So, as most of you know (or should know by this point), I am a little bit of a Bollywood* junkie. So much so that a few days ago one of my friends informed me that one of India’s largest film production company’s was searching for a fresh new face and my stomach doubled over with excitement. This is my break. Naturally, my dad shot the idea down so fast and went on that whole “have you seen the filth in those movies”. I’m assuming by “filth” he means that on-screen kisses are now common in Hindi films.
Regardless, in effort to make myself feel a tad bit better about my now dead dreams, I have decided to write this post.
The differences between Bollywood and real life.
The concept of time is highly skewed in all Hindi films. You’re probably thinking, yeah K, obviously, it’s a story condensed into a measly three hours (joke because three hours is NOT measly. Honestly, try telling that to the six year old being forced to sit through Jodhaa Akbar). Yeah, I get that but that’s not what I mean. In Hindi movies characters fall in love at first sight. No not like a general intrigue or a damn, that girl is on fire…actual “Hello madam, I love you” love. And this “love” usually ends up lasting a lifetime. HA. Okay. School days last for the duration of one four minute song, and going from post-shower, wet hair, to hair extensions in and perfectly blowing in the “natural wind” takes a solid one and a half minutes. So it’s no wonder why the typical nine to five seems like a total drag and that my bicep hurts after twenty minutes with a blow dryer.
Song and dance
One of the most disappointing things about growing up on Bollywood is realizing that real people don’t sing and dance. Like excuse me, but I was brought up to believe that when I had my first crush we would spend days and days together running through fields in different outfits expressing our inability to sleep (oh because it is common in Bollywood for characters to become insomniacs when they’re in love) to one another. Instead? Instead I had to sit at the dining room table doing my Kumon (by doing I mean opening the answer booklet and copying down the answers…I mean really…why would you ever trust a kid with an answer booklet?) and wondering if my crush would still be on AIM when I was done. Most days he wasn’t.
Boys and Love
There is just too much to say, I may have to break this down even further.
In Hindi movies both guys and girls only have one category of idle thinking…love. In reality, while I am over here daydreaming about love, the guy I’m thinking about is daydreaming about motorcycles, brewing beer, and awesome facial hair. AREYOUSERIOUS?
2. The romantic late night scene
You know that scene that Shakespeare invented? The classic girl on the balcony, guy in the garden scene? Yeah, Bollywood stole that shit and reinvented it at least 200 times. So naturally here I am expecting that…or at least a nice goodnight phone call (talk about low maintenance right?). Instead? On a good day maybe us ladies will receive a “Goin to bed, night”. Oh really? Because Ram snuck into Leela’s bedroom to share forbidden pillow talk and you say “goin to bed”? You don’t even care enough to add the last G? What the…
3. In reality boys are a lot shorter, probably because they can’t get away with wearing man high-heels.
In Bollywood the male lead will pretty much harass and stalk the girl until she’s like “okay, yay, I love you too!”. So imagine the surprise of Indian girls all over when their first crush confesses his love for her, she plays hard to get, and then the next day he’s dating some other sixth grader who’s already had braces. Yo, you’re supposed to court me for at least 2 months. And by court I mean get a group of guys and trail behind me singing songs until I give in.
Raj from DDLJ got his ass handed to him by a bunch of random Punjabi men at a train station when he refused to leave town without the love of his life, Simran. And you are just going to let that random drunk guy hit on me? Not only are you going to let it happen, you’re just going to laugh and walk to the bar and get a drink? YES I can take care of myself but chivalry was never meant to die.
As you can tell from the above story in #5, trains are sort of a big deal in Bollywood. Raj and Simran. Aditya and Geet. Kabir and Naina. As a Chicagoan, I take the L like…multiple times a day. And I have been doing so for the past four years. And the only remotely romantic thing that has happened to me on the train is when R and I caught a glimpse of each other as the doors were closing. R ended up on a different car than I did, so at the next stop with both ran to one another and met on the car in between and hugged in victory. R is one of my best friends…and a girl. Other than that it’s very much just creepy people saying creepy things to you or to themselves which is even creepier.
In a strange twist of fate, this post has not made me feel any better about my dead Bollywood dreams. In fact, it has somehow made me love Bollywood even more. I guess I am that brainwashed by Indian cinema. Sigh.
* Bollywood is India’s film industry. It happens to be the largest film industry in the world, bringing in about…well I don’t know because my Internet is being really slow. But it brings in a lot of money and Bollywood actors and actresses are essentially royalty. Each film is roughly between 2.5-4 hours long and almost every movie has a few songs sprinkled into the storyline. It is easily the best past time ever.