TV and books

How a Bollywood film gave me a perspective on self- improvement

I always had a fond interest in foreign works of art, especially film and television. I graduated from college with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Film Studies. I was one of those movie buffs who often watch something with subtitles to preserve the original language because I believe that it maintains the raw emotion of the characters. Moving forward into Bollywood films, both of my advisers were of Indian descent and those Bollywood film assignments I had to do in college, eventually became an enjoyable hobby of mine.

I know it sounds super cheesy to say (Note: Maybe because I am not Indian and still get kicks every time the dance number in the films comes in?) It took a Bollywood film to really appreciate the power of self-improvement, even though the movie is more about revenge. I watched a Bollywood film called Agneepath staring Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra on a flight returning from Los Angeles. I was hooked with both characters since they did awesome on their on-screen performance. Even better, I also love their off-screen stories, their real-life biographies.

Priyanka and I are similar in many ways, except the fact that she is an incredibly gorgeous model, actress and singer. We both are Cancers Zodiac signs and both of us had rough childhood dealing with being bullied by her peers. Priyanka once said, “I was a gawky kid, had low self-esteem, came from a modest middle-class background, had white marks on my legs … But I was damn hard working. Today, my legs sell 12 brands.”

The fact that she has no form of a film background, she is on the real, the quintessential self-made superstar. She is currently the leading lady in Bollywood because of her versatility in portraying a range of unconventional characters, from a serial killer in the 2011 neo-noir, 7 Khoon Maaf, an autistic woman in the 2012 romantic comedy Barfi! to a boxer in the 2014 biographical sports drama Mary Kom. Hrithik Roshan may have a strong family history film background since his father and grandfather are both film directors, but he is no different.

Like me, Roshan also suffers from a childhood difficulty due to a speech disorder called stammering (I have cluttering, which is different). The people affected with speech disorders lived through a nightmare of self-doubt, loneliness and anguish. “For oral tests at school, I used to bunk school, I used to fall sick, I used to break my hand, and I used to get a sprain.” Not to mention, living the Hollywood lifestyle only made matters worse when he packed on a lot of weight and smoked three packs of cigarettes at one point of his life.

With the help of personal trainer superstar, Kris Gethin who also the former editor-in-chief for, got Hrithik in amazing shape for his movie Krrish and was named the sexiest Asian man alive for two years in a row. Roshan vows to raise health awareness in India. He later became a major benefactor at Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai to inaugurate the hospital’s audio and speech therapy wing. I never forgot Roshan’s words from the stammering article I read:

“When I met my doctor who treated me at age 14 for stammering, I could barely control my emotions. It’s not easy to be a special child.’ “….I got over it, so will you. I think it is very important for me to convey this message far and wide and I want to do it more often.”

You have to admit that inspiration isn’t something that is inherited, but something that once found, can really put an impact in your life in order to do great things. For years, the combination of my own personal issues with my speech impediment had an impact on my life and underwent anger and resentment. I felt unimportant, insignificant, “the background” character and etc. There are times I put others first before my own needs and often this does more harm than good.

I can go on about my life in this article, but I learned that if I want something bad enough, these obstacles are created to make you stronger as a person. You have to earn what you deserve, even though you do not deserve the adversaries life throw at you. Though fitness, I learned so much about myself that I am no different from a celebrity, you simply deserve the best life and anyone that says otherwise, shouldn’t stick around. Who knows Bollywood can teach you a lot once you get past those lovey dovey characters and dance numbers?

Enjoy this dance number (You had it coming!)