In my quest to find the perfect Bollywood song, I often find myself wanting more from the music I hear nowadays. A lot of the time I can’t get through a minute of a song before I have to hit the next button. Most of it is this very high energy, fist pumping in your neighbor’s face, EDM like pop music, which is great if that’s what you’re into, but not me. I want something different.
Once in a great blue moon, as if a gift from the Bollywood Gods, a song comes along and it fills my heart with a joy so deep, I end up listening to that song on repeat for the next few days, maybe weeks. I’ll tuck it neatly into my Romantic Hindi Love Songs playlists in Saavn and Spotify, and I’ll listen to it every chance I get. Recently I fell in love with a song that was my something different, and I have to admit it was everything.
Before I tell you about the song, I’d like to preface what my something different actually entails. I don’t know if I’m an old soul, or if the Bollywood movies from the 90’s have tainted me and my whole perception of love, but I really cherish a good love story.
Everyone who knows me, understands what I’m talking about. Take me back to the meadows of Punjab filled with yellow flowers, where young girls are working and playing in the fields during the opening credits. I want a story that has a goofy looking actor with a super cute smile, and a dimple, that lives abroad. And, as if taking her out of every young man’s dreams, cast a girl as beautiful as a sunrise, who is pious and does no wrong; one who listens to everything her parents request of her. Create a moment of conflict in her mind, compelling her to ask her father for a few moments of independence. Show me the conversation that she has with her overly strict father, asking permission to embark on a small, life changing, journey before she goes through with an arranged marriage.
Give me the Bollywood movie that brings these two unassuming people together while they fall so deeply in love with each other over missed train rides, the word senorita and too much cognac in the cold. Make everything so perfect, until there’s a plot twist and they’re separated. Then take me through their lonely solitude until they realize they are so deeply in love with each other this whole time, without knowing it. Show me what happens when he goes to confess his love and she’s left everything behind to have an arranged marriage to her dad’s best friend’s son.
And just like all the other Bollywood love stories, change the plot on me again. Compel this goofy looking, g
Make me a part of journey he takes to create this elaborate plan to win over her family members one by one, and help me feel the joy they both felt when her mom finds out about their love. Help make their small wins so great, it looks like they’re constantly winning, until her dad finds out. Then, in the finale, show me a fight scene so terrible that when I watch the same movie decades from now, I’m left wondering how I thought this could ever be realistic. In the end, let the good guy win; let him win in the fight, let him win the family’s love and, most importantly, let him win the girl. Let him win so I can, also, believe that there’s a man out there who’s going to do all of the same things for me and my love, regardless of what reality deems possible and impossible.
That’s what I mean when I say my something different.
And yesterday as if by magic from the Bollywood Gods, I found the song Jag Ghoomeya from the movie Sultan that brought me back to the days of Raj and Simran in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge!
This song took me back to the days of a hopeless romantic young girl, unaffected by the reality of the world, who lives within me all the time. I stopped and smiled to myself, imagining that I, too, was running through a flower filled meadow like a care free Pooja from Dil To Pagal Hai, or like I was emanating beauty, at the edge of a river on a star filled night, like Parvo from Devdas.
It’s amazing how one song I had never heard before could transport me to my happy place so easily. That must be the magic of Bollywood.
With a hopelessly romantic heart,
Published by Vaishali Rana