When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
First of all, how cute is this cover?!
I have two words for this book: TOTES ADORBS. From the beginning when we meet Dimple and her traditional Indian family and witness her mom’s obsession with Dimple finding an I.I.H. (Ideal Indian Husband) to her meet-cute with Rishi
to the too-good-to-be-true-ness of the nerdy but gorgeous Rishi and his worshipfulness of Dimple to the perfect happily ever after, I loved everything about this precious book. It’s simple, sweet, DIVERSE, and swoony. Reading this book made me smile and think. It also inspired me!
Kelly Oliva, a librarian friend of mine, writes this awesome blog called The Plot Driven Life. In it, she writes about the adventures she tackles after being inspired by a book she has read. She has done some awesome stuff like take a boxing lesson after reading Zeroboxer, gone horseback riding after reading Alex & Eliza, and hosted a Jack the Ripper documentary marathon where guests tried to determine JtR’s true identity after reading A Taste for Monsters (just to name a few). Check out her blog at www.plotdrivenlife.com! Although not nearly as adventurous as any of those activities, I decided to do a mini-plot driven life experience after reading Dimple and Rishi. First, I took a stab at Henna, trying to make my hand look like Dimple’s on the cover of the book. How did I do?
Not too well. I needed better markers (and talent, lol). But now I want real Henna painted on my hand. It’s so gorgeous!
My other “adventure” involves Bollywood movies. As I was reading this book, I wasn’t even thinking of Bollywood movies UNTIL the scene when Dimple decides that she and Rishi will perform a Bollywood dance for the talent show.
The light bulb went on over my head and I remembered reading the author bio on the back flap where Sandhya Menon says she was raised on a “steady diet of Bollywood movies . . .” and that she’s “on a mission to (gently) coerce her husband and children to watch all 3,220 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite.” It made me wonder if Menon intentionally wrote the plot of this book to be similar to the plot of a Bollywood movie and if she plans to write the rest of her books in this manner. I decided I needed to know more about Bollywood and finally (after years of hearing about it and listening to students rave about it - especially a beloved student named Jaspreet) watch a Bollywood movie. I tracked down Jaspreet and asked her for recommendations of Bollywood movies that I could stream on Netflix. I chose number two on her list (coincidentally, I found out after the fact, this is the same movie that is number two on Sandhya Menon’s list of fave Bollywood movies), Queen. I enjoyed it immensely. In part, it was exactly what I imagined a Bollywood movie to be - sweet, predictable, and over-the-top fun. On the other hand, I thought all Bollywood movies included these huge music and dance numbers (a la Moulin Rouge - one of my favorites). Although Queen did include several songs and a drunken dance number, I would not call it a musical. So, I had some research to do.
According to Wikipedia (I know it’s not the best source, but the references in this article were good!), “Bollywood films are mostly musicals and are expected to contain catchy music in the form of song and dance numbers woven into the script.” This made me feel better. I also learned they tend to be “melodramatic” (also what I expected). And that “New Bollywood” movies feature “family-centric romantic musicals.” The movie I watched, Queen, is one of a number of “female-centric” films that started to be produced in the 2010s. I’m so glad I chose one of these as my first taste of Bollywood!
Finally, I learned that all Indian movies are not Bollywood movies (excuse my ignorance!). It’s more like Bollywood falls under the umbrella of the Cinema of India (or Indywood). It looks like, by far, Bollywood is the largest component of Indywood. What I took from this research is that Bollywood movies are generally feel good movies that usually incorporate song and/or dance but they are not the only kind of movies produced in India. Now that I have a better understanding of Bollywood and an appreciation of at least one movie, I’m excited to watch more! For my next choice, I really want a movie with really BIG and excessive music, dance numbers, and costumes!
My heart is so happy. I just looked at Sandhya Menon’s Goodreads author profile where she describes herself as writing “light, bright, diverse YA.” Just what the world needs right now!!!!! I also love that she has two books (with titles) already in the works with pub dates of 2018 and 2019. It sounds like they will include more of the same feels as When Dimple Met Rishi. Yay! I will FIGHT to make sure this one ends up on the Gateway list.