I recently made an important discovery about my life: being ‘cool’, that rather vague category of qualities arbitrarily decided by the stupidest of my peers, is no longer a relevant factor in the grand scheme of things.
I grew up in the late ’90s-early ’00s in urban, English-speaking, middle class India and it was always really cool to hate on Bollywood movies when I was a teenager. What was Western, what was in English, was ‘cool’, and everything else was for old people and the ‘vernis’ (short for vernacular, an insulting name for someone who could not speak English properly and was ignorant of western popular culture and mores).
Though I would NEVER admit it back then, because I was un-cool enough to begin with, I had the uncoolest taste in music ever. I preferred Britney Spears to Christina Aguilera, I HATED Eminem and all heavy metal music, and I adored Bollywood hits. I think one of the awesome things about growing up is that you can finally admit that you love that uncool something or someone, because people are now too busy judging you on things like ‘salary’ and ‘relationship status’ to care too much about what you like to hum in the shower.
And of course, world is very large, and you will always find someone who shares your taste in whatever it is. In fact, it’s how you Find Friends! Yes, you no longer have to agree with everything the cool girls say to fit in; now it is the prerogative of the ‘cool’ girls to have YOUR taste in music, if they want to be friends with you! And you know what else is also fantastic? You can be friends with someone even if they like things you don’t. A shared interest in similar popular culture can be the basis for great friendships, but that is not all you get out of a friendship. Sometimes it’s intellectual simulation; sometimes it’s emotional comfort; sometimes it’s just a shopping companion; occasionally, it’s all of the above.
So now I have no qualms in declaring that I love cheesy romantic Bollywood movies. I love femi-nalyzing the crap out of their twisted gender roles, and I love rocking out to their fantastic tunes and choreography. I love Britney Spears. She has a song for EVERY occasion, she has a great voice, and by god, that lady can dance. And yeah, I get no sort of pleasure from listening to anything by Metallica and assorted bands of that nature.
So, to celebrate my coming out of the Bollywood closet, here is one of my FAVOURITE Bollywood songs from that period of my life. Main Hoon Na released when I was 12, when I had my first crush ever. This song in particular is a celebration of that epic feeling of falling in love.
Great song, great choreography, and a cheekily smiling Shah Rukh Khan in the background. 12 or 22, this song makes me want to shake that kamar like I have no umar! (Ugh, sorry. Multi-language poetry is not my forte).
It makes me want to daaaaaaance, is what I meant.