Good Morning! It is 7:05 AM, and I am in the Syracuse Greyhound station with fellow traveler, Losa Meru, as we wait for the arrival of our bus to New York City, predicted to be an hour late. While I have packed, double checked everything, and began my travel, I still can’t believe it is finally the day we will be going to India! While I have traveled some, mainly back and forth from school at Syracuse University to home in Northern California, I have only gone as far as Central America and Canada. I am beyond excited to be traveling all the way to Mumbai, India, home of Bollywood cinema!
My name is Aaron Goldsmith, I am a senior at Syracuse University, dual majoring in Television/Radio/Film and Information Management & Technology. I was first exposed to Bollywood cinema my freshman year while taking “Interpretation of Film” with Professor Hallas. In the class we learned about the techniques and styling throughout the films and how they differ from American cinema. While it instantly peaked my interest, it was when we watched Om Shanti Om that I truly wanted to watch and learn more. The music, colors, dances, story, and pageantry of the whole film immediately engulfed me into the world of Bollywood cinema, and I was hooked. For weeks after, my friends and I watched more films and listened to the music as if we had been doing so our whole lives.
When I found out about this program through SU, I knew right away that I had to be a part of it. While I knew I would have to save up and break the bank some, the experience I would gain from it would be more than worth it and something no one could put a price on. How many people have the opportunity to say that they got to travel to Mumbai to film a Bollywood song and journey around a country so different from their own?
I will have to admit that one of the things I am most looking forward to is learning how Bollywood songs are created and filmed from start to finish, and then being able to be a part of it, maybe even in front of the camera. However, I am most excited for being immersed in the culture of India, one so exciting and different from our own. I can’t wait to meet the people, eat the food, and wear the clothing. While I am not looking forward to the heat, humidity, sunburn, and insect bites, those are all small prices to pay in comparison to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this.
Our bus has now arrived, hopefully not too late to miss our connection to Newark, so we continue our grand and long journey to India, as I listen to “Contemporary Bollywood” and “Hindi Bollywood Hits” Radios on Pandora and check out Netflix’s selection of Bollywood films. You shall hear from me again soon from across the pond, and in the meantime enjoy this Bollywood hit from Om Shanti Om, “Deewangi Deewangi.”