Ask anyone who’s been anywhere near me since September of this year and they’ll most likely tell you that there’s something different about me. I blame Shahid Kapoor. This is Shahid:
One day on my fall break from school I decided to watch a movie. I began perusing Netflix and somehow ended up in the Bollywood section (don’t even ask, I haven’t figured it out myself). That was the day my life changed. By chance, I chose a movie starring none other than Mr. Shahid Kapoor (voted Asia’s #2 sexiest man second to Hrithik Roshan). I loved the movie and was later disappointed to find out it hadn’t done well in the theatres (it was a timing thing). Chance Pe Dance is what got the Bollywood ball rolling down a steep, slippery slope. When things go down, they tend to gain speed. Now, some three months later, I’ve nearly exhausted Netflix of all the Hindi-language films, picked over the Bollywood DVD selection at certain Wal-Marts and even convinced both my mom and my best friend to see Shahid’s latest flick (Mausam) in the theatre (on separate days – I didn’t mind seeing it twice). I find myself looking for sub-titles even when I’m watching English movies and I often forget that I can’t actually speak Hindi nor am I brown.
What does this have to do with being a virgin? Nothing. But it has everything to do with men. Sort of. Here’s the thing: I think North American men have forgotten how to be real men – just like North American women have forgotten how to be real women. Men here have to be all strong and tough. It’s not okay to show emotion. Real men don’t cry. I don’t think I’ve seen a Bollywood film in which the hero didn’t cry. But these are still manly men. Hollywood has nothing to offer compared to the likes of Shahid Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham and so many others.
I watch these movies wondering why men can’t be like that in real life (yes, yes, I know they’re just movies). It seems that there’s still something left in the Indian culture that the Western world has swept under the rug. How often are men here applauded for their tears? Honestly (unless the guy is a complete wuss), I think tears are sexy. They show that we’re still human. They show that we feel. I’m beginning to see that, as we spend more and more time away from real life (sitting in front of a screen of any sort is not considered real life), the less we feel real things. Real emotions come from reality, not reality tv shows. We’ve placed ourselves in the lives of other people rather than living life for ourselves. We are no longer real people.
So here I am. I think I’m real… most of the time anyway. But finding real people to surround myself with is becoming increasingly more difficult. I want to spend my time with people who have real lives, real feelings, real emotions and who aren’t afraid to show it. When did it become manly or womanly to bottle everything up inside? Looking around I can’t say that it’s been good for society as a whole. I’m looking for a man who can learn a few things from these Bollywood hunks. Be a man. Cry a little every once in a while.