This article took me a whole year to complete. I began to write this a few weeks after the lockdown started last year. I have also changed its title many times, from plain Shah Rukh Khan to My Favorite Bollywood Actor to Shah Rukh Khan and His Movies, the others I’ve already forgotten, and now to this current title. I hope I will be able to publish this before another title comes to mind. By the way, Manila and its nearby provinces are now under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) again because of the continued rise of the number of Covid-19 affected persons.
LOCKDOWN MARCH 2019
Most of my friends and family members are into K-Dramas and Filipino movies and those what we called Teleserye (Tagalog for TV Series). They spend their free time watching episodes by episodes of their favorite Koreanovelas. I, on the other hand, love watching different genre of movies as I don’t have the patience to watch long stories or to wait for new episodes to come out. But mostly I watch American movies because I easily get tired of reading the subtitles. Being in quarantine because of this pandemic allowed me to watch movies to my heart’s content.
The Corona Virus Disease or commonly known as Covid-19 is an infectious disease which can be transferred or transmitted thru droplets of an infected person whenever he coughs, sneezes, or exhales. One can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are near or close to someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth. Because of this pandemic, the President of my country deemed it necessary to issue a lockdown. Here in the Philippines, the lockdown started last March 16, 2020. As a result, people were forced to stay home. Work and school were suspended in order to stop the virus from spreading fast. We were given quarantine passes that states the day and time when we were only allowed to go out and buy necessities. Others continued working from home and avoided going out. Those who are left with nothing to do used their cellphones, laptops and computers to play games, chat with their friends and relatives, download and watch movies thru Youtube, iFlix, Viu, and Netflix. I was lucky to have a Netflix subscription thru the goodness of my bestfriend’s older sister, so I was able to watch a movie marathon whenever I want.
Then one hot afternoon, as I lay on my bed preparing to have my Siesta or afternoon nap, I came across an Indian movie entitled Dilwale. Before Dilwale, the only Indian movie that I was able to watch was Slumdog Millionaire, 3 Idiots, and Taare Zameen Par (Like Stars on Earth). Well, mainly because aside from I don’t have the time, it’s really hard to find a good movie with English translation. My bestfriend who knows me very well, knows that I have a thing for Indians. I just love looking at their pointed nose, curly eyelashes, and beautiful eyes. So I was very happy to know that I can watch Bollywood movies thru Netflix complete with English subtitles. Needless to say, I got hooked on watching Dilwale and fell in love with the two main characters, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, that I searched for more of their films that are available in Netflix since it was only there that I can watch Bollywood movies with translations or subtitles. I am in awe in the great acting skills of SRK or King Khan as he is fondly called by his many fans. I just loved the way he acts. It’s as if I can feel his happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and being in loved just by watching his eyes. I’m amazed at how he can be laughing at one scene and then gets teary-eyed on the next scene. I have watched almost all of his films that are available in Netflix.
Pardon my ignorance and lack of knowledge. But before, India on my mind is only about being the second-most populous country in the world, trains that are jam-packed up to the roof, curry foods (which, truth to be told, I don’t like the taste and smell), Taj Mahal, Hinduism, and the many beautiful women who represents India in different beauty pageants. And of course, the not-so-good news about poverty, rape/gang rape, the caste system, and the plight of the Indian women.
Dilwale opened my eyes not only to other beautiful Bollywood movies but also to its rich and colorful culture and traditions. Now it’s not only the films of SRK that I watch but of the many wonderful Indian actors and actresses. Since I’m not fond of horror or action movies, most of the movies that I have watched are stories about romance, family, friendship, and those with social relevance. I like how in almost every movie that I watched there is singing and dancing. I love seeing the men in these movies love and respect their elders/parents and care about their women. It also amazes me that many of their movies are also shot in other countries outside India, so it’s not only the beauty of India that I get to watch but also of other countries. Another thing that I noticed about their films/movies is that it usually takes 2-3hrs to watch per movie. That is quite long for me who is used to watching movies that are only 1.5 – 2hrs long. But mind you, I do not get bored even if their films are long. Sometimes I don’t even want them to end as I have grown attached to the characters. The more I watch their films, the more I fell in love with the country and its people.
Below are trailers of some of the movies that I enjoyed watching. Have you watched them, too?
The film that started my so-called addiction to Bollywood movies. This is where I first fell in love with SRK and Kajol. The story is about a love that was tested through time but still found its way back. I also like the love that was shown between brothers, albeit they were not blood related.
KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM
A story of a man who sets out on a mission to reunite his family, to bring back home his brother who was disowned by his father after marrying a poor woman. I love how it portrays the love between a mother and a son. I also like how at the start of the movie, the actors tell how a mother shows her love to her child differs on how the father shows his.
TOILET EK PREM
This is a story of a newly married woman who left his husband because they don’t have a toilet in their home and that, like other women in their village, she had to defecate in the open field. I find this film funny especially the scenes where the female lead had to use the toilet inside the train everyday when the train makes a stop in their village.
I have watched this movie of Salman Khan on Youtube, without English translation. But still the film is so beautiful and the message is so strong that I got teary-eyed while watching this. Still hoping that I could watch a copy of this with the English subtitle and that India and Pakistan will forget their decades of enmity for the sake of their people.
This movie is about a friendship that is not lost despite the characters not having seen each other for so many years. Sad that the main character Irrfan Khan has passed away last year.
This is a true story about a man who loved his wife very much and wants her to feel comfortable whenever she has her monthly period. Seeing that many of the women in their place still use rags or other unhygienic cloth whenever they have their period, he spent years trying to make cheap and hygienic sanitary napkins for the women in the rural areas. But it was so hard for him because even the topic of menstruation is something that is not acceptable to talk about in their place.
Guru is the rags to riches story of a man who turns out to be very good in business. He leaves home to work in Turkey and returns home determined to make it big. It also shows what should be a good example of a married couple relationship; that they should really stick with each other in hardship or in success. The story also shows how politics play a big role in doing business.
Now that the quarantine has been lifted in many parts of the Philippines, I still watched Bollywood movies whenever I have the time, and sometimes, even members of my family are now enjoying watching these movies. I hope that Netflix will add more Bollywood movies as I think they still have a lot to share. Also wishing that there will be other sites aside from Netflix where I can watch their movies with English subtitles.
I would appreciate it very much if you can suggest other Bollywood films for me to watch, and if possible sites where there is English subtitles for these wonderful films.