Bollywood, Hollywood have a great impact on all of our lives. When angry young man Amitabh Bachan screamed from the screen, ‘Hai kisi maa ke lal me Himmat, jo maere saamne aaye…….’, there was a pin drop silence in the hall. When Shahrukh Khan looked into your eyes and said, ‘Don ko pakdana mushkil hi nahi, na mum kin hai…….’ , you actually believed he is capable of everything. When Kajol said, ‘Kuch kuch hota hai Rahul, tum nahi samjhoge……..’, you actually felt her pain. When Madhuri said, ‘Kahin na kahin, koi na koi maere liye banaya gaya hai…’, you dreamt with her. You believed every word they said, you lived their pain, you laughed with them, you celebrated every victory, you hated the villainous moments and you swooned to the romance. That’s the magic of cinema, it can make you believe in things that does not exist. It grips you with the passion you don’t realise.
When I was in school, bollywood fed us the cheesiest possible romance and most of the time it started in college. Aamir Khan fell for Madhuri at the very first look in the movie Dil and danced all around her to impress her. Only he can tell you how can any girl be impressed with lyrics like ‘Khambe jaise khadee hai….’, Ajay Devgan did the deadly split on moving bikes to win Madhu. I had no idea girls liked chimpanzees back then. Akshya Kumar jumped around like monkeys to score Ayesha Jhulka. The beauty is we actually believed in all of it. We actually believed that the college was going to be so much fun. There would be dance, music, picnics, guys and oh so romantic dates. Coming from all girls home, it was like a dream.
There are dreams and then there are nightmares and sometimes they come true. Just before I was to start college, I got braces. I was 17, who gets braces at that age? I did for a reason unfathomable. I had a milk tooth which got removed and to pull my teeth back together, the doctor tied my teeth with wires. The entire idea of college romance got beaten up by my iron clad mouth. My dreams of dancing with Amir Khan, Ajay Devgan and Akshya Kumar got shattered, who was going to like a girl with iron in her mouth? Far from being pretty, in fact far from being civilised, back then I almost looked like Hannibal.
First day of your college, you wear your best clothes, you put on a little make up, in my case polish your braces and curse your stars for them. In the wildest of my dreams, I have not imagined myself in braces, at least not during college. In fact never, ever. So I entered the college with battered confidence and shiny teeth.
What came next took me by surprise, my braces which was ugly to me was considered cute. I became, the cute girl with braces. I was wanting to be the hot girl but I was reduced to the cute girl, I happily accepted. Anything which did not categorise me as weird, was welcomed. Thus started my college life with shiny teeth and scary smile. It lasted for three years, the entire college tenure. Did I get to dance around the trees with any Aamir Khan? Well, like they say, pyar andha hota hai……