The spell love, his and my own name. Nevertheless,


The toughest and even the most heart-breaking love and has a
silver lining. In my case, love presented itself as the silver screen. I fell
in love with a man whom I never met in my entire life. I fell in love with a
man at a tender age when I did not even know how to spell love, his and my own
name. Nevertheless, I was smitten by his presence in every film, advertisement and
award show. I fell in love without knowing the meaning of love.

The King/ Baadshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan was my first
love. I still do not understand if I fell in love with him or the idea of him.
I am hooked with his wit, chivalry, academic speeches, dimples and movies. I
remember “borrowing” my mother’s saree and re-creating every romantic song of
his. I have mentioned him in every tweet, watched his movies on repeat and
danced to Chaiyya Chaiyya’s beat. I
am also guilty of signing my diary with Mrs. Khan and dancing to Mere Kwabhon
mein jo aayein in my towel. Long story short, Jab Tak hai Jaan I love you Shah
Rukh Khan!

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Bollywood is the ultimate propagator of unrealistic
perceptions of love amongst desi teenagers. Bollywood music and films portray female
protagonists in love as weak, demure and dependent women whilst the male protagonists
are the alpha men.  I enjoyed watching Kuch
Kuch Hota Hai, Darr, DDLJ and Baazigar in my childhood. In retrospective
however, I realised how Bollywood justifies stalking in the name of love and
can never fathom friendship between a girl and a boy, “Ek ladki aur ladka kabhi
dost nahi bansaktain.” It glorifies objectification and harassment but also characterises
women as damsels in distress. I now cringe when I watch Baazigar. Why did Shah
Rukh murder Shilpa Shetty for no fault of her own in order to avenge for his
father’s death? Why is Kajol in DDLJ spineless?  Kuch Kuch Hota Hai has brainwashed teenage
girls in believing that only the girly girls find love. In Chennai express, the
winner of an action sequence gets to marry Deepika instead of her respecting
her feelings. In Hum Saath Saath Hain, the sanskaari
and coy female family members eat after the male family members. Women are basically
trophies transferred from one master to another( father to husband).

On the brighter side, films are changing and the voices of
female protagonists are being heard in films such has Lipstick under my Burkha,
Dear Zindagi, Dangal, Neerja and Pink.

Bollywood does have its sets of flaws but yet manages to
make me believe in the idea of love. When love fails me and I dwell in
unrequited love, I turn to Bollywood. I end up singing Tadap Tadap and other morose
songs in my shower proceeded by watching Ae dil ae mushkil. I pray for the
iconic train sequence in DDLJ with my crush when I am in the metro station with
him and give him the iconic palat with a hair flip when he gre