When Bollywood gets Real: Lessons through Songs

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Bollywood is famously known as being escapist.

True, there are heroes who can lift cars, women who can change into 7 different sari’s during a 4 minute song and indeed dance in these saris amidst snowy mountains.

However, Bollywood can be non-escapist too as it deals with real life issues that are deep and sometimes that are at the core of us all.

As we live our lives we find that sometimes we tumble through, sometimes we swim and sometimes we sink. Or rather, we feel that we sink. It is certainly in those challenging moments of feeling utterly lost and betrayed by life that transformation occurs – if we choose.

Life is full of ups and downs and we cannot control the seasons that come.

Nevertheless, choosing to see bewildering times as transformation is in our power.

And films can serve as an inspiration to do that.

For some, films help to understand the world.

Okay, life is not like Bollywood with the ideal families, the perfect love story or magical endings. With family and love sometimes come unexpected difficulties, and “endings” don’t exist. Instead it is all a continuing personal journey of learning and self growth.

So, placing aside Bollywood’s reputation as “escapist” here is an exploration of songs that go deep and hit nerves that really exist. If we are lucky, we may tumble, stumble or sink amongst these places.

Yeh Duniya Bhi Miljaye (Pyaasa, 1957)

Guru Dutt’s masterpiece poignantly reflects that we chase those things that usually take us further away from ourselves.

So what if I end up with the whole world at my feet?

The money is fake. People are fake. Prestige is given to the fake.

Youth is wasted on trying to make the word love the body whilst love itself has become a word distorted, devalued, misunderstood.

So what if I end up with the whole world at my feet?

Take it away, burn it away, take it away.


Wahan Kaun Hai Tera (Guide, 1965) 

Sometimes we cannot go where we want to go. Even worse, we do not have any one to turn to for love and comfort. That’s when we must trust life to take us where it may and to go to a place inside where there is abundance of love and comfort. Trusting life and finding the key to that inner place is the best lesson life can teach.


Aye Khuda (Murder 2, 2011)

Becoming so bewildered that one is lost. Holding onto things in this life that will eventually turn to dust. Emphasised is that it is never too late to find an inner place within and deal with the pain.


Kun Faya Kun (Rockstar, 2011)

Nothing stays the same in life. Nor the good times or the bad. It all passes. So, when we look to a place beyond desire and attachment, that’s when it becomes clear. It becomes clear that there is something higher which is accessible to all. Letting go and trusting the universe is the best way to live. Flourish where you are planted.

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