Bollywood: Rocking the boat

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Here’s a list of Bollywood films that inspire and challenge you to seek beyond boundaries


Once in a while we read a book, have a conversation or watch a film that, in this world of too many tales and very big words, speaks to us personally. Something connects and that becomes our teacher or guide or friend or mirror, inspiring us to do something we didn’t think we could do. Sometimes we follow our hearts, but more often most of us put the experience where we think it belongs, at the back of our minds.

We’ve all heard the buzz around Imtiaz Ali’s newest film Highway and you might not agree with me, but I feel this movie is a milestone in filmmaking and story-telling. Simple and subtle, it will affect you in the best way. Recently, I had the humbling, overwhelming experience of meeting Imtiaz Ali. It’s a funny story, and I made a proper fool of myself, but completely loved it!

Ali was taking questions from the audience and without really thinking I asked him, “All the protagonists in your films seem to have an ongoing struggle with society. Be it a Jordan from Rockstar or Veera from Highway, each character seems aloof or annoyed by society. So what, Imtiaz Ali, are the issues that you might have with society?”

The answer was not too personal, as you may imagine. But it was the voice of an artist who understands human hearts that spoke. I’m going to paraphrase here because I was too busy reminding myself to breathe, to actually fully memorize what he said but this is the gist, the core, the question and the answer. “I don’t have any issues, really. Maybe I did when I was younger. But most people who rock the boat have issues. Society tells us to be still and if you do rock the boat, you’re made to feel guilty. We know it’s just easier to let things be as they are, to not rock the boat. So why do we do so?” Imtiaz responded.

Here is our list of films that will make you question, give you answers and hopefully rock the boat for you.


10) Sholay

A journey made for profit and boyish whims, turns into an epic tale of love, friendship and becoming men. Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra transform from carefree, uninspired boys, into leaders and avengers. This movie is about when you have to do something, and can’t find the courage to figure out how.


9) Dil chahta hai

This one is a fun movie, but it does contain some powerful boat-rocking material. Friendship is a journey unto itself, and if you’re willing to accept friends for who they are, you’ll never travel alone.


8) Namaste London

A good watch for anyone missing the quirkiness of Bharat. The movie takes us through a few different states, each with it’s own sweet nuances. And finally it shows us that true love does not mean ownership.


7) Dil hai ki manta nahin

So much ‘awww’ bundled up into one cute movie. Two strangers, Aamir Khan and Pooja Bhatt, decide to travel together and on the way, whilst trying their very best not to, fall in love. This one is for when you’re feeling overly intellectual. Sometimes, you need to not think. And most times, if not always, you need to be like Anupam Kher!



6) Swadesh

Not every journey is going to show you what you hope to see or what you want to see. Some travels will take you into worlds you have tried to avoid, feelings you have fought, and chapters you had closed. These journeys are known to be the most rewarding.


5) Jab we met

Another awesome travel movie from Imtiaz Ali. This film will tell you one thing clearly – love is messy, deal with it! Life is uncertain, deal with it! And if you end up at 50, regretting the time you wasted thinking too much, well, deal with that too. Because our life is a sum of all the choices we make. Choose to be stupid now!


4) Zindagi na milegi dobara

This film is as much a journey into Spain, as it is into each of the character’s hearts and minds. As these friends travel though the lush countryside and view ageless architecture, they travel deeper into themselves and try to fight the things they fear most.


3) Dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge

Ja Simra, jee le apni zindagi!” This line is music to my ears! I try and jump on trains at the last minute just to feel a bit of the excitement Simran aka Kajol must have felt when she was getting on that train. This one is for all the good, sweet, well-behaved kids who have never done anything messy in their lives. Please do, it will be worth it.


2) Yeh jawani hai dewani

Sometimes you need to travel far and wide, only find whatever it is you’re looking for when you come back home. There is only so much we can dream for ourselves, it’s important to let people in and let them dream for you too. Relationships, my friends, are not baggage, they are the airplanes.


1) Highway

This movie is what started my rant in the first place. This film will make you fall in love with the beautiful landscapes and cultures of India. It will make you cherish human connections and give you courage and inspiration to go and do the thing you know you have to.

Rock the boat!


What's On