because guests are as gods

Hey, everyone - hi. This is Beth. I am absolutely fascinated with the question of who is reading this, and my curiosity is further piqued by the growth of the happy little dots on my ClustrMap. Either there is some creative ISPing going on here, or I see people visiting from India, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Europe, South America, Canada, and the US. (Special shout-out to Canada! I'm an honourary Canadian! I love you guys!) Anyway, hello to you all! I don't like how most guestbook thingies on websites seem to work, so instead I invite everyone who stops by to leave a little comment on this post (this will also be linked from the nav bar) and say hi and share why you like or are interested in Bollywood - and what brought you here. Thanks! And don't forget to have a snack before you go - they're on the table over there. Punch, too.


Lauren - I've heard so much about you! :) Ellie and I don't agree on quite everything but she will definitely not steer you wrong.

I REALLY need to come see you guys! Maybe...spring?
Carol said…

I'm Carolyne, 19, Psychology student from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, Brazil, Brazil! \o/). I started watching Indian movies in 2009 and obviously, I can't stop doing it. I think Google brought me here long ago. For a long time, it was my favourite Bollywood blog (I spent a great number of hours of my life here). It was the first I've seen with personal comments about the movies. Now I know too many blogs to have a favourite, sorry ;)

I have a Bolly blog with a friend (KK-Bollywood), but we don't post a lot (shame on us). She doesn't like to watch a lot of old movies like I do, so I did a separate blog to write only about them ("Living In Old Bollywood).

Here in Brazil it's almost impossible finding Indian movies(except Mother India, Lagaan, Saawariya, Mangal Pandey and...Mission Kashmir o.o), so we have a little group that translate some movies. We had a soap opera here (Filmi Girl wrote something about her on the gossip section) that talked about India, so people's interest keep growing. The only sad thing about it all is that only a few of us love old movies...I feel the others are loosing so much.

Well, I talked too much. The last thing: my english is not all that, and it's improving only because of the movies and blogs.
Hi Carol - I love hearing about Indian cinema in South America! And it's WONDERFUL that you're doing translating - what a huge undertaking and labor of pyaaar :) Send a link to your blogs?
Carol said…
Sometimes it's hard to translate the movies, but there's a girl (another Carol) who did it so many times that she inspired us to help too. Initially we had about 20 movies, now there's more than a makes me feel very proud! :)

Now, the links:
Aha! I thought I had met another Carol from South America :) Thanks for sharing your blogs! And I agree, you should be very proud of such projects!
Anonymous said…
I lover your header!!! the pics are so classic and i also like your comments on the side!!!
Thanks Eva! Plenty more where they came from, I'm sure :)
DJ Carl Hamm said…
Hi Beth! I'm a bollywood dj based in VA, i do a radio show, and im also crazy about indian cinema! (yes.. it's love) Its great to read the posts on your site, and it makes me really excited to find some of the films you describe that I haven't watched yet. thankfully the bollywood industry has been cranking out excellent films for years.. we have so much to enjoy! oh, these sweets are delicious.. and the punch, is there a hint of rosewater and saffron mixed in wih the fruit? ;)
DJ Carlito - Yay! Finding new things to love is one of life's greatest joys. Let me know if you need help tracking things down - SOMEBODY is bound to have a line on whatever it is you need :)

Side note: my family all lives in Virginia (but not near Richmond)
triShie said…
hi Beth!!

please add East Malaysia to your visitor's list, 'cos, you've got a definite fan in me! :) i don't remember how i found your blog, but, it'll stick now :P

i can't list down why i love Bollywood. it's like a love story, you fall hard and you can never get up -- you just don't want to :) i love the hindi language and many things in the Indian culture, her colors, etc.

thanks for the punch ;)
Hi triSh - Thanks so much! Punch away! :)
AK said…
Came across your blog through some of my other favourite Bollywood blogs. It is wonderful. Well, I am passionate about Hindi film music of 1930s through 60s. I do not know how much it intersects with your interests. Nevertheless I invite you to read my blog Songs of Yore.
Irfan Haq said…
Hii Beth...This is Irfan here an 18 year old guy. I'm glad that not only you love bollywood but also promoting it.

