Bollywood: A Dedication

Posted: September 22, 2010 in Bollywood, Indian Music, International Music
Tags: , ,
Bollywood: a movie industry that produces a seemingly endless stream of Indian movies year after year. Every fan knows that one of the most important elements in a Bollywood movie is the music; so much so that a good soundtrack alone can sell a movie. And there is no bigger Bollywood fan out there than my brother. It’s his hobby, his passion and in light of his 30th birthday I feel compelled to write about it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 My earliest memories of Bollywood music stem from my childhood, when thanks to my Dad, I would be woken up on a Saturday morning by music from 70s/80s Amitabh Bhachchan movies blaring from our home stereo. My bedroom was (in)conveniently located right above the speakers so it would always hit me first. The tunes would continue during breakfast and serve as background noise when both my brothers and I would slowly wake up to our nutritious breakfast of tea and cookies. It’s no secret that my dad is a Bollywood buff: he has proudly admitted to cutting class several times during his college days to watch movies on the big screen, namely the classic Sholay. That’s probably where my brother gets it from. The more movies we watched, the more music we listened to over and over and over, whether in the tape deck or on TV. Bollywood music became the beloved new family member: it came along on every and all road trips; it was a constant topic of conversation when guests were over; it was always around during family gatherings such that when any song was heard, an intense competition ensued of who could name the movie it originated from – needless to say, my brother won every time.

My understanding of Hindi is minimal, so I usually have to guess what the songs are about (though it’s not hard to figure out when you see a boy and a girl frolicking through open fields, hiding behind trees gazing into each others’ eyes). When I am drawn to a song from a Bollywood movie, it’s based on what it sounds like. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the songs from back in the day (circa late 80s-mid 90s) – they had an oldness to them, they felt classic. My liking for Bollywood music and movies started to fade in the late 90s and now I only listen to songs my brother posts on my Facebook wall; because his interest, on the other hand, increases exponentially every year. He is always up-to-date on the latest music/movies/scandals and even sends out e-mail updates (which some people beg to receive) just to keep the rest of us in the loop. Every time he comes home for a visit, his routine consists of sitting on the most sought after couch, watching B4U (a TV channel which plays only Bollywood music). This immediately draws my parents into the room because they too can’t get enough of the music. And it’s as though that beloved family member I often forget about, returns. Somehow I also get sucked in (as does my other brother on occasion) because it’s one of those things, all these years later, that still brings our family together. I know, pretty cheesy, right?

There are 5 people in my family, and we are rarely ever all together in the same place at the same time. But one thing you can bet on is that when this does occur, Bollywood music will always be there because otherwise it just wouldn’t be the same. I have always said that my brother and I are polar opposites in every way imaginable. But I don’t think that’s entirely true anymore: we both have a healthy obsession with music; just not the same music.

  1. Enjoyable read, Aneesha. Karn's passion for Bollywood, and its music, is definitely unparalleled. His emails are classic. But I can always respect someone who's that passionate, about anything.

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