India Currents Magazine | September 2011
One sultry evening in June 2000, a chance meeting in an unpretentious movie house showing the Shahrukh Khan-Aishwarya Rai starrer Josh provided an interesting twist to my professional life. A man named Aniruddh Chawda (A Lotus from the Nile, June 2011) engaged me in conversation during the intermission, and his first question was a more than fair one:
“Why are you watching a Hindi film and one without subtitles?” (After all, I’m an American woman from the upper Midwest whose hair has been white-blonde since graduate school in the 1970s. Not your typical Hindi film-goer at all.)
I explained to him that I’d long been interested in Hong Kong films—also without subtitles—and, in 1998, an online HK film friend had suggested I might like Hindi films. My undergraduate and graduate studies had been in Theatre Arts, so she thought I’d love the spectacle and the music of the films. She was right. I was hooked from the first film I rented (Pardes), and I still am. Being an avid reader and a writer, the next logical step was to dive into Indian fiction. Again, hooked!