Well I must say that the you've got nice original and rich content on your blog.

Well I'm from India only (Delhi to be precise) and even I've gotta blog dedicated to Bollywood.

Check it our if you wish to

Well my blog is not about analysising on bollywood unlike yours.It is all about latest gossips or news, music and videos.

I've even read an article on Wall Street journal that you're heading towards Toronto to attend IIFA. GOod luck for that. I'm sure you're gonna enjoy this gala event.

p.s- Do contact me..if you like my comment
First of all, I love you. and yes more bollywood pls!!

Second, where do you get MiniKhan? I want one and about 10 others that I know want one too....

Third, my buddies at found you and we are now all over your blog(s)

Fourth, Are you on Twitter? (so I can retweet your articles to people)

I subscribed :D
FOB - YOU CRACK ME UP! :D Thank you you thank you for your comment!

Mini Khan...I got him on ebay about 4 years ago but I haven't seen any for sale for ages. But maybe this one should come visit you for a bit? He has traveled all over the US and Europe and has even been to Mumbai....

I tweet at but be warned that only 1/3 or so of what I tweet about is filmi. I also indulge in the typical "OMG my job is nuts!" or "lemon ice cream is delicious!" etc. :)
shrooty said…
Hi Beth! I read your interview on the Sepia Mutiny blog and loved your writing style! I am pleased that you happen to review Telugu movies too :). I am Telugu speaking so if you ever want any recommendations for decent movies I can tell you! This year I have liked two Telugu movies: 100% Love and Ala Modalaindi. Definitely worth a watch!
Hi Shrooty! Thank you for your kind comments! I am always happy to get movie recommendations. So far, the Telugu films I have enjoyed most are some KSR Doss films form the early 70s (which I did a podcast on here with my friends Amrita and Todd) and Ashta Chamma and I'll try to keep an eye out for your recommendations. I have really good access to Hindi DVDs where I live but Telugu, especially with subtitles, are harder to find.
Dear Beth,

Very nice blog and very well written articles. I love the way you do humour as well, will have to go through your older posts just to enjoy the writing style :)

ajay dot yadavalli at gmail dot com
minal desai said…
Hi Beth,
Loved the way you've put across yourself on your blog. And more so your love for bollywood is overwhelming. It is people like you i am looking for. I am Minal Desai from Warmly Designs and we share a little bit of your love for bolllywood, and so we have done these bollywood placemats. Needed some inputs from your end. How do you like them? Can you think of any other foodie, filmy dialogue?
would love to hear from you.
minal desai said…
Unbelievable !! I forgot to post the link.
Here it is -
Thanks Ajay and Minal! Minal, your placemats are very cool. Sadly my grasp of Hindi is so weak that I'm no good at remembering dialogues, but I did make a list of food-related songs here (and lots more in the comments):
bookwormwendy said…
Hi, Beth
I am Wendy from Tennessee and my whole family, my two teens included, are Bollywood fans. Living in rural TN makes it interesting to try and support our "habit", all I can say is think God for Netflix and the internet!
I am always thrilled to find others who are as taken with Bollywood and the Indian culture as we are. My favorite actors are SRK and Shahid Kapoor, though I certainly enjoy many others and my favorite actresses are Rani, Kajol and Anushka is growing on me.
We are also about to start using Rosetta Stone Hindi as a family. We figure that will make family movie night easier. LOL
We stumbled on BW by accident. I believe it was Bride and Prejudice that started it all. Then we saw Slumdog Millionaire. Neither are strictly BW, I know, but gave us a glimpse of the culture. We saw a couple of more non-BW but BWishq films (The Other End of the Line, The Namesake and Outsourced) and decided to try a full blown subtitled BW. Our first was Bunty Aur Babli and I admit, we weren't so sure for about the first hour of the movie. By the end we were charmed and tried another. DDLJ was our intro to SRK and we fell in love.
Now we are growing our list of "have seen" and hoping to actually see one on the big screen (a bit of a challenge around here) soon.
From one BW lover to another, nice to meet you. :)
Welcome Wendy! Nice to meet you. I think it's so cool that you watch Bollywood as a family and that you're going to try Hindi altogether! How close is your nearest cinema with Indian films? After you get to the cinema, maybe you (and the family?) would like to record a segment for the oral history project I'm doing on my podcast?

