My Bollywood Dream

My Bollywood Dream
Avani Dwivedi
Walker Books

Friday nights are special for the little girl narrator and her family, who set off through the hectic city streets of Mumbai, destination the cinema. En route in their car, the girl uses her camera to capture the sights and sounds of the city and in so doing imagines a movie evolving all around her, with action,

dance sequences and songs. Seemingly she has aspirations of becoming a movie director.

Once at the cinema, she immediately feels the excitement building in the audience until a hush descends and the film begins. It’s a typical Bollywood love story with lots of Hindi songs and dancing but it’s not just the actors that dance. Caught up in the music, up leap members of the audience and start moving in time to the beat, united briefly, by the hypnotic rhythms.

Our narrator concludes in upbeat mood, saying, “Bollywood movies are filled with many dreams and adventures that I haven’t yet had. … but one day I know I can create my own.”

Author/illustrator Avani Dwivedi has based her debut picture book on her own experiences of growing up in Mumbai and she really captures the vibrancy of Mumbai streets although I found it rather more chaotic on my most recent visit than her portrayal here. She captures too the magic of those movies, as they were, as they are and probably always will be, hopefully though with more women directors

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