As a cinema lover, and someone who hopefully (most probably) will make her own film and win an Oscar for it, it's given that I spend pretty much 90% of my free time watching movies, and the other 10% critiquing them. As an Indian girl who watches pretty much every Bollywood movie in town, I can say that Bollywood movies are far from perfect. Strong, powerful female leads are rare, dark-skinned leads are still scarce, and a lot of stunts are humanly impossible. But Bollywood movies have taught me life lessons that I couldn't possibly learn elsewhere.

**A rough translation ^^ "A slap doesn't scare me, but love does."

They taught me to love without fear, live in the moment, and most importantly, dance like no one's watching. I was raised watching Bollywood movies, and the most important thing they've taught me is to not inhibit myself no matter what. If you've ever seen a Bollywood movie, you would have noticed that more often than not, things are dramatic, large, and sometimes blown out of proportion. To an outsider, this might seem like an alternative, exaggerated reality. But for us, the people whose childhood consisted of Shah Rukh Khan dancing on a train for "Chaiyya Chaiyya" or Krithik Roshan in K3G, these things taught us to dream big. They taught us that nothing is ever too big, or too much, we are taught from a very young age to experience everything to the fullest, without worrying about what everyone else around us would think.

All in all, there is much more to Bollywood and the impact it has on our lives than actors randomly breaking into music and dance in unison.

What I love most about Bollywood movies is how timeless they are. Movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and DDLJ are evergreen and will always caste the same spell on their viewers no matter how many years later they're being played. The songs have lyrics that echo in our hearts and local radio stations decades later. The movies have dialogues that we can say from memory no matter how long ago we watched the film, and we feel every emotion, every tear, with every cell in our body. The romance is reborn and the fire is rekindled, and we feel the same tingly feeling in our stomach as we did when we first saw Kajol and SRK on screen together.

I love Bollywood more than anything because it's taught me to always embrace my Indian heritage, no matter which part of the world I live in. It gives me an outlet to show people what my culture really means through the songs, clothes, and the celebration. They've taught me to dream as big as I possibly can without forgetting where my roots are. They give me a thousand possibilities, but always show me the path back home. Bollywood movies remind me that there is still magic left in this world. They remind me that there is color, hope and dramatic, boundless love all around me.