DDLJ seems to be a magic film. :) I hate it, but there is no denying its power!

Happy movie-watching!
Melissa said…
Hi Beth! Great blog. I love the movie reviews and I LOVE your banner photos!!

I got into Bollywood because I had a hankering that I'd enjoy them. I'm a culture junkie (MA in Anthro!) and also love musicals with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, etc.

I watch Veer Zaara with tears in my eyes, even over 50 viewings later! I can't get enough SRK and Rani!

I found your blog through a book review of King of Bollywood on GoodReads!
Hi Melissa - I work in an anthropology/world cultures museum so I know exactly what you mean :D Thanks for commenting!
Anonymous said…
Hi Beth! Love your blog and inspired me to start my own!!! Thank you for being wonderful and awesome and posting your fab movie reviews and vintage magazine interviews up and keep up the Shashi love!
Anonymous said…
Hi Beth,

I've started watching Bollywood movies in 2009 and since then I've become addicted! :) I watched nearly 100 movies but I can't talk about them because nobody around me watches Bollywood :( That's why I just started a blog to write my thoughts about the movies. When I came across your blog I was really impressed with it, so much to read! Especially I liked the review about Dhobi Ghat:)

bollywoodista - Happy blogging! :)
Anonymous said…
An superb read, thank you. It is acquiring harder and harder to sift through all of the garbage online nowadays.
Anne said…
Hi Beth. I'm the dot on your map from southern Japan. I got into Bollywood about five years ago when I was trapped in my hotel in Dhaka for 24 hours with a stomach thingie Heyy Babyy was on what seemed like a continuous loop on television for most of that time. Not the best circumstance (or the best film), but I branched out and I've been watching ever since. I like Bengali films as well (maybe better), but those are not as frequently subtitled so haven't watched as many.

Love your writing and wish you'd post more, although I'm aware you probably don't want to quit your job and watch movies and blog.
Anonymous - You went to my spam filter, but in case you are real, thank you!

Anne - Oh what a cool story! You are a very hardy cinematic traveler indeed to endure multiple viewings of Heyy Baby. :D Let me know some of your favorite Bengali films. I'm particularly interested to track down things that are NOT Ray, Mrinal Sen, and Ritwik Ghatak simply because those three are what EVERYONE says when I ask about Bengali movies (and of course I had heard about those before I even started watching Indian films). I just ordered a few from Induna so should be writing them up soon-ish. I've gotten some recommendations from folks on twitter that I would be happy to pass on to you if you wish. My email address is on the front page of the blog if you ever want to get in touch.

I wish I posted more too. The weekly column at the WSJ India Real Time blog has consumed a lot of my writing energy this year, as has my actual 9-5 job. BUT thank you very much, and I hope to be posting here more by the end of 2012 when various other things in my life calm down a bit.
Anne said…
The Bengali film I enjoyed most recently is Antaheen by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. It's flawed in some respects but there are really good performances (from Rahul Bose and Aparna Sen, among others) and a natural, relatable heroine. Basically the two main characters bond over email without knowing each other--but no, it's nothing like You've Got Mail. Oh, and it's got Sharmila Tagore! Chowdury's earlier film, Anuranan, did not do it for me. It's got a cast of people I usually like but I could not figure out why anyone was doing anything. "Some relationships are best undefined" is the tagline and as I ejected the movie I thought, "and it sure beat the hell out of me what that one was."
Neha Prasad said…
Hi Beth,

I have only just come across your wonderful blog and it's suddenly one of those things I can't imagine life without! Let's just say that I have a class at 9am tomorrow and it's 2am and here I am...with no intention of moving whatsoever. So much goodness.

I thought I might link you to an article for no other reason than a gut feeling that you'll like it. It is in one part a tribute to Shammi Kapoor and another a story of how Bollywood saved a journalist's life. And it doesn't read for more than a page!,9171,2089363,00.html

I sign off with an indescribable joy of having found a kindred spirit.

