While preparing for the upcoming Diwali celebrations in the library these past weeks, I have been thinking about all the great Indian movies we have in our collection.
Indian movies always have a special flavour all their own, but even outsiders to India's intriguing culture can relate to their storylines and themes. Here are a few of my favourites, all of which are subtitled in English:
Based on the novel Five Point Someone: What not to do at IIT, the 2009 comedy drama 3 Idiots is the highest grossing Bollywood film to date.
It is the story of three engineering students, one of them an uncontrollable free thinker who touches and changes the lives of those around him.
The story focuses on his non-traditional learning methods and his clashes with his domineering mentor. This is an entertaining tale about friendship and following your dreams.
Aastha: In the Prison of Spring has attracted attention since its release in 1997 for explicit love scenes and adult themes.
One day, while shopping for shoes for her daughter, Mansi realizes that she doesn't have the money to pay her bill. She reluctantly accepts another customer's offer to pay, not realizing that the customer has a secret agenda that will change Mani's life forever.
The 1995 Mani Ratnam film, Bombay - which won many international awards and also critical attention - tells the story of Shekhar, a journalist and the son of a traditional Hindu father, and Shaila, a Muslim girl from the village. Shekhar and Shaila marry and raise their children in both religions, but while their families learn to accept their union and to love their children, their lives play out against a backdrop of Hindu/Muslim riots that devastate Bombay.
As part of our ongoing World Films series, the library is showing the Oscar-nominated 2001 film Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India over two Tuesdays in November. If you missed the first part of Lagaan last Tuesday night, a quick recap will bring you up to date for the second half on Tuesday, Nov, 20, at 6 p.m.
And don't forget to visit to the library on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. for Diwali - the Festival of Light, one of the most poignant and colourful celebrations.
The library is collaborating with Ridge Meadows South Asian Cultural Society and the Family Education and Support Centre. And, as is customary for Diwali, there will be entertainment, food, and lots of fun.
Later in the month, the library's lineup of Christmas programming for all ages will begin on Nov. 28, at 3: 30 p.m., with the family Christmas movie Elf.
The fun will continue with Night Time Tales: Christmas Countdown on Dec. 4, Adult Evening Christmas on Dec. 11 and Posada on Dec. 13.
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- Minakshi Sidhu is a librarian at the Maple Ridge Library