At the request of Matt and Laurie, I'll attempt to answer their questions on the name Simran.
Matt, I got the name Simran from the Hindi movie 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge', which in English means - The braveheart will get the bride. The movie stars Kajol, who plays Simran and Shah Rukh Khan who plays Raj. As a matter of fact, this film was Shah Rukh Khan's rocket to stardom, even though he had been in the industry for five years. It was his first "lover boy" role, since he was used to playing the "bad boy" and that's all it took. He went from a "middle-class brown boy from Delhi", as he says of himself to the superstar he is now.
DDLJ, produced by Yash Raj Films is the longest running film in Indian cinema. It released in October of 1995 and is still playing today in the cinemas of India. That'll be eleven years this Ocober! WOW! It is a great love story, which takes you from London to India in the course of the story. It's really a must see film. Don't worry you get used to the subtitles after awhile.
Now, although I simply love this film, it wasn't my introduction to Bollywood and all things Indian.
Laurie, the film that endeared me to these was none other than - Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham translated -Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad. It's produced by Dharma Productions.
K3G, as it is called in the world of celluloid opened up a whole new world for me. I had never even heard of Bollywood before that - imagine? After being whisked away to another country, cinematically of course, the colors, dancing, music and the culture I was "hooked" and wanted to know everything I could about India cinema (those in the industry don't really care for the name Bollywood, as it makes it seem like it's a imitation of Hollywood, which is about as far from the true as you can get. Hollywood with all its technology couldn't make films like these). This film too, ironically stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the main leads, as they have done quite a few films together.
It was three years ago this past March that I watched K3G and I've since watched so many more that I've lost count. Until I found a Hindi theater, DVDs were the way to go. We went to see two of the films in the cinema about 60 miles from here before it was no more. :-( So now, I need to find another cinema, until then it will be back to the DVDs. I now have a collection of all of Shah Rukh Khan's films and some non-SRK films.
My research on Bollywood landed me a writing position with Bollyvista, an online portal for all things Bollywood. I also now have two Bollywood columns - one in New Zealand - The Global Indian and one in India - Paramount Airways in-flight magazine called Wings and Aisles. I have written other articles as well for Associated Content and Indian publications that have to do with other things Indian besides Bollywood too.
A co-written Bollywood script and adapted novel are also up for publication. Stay tuned for the news on those!
I've yet to visit India, as I mentioned but I'm working on it. My Indian friends here have shared so much of their culture (including their delicious spicy food) with me. My online Indian friends have offered so much as well, several of them are from the Absolute Write writer's forum. Listed in the links of the navigation column you will find so many more friends and their websites. If you go back to some of my previous posts, you'll find even more.
Thanks to Laurie and Matt for their questions, which prompted this post and as they say in the film world - that's a wrap.