Neha Prasad said…
Hi Beth,

I have only just come across your wonderful blog and it's suddenly one of those things I can't imagine life without! Let's just say that I have a class at 9am tomorrow and it's 2am and here I am...with no intention of moving whatsoever. So much goodness.

I thought I might link you to an article for no other reason than a gut feeling that you'll like it. It is in one part a tribute to Shammi Kapoor and another a story of how Bollywood saved a journalist's life. And it doesn't read for more than a page!,9171,2089363,00.html

I sign off with an indescribable joy of having found a kindred spirit.

Stef said…
Hi Beth,
Just wanted to let you know another Canadian loves your site (and Bollywood, too).
I watched my first Bollywood movie three years ago on a Jet Airways flight to India - Love Aaj Kal. It was the perfect intro, but I must say that the 1990s are my current favourite era. Obviously Kajol being fantastic has a lot to do with that.

Anyway, I am about to leave modern-ish Bollywood and delve backwards, and that's how I stumbled across your blog. You'll be a great help along the way, and I wanted to thank you.

Anne - I'll look for Antaheen! It sounds delightful.

Neha - Your comment made my day. Happy reading - but do get some sleep. :) And thank you for the Shammi story - I hadn't seen that.

Stef - Oooh what part of Canada are you from? I lived in Toronto for two years and I miss it terribly. Give a shout if you want any recommendations for 70s and 80s films - and do read Memsaab Story (link in my sidebar) too - she is my go-to for films before 1980.
Neha Prasad said…

Hello, again! Thanks for replying, your comment made mine :) In all the excitement I forgot to share my experience of Bollywood so here it is.

Amitabh Bachchan, he of the soulful eyes reciting 'Kabhi Kabhi' makes me go weak at the knees. But let's rewind. I'm Indian so Bollywood has always been a part of my life. As a 90's baby, I was young enough not be scarred by the high rise pants, god awful dance moves (read: pelvic thrust, weird bass and garish costumes) but old enough to remember Raj giving Simran his hand as she jumped on the train in DDLJ. I was the most gullible thing as a kid and I honestly used to believe the storylines shown in movies. I once asked my parents the name of the song they sang at their wedding! I HONESTLY believed songs could potentially start playing from no where if the moment was right! Yea, I was like 6 years old. However, as with any Bollywood fan, I did grow up to learn that Bollywood is on the most part best appreciated through suspension of disbelief. The fact that you GET IT, and can somehow can see past all the weirdness and eccentricities enough to love it is truly a refreshing change. It is tiring to explain to my non-Bollywood watching friends how one can be a relatively intelligent being and still enjoy Bollywood.

Ranbir Kapoor is a current favorite. I admire his dedication and his ability to make me forget that he's acting.

Keep well & Happy watching!
ps. I wish we could meet. Please give me a heads up if you head to the land Down Under and require an Australian buddy :)
Hi Beth,

Went through your blog an I must say that its a must stop for all fans of Bollywood movies, or movies in general for that matter.

I have a movies blog too. Rashomon Effect ( Mind adding me on your blogroll if you find it interesting enough?

Hi again NP - I have no doubt that if I had grown up with Bollywood I would believe those things too! In fact, I remember being pretty disappointed when I learned that New York City was not as much liked Sesame Street as I had hoped. :)

As for the weirdness and eccentricities - I try to appreciate them for what they are and what they intend to do, even if I don't personally like all of them. And of course many of them I LOVE, especially the ones developed and/or portrayed in the 70s.

