5 Reasons Why You Should Watch Bollywood

For almost as long as I can remember I’ve had a special fascination with India.  I’m not sure how it started, but I do remember reading a lot of books about other countries & cultures, including India, as a child.  (Yes, I was & still am a real nerd.)  In fact, as I may have mentioned on this blog before, I remember determining as a kid that I was going to marry an Indian man when I grew up.  This is pretty hilarious considering I grew up in a town with maybe one, and I do mean one, Indian family.  (As it turns out I married a white man, just for the record.)  Anyway, three years ago when I graduated from nursing school & first started working night shift, I discovered Bollywood films on Netflix.  One night when I was up late with nothing much to do, I just decided to watch one.  I honestly don’t remember which movie I watched first or why that particular one intrigued me enough to give it a try, but in any case I’ve been hooked on Bollywood ever since.  Here are five reasons why you should be too.Taj Mahal

  1. The music: Indian music is very different than Western music. Rhythmically & stylistically it’s just a whole different world.  But it’s beautiful!  Nevermind the fact that the lyrics rarely translate well into English, the music itself is just gorgeous.  I know some people can’t understand the idea of listening to music in a language you don’t understand, but sometimes I think it’s easier to really appreciate music for exactly what it is when you aren’t distracted by the actual words (if that makes any sense).
  2. The dancing: Going in hand in hand with the music, Bollywood films are often filled with lots of dancing. If you don’t like Western musicals, this might initially be a turn-off, but I implore you to give these movies a try anyway.  Indian dancing is very different than Western dancing, although you can definitely see elements of Western influence from time to time.  There are certainly plenty of Indian films that contain very little or no dancing, other than perhaps during the credits at the end, but most do have at least one or two dancing scenes.  Yes, the music & dancing contribute to the fact that most Indian films are 2-2.5 hours long, but trust me, you won’t even notice the extra length because of how fascinating the music & dancing are.bollywood dance
  3. The gorgeous people: Bollywood films are quite literally a feast for the eyes. Both the men & women are just drop-dead gorgeous.  While the female stars are definitely on the skinnier side, I can’t help but notice that they are not as skeletally thin as most Hollywood actresses.  To me this contributes to them being even more beautiful.  If you’re not yet convinced that you should give Bollywood a try, run a quick Google image search on a few of these names & you might change your mind: Shahid Kapoor.  Imran Khan (the younger one).  Arjun Kapoor.  John Abraham.  Ranveer Singh.  Shushant Singh Rajput.  Anushka Sharma.  Sonam Kapoor.  Kareena Kapoor.  Vidya Balan.  Parineeti Chopra.  Priyanka Chopra . . . See what I mean? jab we met
  4. The stories: Bollywood is probably most famous for romantic films but there are plenty of comedies, thrillers, & horror films as well, even sci-fi. I tend to stick with mostly romances or romantic comedies, but regardless of the genre these people really know how to tell a story.  Yes, the stories are spun a bit differently than most Hollywood films, but that is exactly what makes them so fascinating.  I don’t know about y’all, but Hollywood rarely impresses me anyway.  As a side note, I’m definitely not the first person to observe that Bollywood films contain considerably less sex than American films.  While I don’t necessarily have a problem with sex in movies & there are plenty of Bollywood films that do include sex, I also appreciate the way that Bollywood films somehow make even a hug extremely sexy.  Quite often there isn’t even a kiss until the very end of the movie, but trust me there is no lack of chemistry in Bollywood, far from it indeed.  (I’m sure the dancing contributes to this somewhat.)arjun kapoor 2
  5. The fascinating culture: Perhaps the most compelling reason to watch Bollywood films is that learning about a different culture is just plain fascinating & so much more rewarding than watching movies about your own culture. I’m sure there are plenty of things I miss in these movies because I don’t understand more than a handful of Hindi words, but the sub-titles are more than sufficient to help me understand the stories.  Additionally watching movies in a different language forces you to realize how much communication & human interaction are influenced by things other than the exact words people say.  While I appreciate the fact that Bollywood provides only a small glimpse into real Indian life & culture, just as Hollywood is far from a perfect picture of American/Western culture, I still find this glimpse into Indian culture fascinating.  I won’t pretend that I like everything I see because it’s quite apparent from watching these movies (& reading various articles) that there are some serious societal problems in India, particularly the stark contrast between the wealthy & the poor & the treatment of women.  But it’s not like Hollywood doesn’t reveal a lot of serious problems with American culture too.

To get you started, I’m including a list of ten of my favorite Bollywood films, many of which can be found on instant on Netflix.

