3 Life Lessons Only Bollywood Can Teach You
Ahh, Bollywood. India’s hottest cultural export continues to surprise and delight — like when rapper Snoop Dogg pops up in the soundtrack to Singh is King.
But quirky cameos aside, India’s films keep millions of us grounded, happy and passionate. India @Work sought out some of its most essential life lessons.
1. LOVE ISN’T JUST ALL HEARTS AND ROSES
To some it might seem that Bollywood is a dream-space that stays away from the real world. But in many ways, it moves past the song n’dance routine to make us think about alternate perspectives. Think of Mother India, the 1957 movie that lionised the maternal figure in Nargis as Radha.
Bollywood teaches us to love cheerfully as well as fiercely. And this is not limited to the traditional boy-meets-girl story. Like, Shashi’s journey of self-discovery and acceptance in English Vinglish where she finds her love of self.
It’s also about a love of life itself. In Bollywood, it’s okay to fall in love with a view, fall to your knees because of a divine sight (remember Hrithik (Arjun) on his first dive in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara?), or to bliss out over a fleeting moment of delight like Akash, Samir and Sid in Dil Chahta Hai.
2. LIVE LIFE AT LEVEL ELEVEN
What other national cinema revels in screen times of three hours or more? Only Bollywood embraces excess to the max, turning energy levels up to a notch over 10.
The message? Don’t do half-measures in life. If you’re going to run, don’t just jog – complete that marathon you’ve always dreamed about. Skip the quiet drinks for your birthday party, and fly to Rome.
Whether it’s Yashraj’s Switzerland dream sequences, Bansali’s grandiose sets or Vidhu Vinod’s bold narrative; at its heart — literally — Bollywood’s explosion of light, colour and drama tell us to squeeze passion and energy out of every day, until you can squeeze no more.
3. “IT IS SO SIMPLE TO BE HAPPY, BUT SO DIFFICULT TO BE SIMPLE.”
“Although this a line from Baawarchi, it is a life-lesson that gets reiterated every time I watch movies like Chupke Chupke, or Golmal (the old one, of course),” says ad agency executive Krishnamurthi Kumar.
“It’s such a simple story with everyday characters, told in a strictly no-frills manner. Yet it’s still so memorable and endearing even after over 35 years.” The lesson? Simplicity doesn’t stand in the way of happiness — sometimes simplicity is happiness.
Now that you’re in movie-mode, let your eyes soak up more happiness with this ‘definitive’ list of the top 100 Bollywood films. We can’t guarantee you’ll agree with all entries — but you’ll definitely leave yearning to watch more of these epic stories.