The year 2008 marks the 95th anniversary of Bollywood cinema. It was in 1913, that the very first Indian – okay, not technically Bollywood – movie was made – Raja Harishchandra. Few who sat in the Coronation Theatre in Mumbai on May 3rd, 1913 could have realised that they were witnessing one of the most major historical events of all time – the birth of an industry that would eventually employ hundreds of thousands, that would span the globe, that would act as the window to India, and that would provide spiritual and moral sustenance and a sense of identity to a diaspora of hundreds of millions – and entertainment, gaiety, laughter, tears and drama to billions of souls.
It would be impossible and indeed unfair for any one person to draw up a definitive list of ten Bollywood movies that represent the best of the industry. Each must produce their own. However, in this article, I hope to cover at least 10 movies that might be instructional and entertaining to people new to the joys and pleasures that only Bollywood can bring. I hope you will join me on my journey.