The Who, Why, Where, and What

Hello and welcome! This blog is my humble tribute to the Hindi films, which I absolutely love.

Please note the definition of 'Bollywood' I choose to operate with: The Hindi motion-picture industry of India, based in Bombay. This means I do not exclude realist or arthouse cinema (and there's a case to be made for this either way, beyond the scope of this discussion). Diversity -- of narrative styles, for example -- in film consumption motivates me most. So as long as it is a film in Hindi, it is fair game for discussion here.

No matter how thoughtful or thought-provoking, a film review (by any fan or critic) conceived and written over a few hours at most, cannot do justice to the amount of effort required to make even the most ordinary of films. All art is subjective, and films are no different. The diversity of impact to diverse audiences makes film and film appreciation complex, fun, meaningful, and insightful. It is with this understanding that I hope to share my perspectives on movies. (Discussions on plots are done more extensively and much better elsewhere.)

'Meaningful' and 'insightful' are good words to describe my love of Hindi film. I was born in Bombay in the early 1980s, and raised in four countries across three continents before moving to the United States. (I'm now in Los Angeles, California.) Being away from India for most of my life, I appreciate how Hindi films have facilitated my staying in touch with Indian culture.

My favorite actor is Aamir Khan and my favorite film Lagaan (2001). My goal is to have discussed each of Aamir's films. A list of all films discussed is available on the Movie Reviews page. I also enjoy watching films starring Amitabh Bachchan, Guru Dutt, and Salman Khan.

I haven't decided who my absolute favorite actress is yet (and that may be because I am a guy ;), but have narrowed the list to Juhi Chawla, Madhubala, Nandita Das, and especially Vidya Balan and Tabu. I love music -- my favorite music directors are A. R. Rahman and O. P. Nayyar, and favorite vocalists Mohammad Rafi, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, and Alka Yagnik. Favorite lyricists include Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, and Prasoon Joshi. For more on likes and dislikes, here's the soundtrack to my life, and a Q&A with the self.

I am hopelessly in love with South Asian culture (especially the cuisine, languages, dress, film, music, and dance, in that order), and sincerely wish the people of India and Pakistan get along better.

Thank you for your visit, enjoy your stay, and please comment when you have something to add. Discussions and exchanges of perspectives (and the corresponding learning) are truly what make blogging worthwhile. Alternatively, you can find me on Twitter @thebollywoodfan.

Jai Hind. And God bless America.

PS: I do apologize for the comments being moderated, but I have learned that the option must be exercised to help maintain a family friendly blog.


Anonymous said...

Hey I really like your blog. It's a nice layout you got going here! And a sensible use of words too. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I like to read blog sections like this. Interesting to know that Amir Khan is sort of your focus. I LOVE the movie "Raja Hindustani" and did a couple posts on my blog about it. This was the one movie where I was really taken with Amir's acting in Raja Hindustani and it won me over as a forever fan of his work.

All the Amir-related posts are here:

All the Best!

theBollywoodFan said...

Sita-ji: Thank you. I am absolutely looking forward to reading your Aamir Khan posts (and others too, of course) very soon!

Anonymous: Thanks for your kind comments as well.

Anonymous said...

My younger brother is a humongous Aamir Khan fan and he really likes that you are an Aamir fan too. At least he knows there are bigger fans than him. Keep up the good work. Kind regards.

theBollywoodFan said...

Arjavi: Thanks for visiting and for your comment. There are plenty of 'Aamirians' all over, and none is bigger than another. Thank your brother for me!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came through Memsaab's blog to read the lyrics from (and the translations thereof) the movie Jaane Tu Kya Jaane Na. Though, since my mother tongue is Hindi, and I grew up in Delhi where we speak Hindustani, what need I have of translations and transliterations is beyond me. As we say...time pass.
So the point of my comment is this - I think there is some technical problem when I try to view your posts. The characters of the latter half of the post get superimposed on the first part, though this is apparent only after the page is fully loaded. So what we have now is an extremely scrambled page, with two distinct pieces of typed matter running around each other in a small white space. This is true for all your posts but there is no problem with the sidebar or the masthead. Since I didn't see any e-mail id (or didn't look hard enough for one?) I could think of no other way of informing you about this problem. I hope I have not wasted your time with a freak-out which might just be limited to my terminal. I would have like to read your blog more extensively, anyways, agli baar. Goodbye.

theBollywoodFan said...

Thank you for visiting Ima, and sorry you were unable to view the posts :(

I'd be curious to know what web browser you are using; this is the first time it has been brought up (thank you!), I am somewhat lost as to how to tackle it...


PS: My e-mail address is available at my blogger profile page, and I am adding it to the intro post (above) as well.

Anonymous said...

Ah, its all good now. Must have been a one-time freakout then. And, I use Mozilla Firefox.

Re e-mail id: Me lazy :)

theBollywoodFan said...

Ima: Thank you for revisiting. Glad you were able to check out the content!

Anonymous said...

Hey there!
I love your blog. I think it's very interesting that though you lived away from India basically all your still managed to..keep in touch with the culture. Not many people manage to do that, so congratulations!

I originally came to your blog also looking for translations..and found it really helpful! Now I love all the songs even more, thanks to you!

Just wanted to say, keep up the good work!

PS: I'm Gujju too! Lol.

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Anonymous: Thank you for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed your visit and found the translations of some use.

Staying in touch with Indian culture would have not been as transparent were it not for some key people in my life, and one film industry that is the subject of this blog :)

Gujarat is such a dynamic state, and I've enjoyed it each time I visited. Can't wait to go again!

Do stop by again. Cheers!

Unknown said...

I like your blog a lot especially your comments on and translation of songs.
Now, perhaps you know, where I could find movie songtexts written in Devnagari. I sometimes can't imagine what the transcription mean. Thanks for any reply.

theBollywoodFan said...

Thank you Udo :) It's always a pleasure to receive feedback, and hope you find more to enjoy here. I'm afraid I am not aware of any resource that would contain film song lyrics in Devnagari script. If I come across one, I'll be sure to add a link to it on the translations page. Cheers! And thank you again.

Jennifer Hopfinger said...

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