Bollywood is every Pakistani girl’s best friend. Literally, everything in our life back home revolves around Bollywood. It is all those Karan Johar movies which have given us the concept of romance. We do not want to settle for anything less than Shah Rukh Khan singing a love song when any guy falls in love with us. When we fall in love with a guy all we can think of is ourselves as Madhuri Dixit dressed in a plain bright flowy saari with a perfect blow dry that survives even the cold winds of Switzerland in a Yash Raj film.
There is a soundtrack for every life situation in Bollywood
Even our parents associate many life situations with Bollywood. After all, they grew up around the same magical industry. Every time a child dares to speak against the will of parents for not letting him go out with friends, they instantly get a ‘Baghban’ moment and think of all the times when the same 11 years old will tell parents to leave their home as he grows up. In all our households, we have a grandmother like ‘Kubhi Khushi Kubhi Ghum’ who is there for us no matter what. Every time the same daadi has a mood swing, we would sing out loud.
From Shah Rukh Khan to Kareena Kapoor, our first crushes are always Bollywood stars
Our first crushes have always been the Bollywood stars. No girl of my generation could escape from the irresistible charm of Shah Rukh Khan. Just look into the eyes of Rahul, you all.
Here I would also dare to make a confession that when Hrithik Roshan’s film ‘Kaho Na Pyar Hai’ was released many of my class fellows were ready to give an arm to meet the prince of their dreams with chiseled abs (which was uncommon in those days).
Our girl crush was always Kareena Kapoor whom we would copy in whatever way we could. Her character ‘Poo’ in ‘Kabhi Khushi Kubhi Ghum’ was every brat’s fantasy. When Kareena Kapoor did her film ‘Jab We Met’ every girl thought Geet was her. If I do not exaggerate I must have watched this film over sixteen times.
How can you go on a road trip without ‘Dil Chahta Hai’?
No road trip is complete without songs from ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ and ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’. Every time I listen to songs from these films I instantly feel that I am traveling. These films and road trips are synonymous with most of the people from my generation. Not only road trips, but Bollywood also has a song and situation for every part of life.
A day out with friends?
Maybe we South Asians are melodramatic by nature and Bollywood’s films just describe us too well. If you are with friends, you would not help singing out songs from ‘Sholay’ and ‘Dostana’. For girl squads, everything is summed up in ‘Veere Di Wedding.’
What is a wedding without Bollywood dance-filled Mehndi night?
No celebration is complete without dancing and singing Bollywood beats. The most important celebration in South Asian culture is a wedding hence it is natural to prepare an entire playlist the day someone’s wedding date is announced. Choosing the right song according to the particular occasion is very important although it is more about the beat and less about the lyrics these days.
Bidai/Rukhsati videos bring tears even if you do not know the bride
From the celebratory and fun part of the wedding to the emotional ‘rukhsati/bidai’(which means the departure of the bride from her parents’ place), Bollywood has it all. In fact, wedding movies have a background soundtrack for every occasion. Even long after the wedding, watching a wedding movie at that particular occasion when the bride leaves her parents’ place brings tears to everyone’s eyes.
Has Bollywood been fair to Pakistani stars?
Although the Bollywood films face on and off bans in Pakistan, people still make it a point to watch their favorite films by hook or by crook. While Pakistani films are not widely watched in India, Pakistani drama has a strong fan base in India. People in India love watching Pakistani dramas and know the stars of the television well. Pakistani singers like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam’s songs are popular in Indian films. However, it is unfortunate that Pakistani stars were not treated well when they went to India for work. Be it, Mahira Khan who was not even there for ‘Raees’ film promotions or Fawad Khan whose mere presence in ‘Ae Dil hai Mushkil’ was a reason of disturbance among the extremist factions, Bollywood has not been welcoming towards Pakistani artists due to socio-political reasons.
Is love on both sides too much to ask for?
While two countries are only separated by a border but united in terms of culture and language, it is unfortunate that the film and television audience on both sides of the border is unable to enjoy the films and drama the way they should. The ban on Pakistani content in India and vice versa is only depriving the masses of entertainment they truly deserve. Art and artists have nothing to do with the borders and should be celebrated regardless. I hope there comes a day when this dream comes true. Imagine Pakistani fans able to go and wave Shah Rukh khan outside ‘Mannat’ and Indian fans watching their favorite stars Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan’s film ‘Maula Jatt’ in Mumbai. Is it too much to ask for?