Tag Archives: storytime

Fandom the First (or The One that I Remember)

dil-to-pagal-hai

Dil To Pagal Hai is the first filmi I ever saw in the cinema. It may not be the first one that I watched- one of my local television stations used to air Bollywood movies every Sunday, so Hindi language movies (with English subtitles of course) was the norm in my house. It’s absolutely the reason for Bollywood cinema being my first ever fandom though.

dil-pagal-hai-movie-poster

Let me set the stage: A young 8 year old girl and her brother are taken to the cinema by her parent. She’s not sure what they are there to see that day but it’s the movie theatre so she’s excited. The curtains open and the movie starts with this which basically blows her mind. The music, the clothes, the choreography, the SRK… Honestly, it was love at first sight. Then she sees the movie’s heroine, Madhuri Dixit, and that’s when she falls irrevocably in fangirl love  

l_118983_a045451c

I adore Shah Rukh Khan, I really do. It’s just a state of being that everyone I know who watched his work in ’90s and onwards exist in. I’ve seen many of his movies multiple times, enough so to be able to recite the dialogue from at least one verbatim. Madhuri is a bit different for me, I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to dress, look and most definitely be able to dance like Mads. When she retired from acting for years, I was legitimately upset by it. The SRK-Madhuri jodi in DTPH remains one of my favourite ever in part because it was just so magical for me when I saw this filmi on the big screen.

6nxxpmykw6j868xw

I actually credit filmis in general for several things, the major one being my ability to read quickly. It’s also why non-English language entertainment (anime, asian dramas, telenovelas etc.) have always felt accessible to me as long as subtitles were available. The only Hindi I understand or speak to this day are the words which have made frequent appearances in movies or songs.

MV5BMTk4Nzk5MTM4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzIyNDEyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR6,0,214,317_

Even though, I’m no way near the filmi fangirl I was in primary and early secondary school, Bollywood will always have a special place in my heart. After all it is my first and most familiar love.

Fandom and Me

download

Once upon a time there was a little girl who  was way too precocious for her own good. This little girl really loved reading and lived in her head much of the time. She was never quite comfortable with the people she knew in primary school, since there was just the slightest thing off about her in comparison with the other children. This isn’t to say that she was an unpopular recluse with no friends, far from it in fact. The little girl knew she was different and the other girls knew it too. She was quite accustomed to her friends telling her that she was weird and at some point early on embraced it. Luckily, she did have a sibling with some similar interests so she never felt completely alone but he would never completely understand how she felt about certain things.

She finally found girls similar to her in secondary school. The now teenage girl found friends who were into things like: books, anime, manga, soap operas, cartoons, sports, dramas, movies, music etc. Hell she even made one friend in particular who. like her, was interested in all of these things. Now it doesn’t seem strange that she would find people who were fans of these things; but her friend were not merely fans. They were fangirls. They cared about the objects of their interest passionately and remembered minute details that escaped the attention of the casual observer. To this day, these girls remain her closest friends because their fannish tendencies bonded them irrevocably (well that and going to an all female school).

Later on, she made new friends both online and off; because of, rather than in spite of, her fangirl proclivities. This girl’s story is most likely not unique but it hers. Moreover as a consequence of her experiences, fandom is such a personal and important part of her life.