bollywoodBollywood has always brought a cheer to my otherwise routine life. While in India, I loved watching movies first day-first show. Now, living in Canada, I don’t get to watch first day-first show, but surf the channels for a good Bollywood movie and watch one a day. That is my staple. Proves beyond doubt, I am hooked onto movies and stars/actors from B’town.

I might be a Bollywood movie junkie, but I have my likes and dislikes. Not a big fan of Ra One type movies! Yet I love watching Shah Rukh Khan starrers. I used to be an Aamir Khan fan and then somewhere down the years realized, it was not Aamir that I liked but his movies. And, I realized, therein lies the difference between Aamir and Shah Rukh.

You watch a movie for Shah Rukh and his star power. Most of the times, while watching a movie starring Shah Rukh, I have ended up watching ‘him’ in the movies. Best example to cite would be Guddu, Yes Boss, Badshah, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, etc. No kidding, but I have watched Guddu start to finish the four or five times it has been aired. If I have watched Guddu so many times, you can imagine the number of times I would have watched Shah Rukh’s other hits. For me, watching Shah Rukh movies over and over again is entertaining.

As for Aamir’s movies, you watch the movie and for very few moments you watch Aamir the actor. Like the scene in Talaash–where Kareena Kapoor leads him to a hotel and he falls asleep and wakes up the next morning. Or the song in Dil Chahta Hai–Tanhai, Tanhai. Or for that matter, Dhobi Ghaat, the film is the hero, protagonist. Aamir is the character playing his part. I can watch an Aamir movie maximum twice.

So where does Salman Khan fit into my routine of Bollywood movie watching? He is the third angle in this triangle. Salman is the much needed garnish when boredom sets in watching too much of Shah Rukh and Aamir. As for watching Salman’s movies for the second time, except Dabbang and Biwi No 1, I do not miss any.

It seems as if the industry has no other actors/stars to talk about. Frankly speaking, I will not miss watching an Akshay Kumar or Ajay Devgn movie in the senior actor category.

Hrithik Roshan is in a different league altogether. Let us discuss about him in a later post–totally devoted to him.

I do get curious about the next generation of actors/stars because I need to know who is going to entertain me for the next decade or so and watch a Ranbir Kapoor, Ranvir Singh, Imran Khan, etc. But they are mere fillers and have a long way to go.

Bollywood and movie mentions are incomplete without speaking about Amitabh Bachchan. Again, not a big fan of this Big B in his ‘Angry Young Man’ avatar, but give me a Aankhen, Bhootnath, Baghban, his brief appearances in  Veer-Zara and Paheli, I can watch these movies any number of times, any time, any day.

Talking about Bachchan brings to my mind the cheer this Bachchan brought me the other day. It was a routine workday for me and I was feeling a bit down. Sitting by the window seat, I was gazing out of the bus and taking in the stops and other roadside activities. Suddenly I was greeted by this huge L’oreal portrait of a smiling Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Mrs Bachchan Jr was endorsing hair colour. This sighting acted like a magic and my spirits were up in few seconds.

That set me wondering–I am not a big fan of Ash but liked her in the movie Guru.  How and why did I get cheered by that huge smile she was showering upon the thousands of people travelling that route? That, in my opinion is the power of stars and Bollywood.

Bollywood and its stars can be labelled as good, bad, boring, even ugly, but one thing is certain–it is entertaining. Regardless of where you live, it entertains, connects and brings a cheer to people–be it Manhattan, Mumbai or Toronto.

Ranga Iyer


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