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A degree from Bollywood university

Clipping (51kbs) - The Times of India, 06/07/1999. By Nitin Rajagopalan

Record Number : A0060674

Click to browse by keyword: Cinema Film exhibition


A degree from Bollywood university
There were 10 reasons why I had decided to join a co-ed college in India. The first three, I must confess, were girls, girls and girls; (well at least this way the reasons seem different); the fourth one happened to be women (you should have guessed by now) only a natural progression from the first three reasons. Reason numbers five to nine consisted of all those cliched and frivolous excuses like healthy competition, great environment, loads of fun, interaction with a wider variety of students etc. Reason no. 10, which would come as a surprise to most of you, was Bollywood!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a Hindi movie buff (never was and never ever will be, thanks to movies like ‘Biwi No. land ‘International Khiladi’). God ki kasam (once an Indian, always an Indian) in my 19 year old/young life, I may have seen about 18 Hindi movies. (Iran away from the theatre even before the interval of ‘Trimurti’ and just could not sit through 15 minutes of ‘Raja Hindustani’. Make that 10 and, dash them, it took them five minutes to roll out the credits).

So, why was Bollywood reason no. 10? Well, they say cinema apes real life. Just picture the image of a normal co-ed college life portrayed by the Mumbaiwallas - my point exactly! College kids on screen are always having fun, extraordinary fights, richer than-thou fathers, sexier-than-thou girlfriends, cooler-than-thou clothes; to make a long three-hour story short, they lead a more interesting-than-thou life. Being more gullible-Than-thou, I fell for all the falsities. I actually expected co-ed college life to be as, if not more, tantalizing and thrilling.

Let me be honest I knew there would be a down side to it too. Imagine, having classmates the age of Jeetendra and Mithun Chakraborty and having to share your lunch with them (uugghhhl What a thought)!

I had this larger than life expectation from college, thanks to a bunch of creatively impaired filmmakers from that part of the country where people find it necessary to rename their hometown every generation or so. Unfortunately the bubble bursts faster than it takes our hero to find out that it was the heroine’s father who was responsible for the death of his sister’s uncle’s grandfather’s mother-in-law. After seeing colleges the size of Khazakstan in Hindi movies, I was more than just let down to find out that my college is no bigger than a matchbox.


Unfortunately the list of disappointments did not end there. In fact, it was only the beginning. For starters, I found out that my college did not have a large campus. It does not even have a tree. So?

Well, how was I supposed to do all that singing & dancing around trees if there were no trees?!? I’d have to make do by running around the herd of two wheelers parked outside college (Boy, would I look stupid!). Come to think of it, people will think that there is a history of insanity in my family.

I had a good workout in the gym before I set off to college on the first day. Anyone who has ever seen a Hindi movie should know that you definitely should hit up a senior who tries to rag you on your first day.

Not only do you end up impressing members of the fairer sex (that was just to avoid being labelled a chauvinist) but also end up befriending the very senior you beat up. This ensures you a girlfriend and a loyal-as(s)-an-Alsatian friend (the kind that saves your skin when you’re being beaten up with hockey sticks) which is more than enough to last you a college-life time. Well, coming back to ragging, imagine my surprise when I found out that ragging was altogether banned and that my seniors were a bunch of wimps who did not dare to break the rules. That left me without a girlfriend and minus a loyal-as(s)-an-Alsatian friend. Just great!!!

Remember how every Hindi film has got a masterji (male teacher) who plays an all in one (jeez, that sounds like a toothpaste)? The man who plays teacher plus mentor plus friend plus idol plus parent plus a guy who can sing & dance, pretty well if required. Well he forgot to come to my college. He was absent, just not there.

Again, in every Hindi film there is a female teacher who just oozes out youth and zeal, looks a million dollars and who usually has that one lecture about love or Romeo & Juliet and the likes. When we’re talking about my college, the closest anyone comes to that description is a 57-year-old political science lecturer.

I’ve tried breaking into a song now and then but end up facing the following bottlenecks:- a) no background music b) I find it very difficult to come up with fresh new lyrics on the spot c) The extras who are supposed to dance along with me just fail to appear. There have been times when I have waited for mangoes, oranges and rose petals to fail from the skies. Needless to say that never happened either.

Thanks to Bollywood, I do know that I have not yet met the right girl for me. Had I already bumped into her, I would surely have heard the haunting melody of the flute or the sitar. Until now the only sounds I hear when I bump into a girl are the occasional barking of dogs, cawing of crows, mooing of cows and once in a while the unexpected screams of the girl herself.

I do know, thanks to Bollywood, that I should not have a relationship with a girl who belongs to the same religion or social background. That would really take out the spice from life. If nothing else, I must try and find a girl whose father just so happens to be my father’s sworn enemy. It would be even better if the enmity was a few generations old, preferably dating back to the days of my great great grandfather. This would ensure a long lasting married life, and besides life would not be as fun without a few hardships.

Here again I was let down when I found out that the only person my dad knew in my college was me. I must confess, when the time comes,! would rather play the not-so-rich guy who gets the stinking rich girl. This would enhance our net asset value (yes, I am a commerce student).

Let down after let down. My whole college life has been a long list of disappointments. I think this is the greatest scam in the history of scams. The co-ed colleges and Bollywood are obviously in it together. The colleges ensure generations of morons who would pay to watch a Bollywood production. In return the Hindi films portray such a false image of the colleges that innocent youngsters like me are fooled into joining the colleges.

EUREKA! That’s it. It is a scandal that I have single-handedly unearthed. Someone ought to file a case against Bollywood for misrepresentation and deceiving the innocent impressionable minds. Now that the future generations of the Indian youth are safe (thanks to my discovery) and I have saved the nation like a true hero, I’ll just go and find myself a Biwi No. 1. That would be a true Bollywood ‘THE END”.

Damn! I just remembered I am under-aged, but then, hey in Bollywood who cares??

Nitin Rajagopalan, MES College







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