  1. Jab We Met: This romance centers on a couple who meets on a train & is probably my all-time favorite Bollywood moviejab we met 2
  2. Dil Bole Hadippa: This romantic comedy about a woman who joins an all-male cricket team has a Twelfth Night vibe. You do NOT need to understand cricket to understand this movie, by the way.  This film also has a LOT to say about the state of women in India.dil bole hadippa
  3. Ishaqzaade: A romance/thriller with a Romeo & Juliet vibe that contains electrifying music aside from the thrilling story/romanceishaqzaade
  4. Band Baaja Baaraat: A romantic comedy that centers on the wedding-planning industryband baaja baaraat
  5. Shuddh Desi Romance: This romance examines commitment, live-in relationships, & the push for early marriage in India & how all of this affects the current generation of 20-somethings.shuddh desi romance
  6. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan: In this romance, a man sets out to find a bride for his brother only to fall in love with her himself.mere brother ki dulhan
  7. Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu: A couple meets & gets married in Vegas while drunk . . . The next morning they’re horrified to find what they’ve done. But what happens when one of them starts actually falling in love?ek main aur ekk tu
  8. Bewakoofiyaan: This romantic comedy focuses on the hardships of romance in a less than stellar economy & is extremely relevant to all 20-somethings today. Also the girl’s father is just plain hilarious.Bewakoofiyaan_Poster
  9. Kaminey: This thriller stars Shahid Kapoor playing identical twins with vastly different personalities & life choiceskaminey
  10. Wake Up Sid: In this romance, an unmotivated young man moves in with a female friend & is inspired to transform his life.wake up sid

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

Please allow me to preface this by stating that today’s post is purely my opinion & not meant to be taken too seriously.  I realize this is, at the end of the day, a fairly superficial issue, but nonetheless it’s something I feel compelled to discuss.  Also the title is a bit misleading as I’m really not into the true cowboy look, but I couldn’t think of a better one.

How did I forget to include a picture of the perfectly-dressed Wade from "Hart of Dixie" yesterday?  Oh well, better late than never.

How did I forget to include a picture of the perfectly-dressed Wade from “Hart of Dixie” yesterday? Oh well, better late than never.

This post was inspired by our trip to Boston this weekend where I was a bridesmaid in my college roommate’s wedding.  During our quick tour of Boston I couldn’t help but notice that 99% of the men I saw, whether on the street, on the subway, or in restaurants/stores, were wearing either suits or tight/skinny jeans.  Ewwwwww.  (Just to be clear, I also notice this phenomenon in NC far too much for my comfort.)  Again this is purely subjective, but I am writing this mainly to confirm that there are other ladies out there who are so over this skinny jean fad for men (& women too actually) & who much prefer men in jeans & a T-shirt over a suit or tux any day.  I’ve never understood why so many women find men so attractive in suits.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve always preferred a more casual, relaxed look.  If it had been totally up to us, my husband would definitely have worn jeans & a plaid button-up shirt to our wedding instead of a suit.  But we stuck with a suit because we didn’t feel like rocking the boat too much.  (On the same token, I stuck with a white dress when I really wanted to wear green.  Kind of wish I’d actually gone through with the green dress though.)

I'm biased because I love his music, but Eric Church  knows how to dress: simple & casual but still put-together.

I’m biased because I love his music, but Eric Church knows how to dress: simple & casual but still put-together.

To a certain extent we are all affected by where we grew up & the culture of that area.  So I suppose it’s not too shocking that I find men in jeans & a T-shirt or plaid shirt more attractive than men in suits.  After all I did grow up in a very rural area where suits were solely worn for church, funerals, & weddings.  But even so I’ve never been particularly fond of the cowboy look that is so prevalent in rural areas because a cowboy hat & boots have always struck me as a bit superfluous unless of course you are an actual cowboy, & let’s face, it, that’s unlikely, unless perhaps you’re in Montana or Wyoming.  And just to prove I’m not too much of a country girl stereotype, I’ve never once been “mudding,” have only been fishing once (& have no real interest in going again), & am very picky about country music & indeed I actually prefer hard rock & metal (& classical of course).  Additionally I know plenty of women from rural areas who still find the suit/tux look very attractive for men, so clearly our preferences aren’t 100% dictated by our background.

hipster male fashion


Perhaps my dislike of suits arises partly from the fact that I’ve always been most attracted to men with broad shoulders & muscular arms & these types of men usually look a bit stiff & awkward in suits.   Additionally, as I’ve written about in the past, I am a very casual person so formalwear is far from my cup of tea (for myself included, & naturally if a man is wearing a suit, it means I would need to be dressed up to in order to be with him).  I don’t like fancy restaurants because the atmosphere feels stiff & forced, & I prefer bonfires by the river (or house parties) to clubs or bars any day of the week (largely because at the former you can actually talk to people without screaming over obnoxiously loud dance music & you can drink without paying an arm & a leg for it).

Imran Khan is a Hindi actor who has a great relaxed style.

Imran Khan is a Hindi actor who has a great relaxed style.  I mean, how could you say no to this?

Basically all I’m saying is why are so many men forcing themselves to wear tight jeans, silly hipster sweaters, & suits when none of these things can be at all comfortable?  If something isn’t comfortable, I don’t wear it.  Wearing something uncomfortable just violates my sense of logic & practicality.  This is why I don’t own a single pair of stilettos & never will.  Also when will society ever get over the idea that dressing up somehow makes you a “better” or more trust-worthy person?  I fully support the notion that we shouldn’t go out in public without looking in a mirror & trying to appear at least a little bit “put-together,” but why should a man in a suit automatically be judged as wealthier, more honorable, or more “gentlemanly” than a man in jeans & a T-shirt?  And as much as I hated the low-riding “gansta” jeans of the 2000’s, tight jeans on men are just gross.  Duh.

skinny jeans men

Thank goodness for men like my husband who are rocking the jeans & T-shirt look.  Now can y’all help the rest of your gender get their act together?  Please & thank you.