon Wedding. Everytime I watch the part from before, when he proposes to Alice, I cry. :P

I only own one Bollywood DVD (I borrow the rest)...Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam...have you seen it?

I want to see Dil Se.. and Main Hoon Na very, very much. Both times I was going to buy Main Hoon Na at the Indian grocery (twice), someone had it rented out (otherwise you can buy them).

What do you think of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham? I LOVE it, but some people seem to not really like it. My first was KKHH. We (my parents, and I) were visiting some new friends and they were talking about something to do with the husband's Indian upbringing. I was like "you....wouldn't have any...you probably don't but...do you have any BOLLYWOOD films?". - I'd watched a show featuring Bollywood clips every weekend for years. - They had like 20 films (though he hates them)...I was encouraged to borrow as many as I wanted...it was like wonderland-of-happiness or something. :D

Rachel
http://greatestjournal.com/users/lavender_ocean

Anonymous said...

I feel as if I have a fever or something. However, it is nice to know that so many others are experiencing the same thing. Ever since I was introduced to Bollywood films I cannot stop watching and ordering them. I love Shah Rukh Khan! I think he is an awesome actor who should be recognized on the same level of Tom Cruise world wide!

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Safi said...

I like Rani Well and have a complete collection of her...

patience said...

You remind me of me. I love bollywood movies so much. It started in childhood with nagin and yeh vaada raha, then I forgot about them for a while and in 2005 I watched Akshay Kumar in taalaash. I was taken I started searching for indian movies (Akki was my hero then) Then I watched Tumko na bhool Payenge with Salman Khan (my sister fell for him)
Then the greatest happened, I watched Kal ho na ho and Shahrukh khan stole my heart FOREVER! he is my jaan in bollywood and as for the ladies Rani is my number uno. Today I have over 100 Indian movies and understand hindi at least filmi hindi...hahaha...I dance bollywood dance music and I dont care what Hollywood movie releases! Jai Ho!!!