About Us

We’re two sisters (Hannah and Sarah) who live in Iowa, watch too many Bollywood films, and call each other ‘mammu’.

When we saw Bride and Prejudice we thought it was cool, but we didn’t rush out to see Jodhaa Akbar for more Aishwarya Rai (we couldn’t have; there are no theaters in Iowa that show Hindi films). We didn’t think the name “Anupam Kher” worth remembering. We thought the costumes were beautiful, the dancing entertaining, and the music addictive, but it was just a movie. Is that all Bollywood was? Back to Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

At the time, we didn’t know that Bride and Prejudice technically isn’t a Bollywood film. We didn’t know much about Indian film. We saw Slumdog Millionaire: too violent. Anil Kapoor had bad hair. And who the heck is Amitabh Bachchan? On a whim we rented Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. from the public library, but reading the subtitles to our youngest sister got tiring. Bollywood was interesting, but it was a lot of work to understand what was going on; the culture was so different. Was it worth it? Maybe not.

This attitude changed when a friend sent us the song Salaam-e-Ishq. We listened to it constantly, all day long, day after day. We looked up the music video on Youtube and speculated about what might be happening in the plot. We oohed over Akshaye Khanna. And we rented the movie from Netflix.

That was the beginning. It was a good beginning. The stars: Salmaan Khan, Priyanka Chopra (who went to high school in Iowa), Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Akshaye Khanna, and Govinda, among others. The songs Mera Dil, Dil Kya Kare, and Tenu Leke. The plot points– arranged marriages, taxi drivers, UK, midlife crises, disgruntled stars, long lost loves, dramatic injuries, convenient illnesses, protective families– etc, etc, etc.

Unable to get new Netflix DVDs frequently, we turned to the pardesi Hindi film-lover’s best friend: Youtube. There we discovered more Khans– Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan. We admired the leading ladies– Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta. And there was our public library– a tiny movie collection, but there must be a fellow Hindi film-lover in town who requests the Bollywood titles we found there. We were already familiar with Karan Johar through Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, but the library had Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham. Over our Christmas break we were introduced to the joys of Hrithik Roshan, and had an ‘aha!’ moment when we saw Amitabh’s name in the credits. Amused by Kareena Kapoor, we tried Jab We Met, and found Shahid Kapoor to be completely irresistible.

By then, we knew we were completely and hopelessly hooked. We had gone from clueless beginners to total addicts and the local ‘experts’ in a matter of a few weeks, even going so far as to begin learning Hindi (in our house, you are more likely to hear the word ‘dil’ than ‘heart’… accompanied by the arm-sweeping gesture, of course).

We had a few intents in and reasons for creating this blog:

One reason was for a creative outlet– a place to post those movie reviews we are always writing in our own heads and through our late-night conversations.

We want to assist other Bollywood newbies in getting familiar and comfortable with the Bollywood world. It’s a big place, and if it’s completely foreign to you, you’ll appreciate a little help in understanding it.

We’ve read a lot of Bollywood blogs, forums, websites. They’ve (almost) all been helpful in a lot of ways, but we’ve been frustrated by something common across them: extreme negativity. We’re not sensitive people who can’t stand criticism of our favorite stars (well, you better watch it in front of Hannah where SRK is concerned) but the thing that appeals to us most about Bollywood is its joy and love for zindagi (life). We love all the weird things that go on in Bollywood, all the actors’ and actresses’ idiosyncrasies, and every single corny dance number. There are things we don’t like as much, and, okay, probably a few things we could do without (actresses in saris and salwar suits are far preferable to actresses in bikinis) but Bollywood makes us happy: we can’t hate anything about it.

So we may make jokes about how thick Akshay Kumar‘s neck is, make snarky comments on the vapidity of some most of the things Bebo says, and complain about how much Johnny Lever annoys us; but as much as possible, true negativity will be absent.

We love Bollywood.

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