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   My name is Devdas.

   OK, so it isn't really. However, it is my Indian name, and one day it will help me to become a Bollywood director. Whether it will help enough is another question, for as my friend reminds me, I lack some of the characteristics one would need to enter such a career. After all, my debating coach burst into laughter and nearly drove into a tree when I told her that I watched Bollywood. Who would have thought, she explained - a nice Jewish boy going off to watch Indian films?!

   Not me. Until recently, I would not watch a non-English show even if nothing else was on. Occasionally I wondered, What is this Bollywood thing everyone keeps talking about?

   So how did this nice Jewish boy end up addicted to Bollywood? It all started on a cool Saturday night. I happened to pass the television. It happened to be tuned to a Bollywood film. The music lured me into the room. The dance was dazzling. The costumes were beautiful. I sat down, entranced. It was all sooo beautiful sooo wonderful the music, the colours, the...

  OK, so the flying squirrels weren't wonderful. In fact, they were quite a shock. My trance broken, I scanned the room. My mother changed the channel back to her soap opera. Thank goodness that racket's off, she muttered. Angrily as a cat thrown into a fishtank, I slinked away. I wouldn't say that I became addicted, but when one is not able to go a month without watching a Bollywood film, that's usually the appropriate term.

   However, despite all that my friend says, I do NOT need help - I need support! I need film reviews. I need posters, I need CDs, I need DVDs! Yes, lots and lots of Bollywood DVDs!!! Life is short; there are only 24 hours in a day which is worth eight Bollywood films! As I said, I'm not addicted. Honest.

  So far, I've received mixed reactions about my obsession. My mother still nags me to stop watching that nonsense . My dad still teases me. My English teacher fears what goes on in my head. Honestly, they are entitled to their opinion; I don't care. I love it. I'm watching it. Besides, on the other hand, I've made many new encouraging friends, in and out of school. One friend asked me to give him special thanks in the credits when I direct my first (Bollywood) film. Another felt concerned about finding me an Indian girlfriend and name. While going to the cinemas, I've met a lot of interesting people mostly due to the fact that I had to go alone. I do not regret that. It is such fun to go to a film and chat to complete strangers about my interest and receive good recommendations.

  Now, I must go to convince my friend to watch Parineeta with me. But does anyone know what this Hollywood thing everyone keeps talking about is?

- Devdas


This filmi ramble was
written by Devdas

discovering bollywood - a new series

How did you discover Bollywood? So many fans have a story -- one told, retold, analyzed and polished -- of that lightbulb moment in which they encountered Hindi cinema like a revelation, a window into something they had never imagined film could be. From those who once had no idea that Hindi cinema existed to those who grew up loathing it, Discovering Bollywood tells their tales of that single moment when they suddenly, finally "got it."


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