When I watch Indian movies…oh, wait. I don’t.

The popular website PostSecret featured a brown-tinged confession this week (Thanks, Niki):

another brown secret

So far, three of you have sent this postcard in as a tip, which is hardly surprising; you mutineers love to discuss these secrets which have been expressed as art.

For those who are unfamiliar with the site:

PostSecret is an ongoing community mail art project, created by Frank Warren, in which people mail their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. Select secrets are then posted on the PostSecret website, or used for PostSecret’s books or museum exhibits.
The simple concept of the project was that completely anonymous people decorate a postcard and portray a secret that they had never previously revealed. No restrictions are made on the content of the secret; only that it must be completely truthful and must never have been spoken before. Entries range from admissions of sexual misconduct and criminal activity to confessions of secret desires, embarrassing habits, hopes and dreams. [wiki]

When I first saw this, I oddly wondered if a non-Desi might have submitted it. I think my guess was inspired by the artist choosing to use the term “Indian” movies instead of “Bollywood”. Then again, maybe this secret-poster watches Tollywood, Mollywood or Kollywood fill-ums, but didn’t bother getting so specific, since they’re relatively obscure in the U.S. Part of me also thought “Bolly” because of the image used (is that Aamir Khan?). That’s all I’ve got. 😉

Meanwhile, the person peering over my shoulder hypothesized that whoever sent it in might be a second-gen American who is being pressured in to an arranged alliance. What do all of you think? Interestingly enough, in at least one instance, the person who created the postcard we wrote about was a reader who later de-lurked to debunk assumptions. I’m cool with that happening, too. Let the idle conjecture begin…

56 thoughts on “When I watch Indian movies…oh, wait. I don’t.

  1. Why all the hating on PostSecret? I wouldn’t be so quick to assume they are made up. I’ve been to their live events, and known people who have sent postcards in…it means a lot to people. Just because it’s something you would never do (for whatever reason), don’t assume everyone else is just as cynical about it, or dishonest. That site has saved lives.

  2. Why a Non Desi? I hate the word Bollywood..it implies we came after Hollywood..These are Indian films, more particularily Hindustanni ( They are not pure Hindi, but a combo of Hindi-Urdu-Punjabi-Gujarati) or merely Bombay Film Industry..

    Interesting way to revel all though..

  3. “I hate the word Bollywood..it implies we came after Hollywood..”

    Just about every moviemaking place came after. In fact Hollywood came after New York, or was it New Jersey, but that’s another story. Thomas Edison had something to do with it. If you mean the word “Bollywood” sounds like a cheap imitation instead of being its own thing, you’re right. Desi movies, regardless of where in India they are made, are indeed uniquely Indian and not second to “Hollywood” or any place else. Bollywood evokes a certain style but it’s not the only Indian style of filmmaking.

  4. this reminds me of when i was living in london and there was a very serious issue of desis in the uk taking their daughters on holiday to s. asia and forcibly marrying them off in an arranged marriage – it was such an epidemic and quite sad. on the other hand, this could totally be written by a non-desi – what kind of self-respecting bollywood-watching brown person chooses to use ‘main character’ over ‘hero’?!

    post secret reminds me of that feature on craigslist – the one where people write in about somebody they had a missed ‘moment’ with.

  5. I think it’s a first or second generation-er who grew up with knowing the popular “Indian movies” at home, like Darr, Baazigar, all that 90’s stuff, but wasn’t into it…has fairly liberal parents (they drink, have more non-desi friends than desi (not including family), etc.) except when it comes to the issue of marriage. Although the child knows they are loved and whomever they fall in love with would be accepted…the pressure increases as one grows older and there is also a leaning (almost yearning) towards the nostalgia of tradition and duty…hence this person started “watching Indian movies” again, and is not one hip to the Bollywood scene. Kind of similar to gaining back your culture discussion on the last post about Dating Brown- sorry Anna I would post a link but feeling lazy. 🙂

  6. in conversations this author is also the one who feels the need to defend on the of side of arranged marriages- and subtly explains the respectful, familial importance, etc nuances of arranged marriages and even how (SHOCK) often, they work out. 🙂