I’ve come to be defined by my adoration of Hindi films. My sons ask why I am obsessed. My mother describes my infatuation to strangers. I entitle my Pandora station of choice, “Bollywood Bliss,” and I have met most of the South Asian faculty on my campus not in committee meeting but in conversations about Bollywood’s badshah, Shah Rukh Khan. Despite this, my breakfasts in Bollywood have drawn to a close, and I watch far fewer filmis.
The wonderful moment in which India created its own cultural medium at the crossroads of East and West seems to have passed. The NRIs (Non Resident Indians) still play a critical role in new films, but they no longer sing and dance in evidence of their enduring Desi souls. The drive in Mumbai to make something that Hollywood might buy seems to have silenced Bollywood’s siren song. Perhaps when I finally see Aamir Khan’s Three Idiots, I will find Aamir’s insistence upon the arty to have brokered a comedic deal with bhangra. I suspect, however, that only an SRK superhero can bring back the Bollywood I love.