Sadly no trips to Australia planned but there are some great Bolly bloggers in Melbourne (probably elsewhere too, but those are the ones I happen to know). Try Cinema Chaat (link in my sidebar)!
Hi, I've nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award; please visit my website for more details.
Hi Fashion Police - Thanks!
Hi Fashion Police - Thanks!
HilaryMI said…
Hi Beth,
I've been watching Bollywood since 2005, but I think I trace my interest back to a few years earlier. I watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 2002 (?), but I was turned off by the fact that Anjali only seemed to be attractive with long hair, a sari, and by losing at basketball. Luckily, I soon saw the gorgeous Monsoon Wedding and a couple of friends who had studied in India brought me a sari and showed me how to eat (though not well) with my fingers. Those little cultural glimpses hooked me. Well, that and the dancing.
I've been using your blog for the past year to feel like I have a filmi-watching community and to find new movies, which I've luckily been able to order through the regional library network. I also just saw my first film in a theater a couple of weeks ago (Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola -- such a fun experience, even if it's not my favorite)!
Any ideas on good films to suggest to the uninitiated? I have friends who have been asking me to host a Bollywood party and I honestly cant identify my "a-ha!" film.
-Hilary (your map says from Saline, but it's actually Ypsilanti, MI)
Hi Hilary -
Thanks for commenting! I recently contributed some suggestions to a list of films for newbies over at Aspi's Drift: One of the things I like about this particular list is (though I do not agree with everything on it, as is the way of lists) that it's annotated - more food for thought as you choose. :) Others I think work well include Chak De India (sports movie framework will already be familiar), Bunty aur Babli, Kandoukondain (Tamil version of Sense & Sensibility), maybe this year's Aiyyaa (haven't tried it on a newbie but if your friends like things like Amelie?), Omkara or Maqbool....
eleanor said…
Hi there Beth!

I am dewaanifordrama, and I originally hail from South Africa (where I was long ago introduced to SRK by an Indian friend who always had pictures of him all over her school books, but sadly I never watched Bollywood then). I have since lived in many places, but I currently live in the mid-west in the US (going to grad school).

I recently started blogging about Korean dramas, but Bollywood was my gateway into that, and still my first love. The first Bollywood movie I watched was Kal Ho Naa Ho, and I was HOOKED from then on out. (A friend was going to cook Indian food for us, which I LOVE, and she was going to introduce us to Bollywood. She ended up having to cancel...but the other friend and I were like, hey, let's try it out, we can always stop if we don't like it). Well, um, *cough* that has proved nigh impossible.

I am starting a Bollywood blog in addition to my Korean drama blog...but it's in baby stages as of right now *silly grad school*, and this is how I stumbled across your fabulous blog, which of course is going on the blog list!
Unknown said…
Hi Beth,

I've been following your tweets for quite some time now and you never cease to entertain and educate me with your love for Bollywood. Thoroughly enjoy your insights !

Big ups to Canada!

Lauren Murphy said…
Hello from another Bollywood addict! My first film was Veer Zara and from there I fell in love with SRK! Thanks to Netflix and being in a circle of Indian friends I've seen over 30 films in the past two years. I love Aamir Kahn, Salman Kahn I guess all the Kahns!! Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Kahn too. As for the ladies I love Kajol and Sridevi!
Rani is great too and the Bachans! Watching Well Done Abba at the moment it's very funny. My top ten favorite films are

3 idiots
Taare zameen par
Bunty aur Babbli
Dil chata hai
Hum tum
Kabhi khusi
Bachne Hanseno

Anonymous said…
Hey Beth :)

I fell down the Bollywood and Indian film rabbit hole at the beginning of this year, and just can't seem to find my way out again (thank goodness). Of course, I had to immediately seek out some sort of commentary on what I was watching, and your blog was one of the first resources I found back in January. You and Filmi Geek and Memsaab Story and the PPCC and others (and your delightful collaboration on Masala Zindabad) are pretty much 100% responsible for my education in Hindi cinema. I can't thank you enough for the time you've spent over the years to amass your thoughts about movies, your screencaps, your research, and your time collectively building a community of English filmi-blogs that I've spent countless lovely hours reading. Also, if it weren't for you, it probably would have taken me a lot longer to stumble upon 70s masala, which is pretty much the best thing I've ever seen in my life (and is practically all I want to see for the rest of it). So, thanks :) I owe you one (or two, or a thousand).

~Miranda (Twin Cities, MN)
Hi Miranda! Thank you so much. The fact that I had anything to do with your love of 70s masala means my life's work is complete, I think. :D The urge to acquire and organize and share information is strong in this one and I'm just glad the internet existed as a place for me to do all those things - and, of course, meet so many fantastic people who have changed my life.

Have you found crew of Indian film fans in Minneapolis? There are a lot of them! Start with Bollywood Food Club (link in my sidebar) if not.
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