Community Conversations

Aarya Wachasunder

Aarya Wachasunder:

“Lagaan” is my favorite movie because it tells a captivating story set in colonial India where villagers challenge British rulers to a cricket match to avoid high taxes. The characters, music by A. R. Rahman, and cinematography all contribute to the film’s charm. Beyond being a sports drama, “Lagaan” is a powerful story about unity, courage, and the triumph of the human spirit. It’s a timeless masterpiece that delivers a meaningful message about uniting against the brutality of colonialism in an entertaining way, making it a movie that I can watch repeatedly.

santosh late

Santosh Late:

Indian movies have a genre of their own. Vibrant, colorful, larger than life caricatures and of course musical. It has been evolving like any other industry. In the recent past, it is interesting to see that they are now coming up with movies emphasizing our history and our glorious past. Sometimes, with society imitating arts, this new age attempts to bring forth our history, especially for Gen Z, is commendable.

Durgesh Vaidya

Durgesh Vaidya:

My nostalgia for watching Hindi movies with friends involves oppressive Mumbai heat while waiting outside the theater, the refreshing burst of air-conditioned air upon admission, the joy of commercials and their tag lines before the feature presentation (e.g. “Charminar Cigarettes – Nothing comes between you and the flavor, not even a filter!”, “Tiger Brand Chai – Sherdil jawaanonki pasand!, Lifebuoy Soap – Lifebuoy has jahaan, tandaroosti hain wahaan!”), and munching on delicious samosas while rushing back to your seat after the interval that always tasted exactly the same at any theater in the city. Years later, on a visit to India, I learned the reason from my brother-in-law – they are all catered through Hotel Gurukrupa in Sion, Mumbai (aptly called A1 samosas). One of my favorite movies is “Lage Raho Munnabhai”. My dream came true when during the COVID shutdown, I had the opportunity to host and interview the eminent National Award-winning actor, Mr. Dilip Prabhavalkar – who played Mahatma Gandhi in the movie. Lage Raho…I mean…Keep it up Bollywood!

akshaythotangare (1)

Akshay Thotangare:

Indian cinema, commonly known as Bollywood, stands as a vibrant and dynamic film industry that has made an enduring impact on the global cinematic landscape. With a history dating back to the early 20th century, Indian cinema has transformed into a multifaceted and influential cultural phenomenon. Renowned for its extravagant musical productions and the seamless integration of drama, romance, action, and music, Bollywood films capture audiences not only within India but also around the world. India boasts a diverse array of regional film industries, each contributing distinct storytelling styles and cultural nuances. Beyond mere entertainment, cinema is an integral part of life for many Indians, interwoven into the cultural tapestry of the nation. From childhood to adulthood, individuals grow up sharing the experience of watching films, fostering a sense of connection and nostalgia. The impact of cinema extends far beyond the screen, influencing fashion, language, and societal norms. Indian cinema acts as a reflective mirror, portraying societal changes, addressing critical issues, and contributing to the collective imagination of the nation. Whether portraying celebrations, exploring love and relationships, or confronting social challenges, movies serve as a mirror reflecting the intricacies of Indian life, offering both escapism and a poignant reflection of reality for millions across the country.

Chethan (1)


Bollywood has influenced my life like a blockbuster script. From “Dil Chahta Hai” portraying the power of friendship, “3 Idiots” urging me to chase dreams, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” teaching me love conquers all, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” inspired me to seize the moment.

When life throws lemons at you, “Apna Time Ayega” echoes louder than my morning alarm, helping me embrace life’s challenges with the swagger of a hip-hop artist.

No wonder Bollywood, with catchy tunes, entertainment, and life lessons, is connecting hearts across diverse backgrounds and geographies!

Jeyanthi Ghatraju

Jeyanthi Ghatraju:

My pick is the 1981 movie Silsila and my favorite song is “Dekha ek khwab”. It is said that the movie “opened up the beauty of tulips to the Indian audience!”

The yellow tulips remind us of the cheerful spring and symbolically represent charity. Tulips are supposed to be the official flowers for the 11th wedding anniversary, who knew?

Debabrata Biswas

Debabrata Biswas:

I saw the Bengali classic film ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (The Cloud-capped Star) scripted and directed by Ritwik Ghatak, “The Rebel” of Indian cinematography and contemporary of Satyajit Ray, when I was a young student. It was a time when every intellectual cinema lover was in awe of Satyajit Ray’s film ‘Pather Panchali’, a path-breaking film of Indian cinema. But ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ struck me in such a way that I still remember the entire film, shot by shot, sequence by sequence, dialogue by dialogue.

It was the first of Ghataks’ trilogy, ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’, ‘Komolgandhar’ and ‘Subarnarekha’, depicting the deep pain, despair and tribulations of Bengal’s refugees who had to flee their ancestral homeland after the partition of India in 1947. The trilogy was women-centric and their fight for survival.

We are refugees from East Bengal; my father, an established attorney at law in pre-partition Jessore, East Bengal (East Pakistan after partition) had to flee leaving everything behind in half a day’s notice. My eldest sister who was a medical student in Calcutta at that time, had to drop out of medical school and take a job as a Junior Clerk to sustain the livelihood of our family of 10 members, consisting of our parents and eight siblings.
‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ is a tragedy but reverberates “lust for life”. ‘Nita’, the girl who sacrifices her own love and life for the survival of her family seems so real and personal, that I could never forget it. Nita’s heart-piercing cries, “Dada ami bachte chai” (Dada, I want to live!”) still haunts me and echoes in my heart, reminding me of my eldest sister, who was like a mother to me and most of my siblings, and never lets me forget the sacrifices my “Bordi” (eldest sister) made for her family.

It took many years for Ritwik Ghatak’s classic films, including ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ to be widely viewed and recognized internationally. The famous French film critic, Serge Daney, held ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ as “one of the 5 greatest melodious melodramas in cinema’s history”. With his trilogy, Ghatak became a part of a tradition that includes films by Cukor, Sirk, Rosselini, Dreyer, Ozu and Mizoguchi.

Tonirika Das

Tonirika Das:

One of my favorite memories from an Indian movie is from “3 Idiots,” a film that seamlessly blends humor and poignant storytelling. The scene where the three friends chase their dreams against all odds resonates deeply, showcasing the power of friendship and individuality. Indian movies, exemplified by the diversity in “Dil Dhadakne Do,” “Om Shanti Om,” and “3 Idiots,” captivate audiences worldwide with their rich narratives, vibrant cinematography, and compelling characters. These films often explore societal norms, challenge stereotypes, and celebrate the triumph of the human spirit. The unique blend of entertainment, cultural depth, and emotional resonance in Indian cinema makes it a truly enriching and globally appreciated cinematic experience.