‘I Love You, Baby’: Hatecopy’s Bollywood Movie (Essay)
Words and illustrations by Maria “Hatecopy” Qamar.
Here is how I see my Bollywood movie playing out.
I’m a twenty-something workaholic still trying to figure my shit out. I live in a cute, minimalist apartment with a white roommate who loves all my little Desi quirks, doesn’t mind that the house always smells like Lauki Daal, and gives me insight into dating. But, she’s consistently baffled by the fact that my family would never allow their daughter to roam around with a boyfriend. She insists that they need to learn to accept me for who I am. But really, she’s ignorant and forgets that I am, in fact, not white and shit don’t work that way. I work a stationary 9-to-5 job doing something mundane like filing or writing ads, and I have a smokin’ hot body and can eat whatever I want. My parents are not in the picture because they’re always out on cute little cruises and enjoy every minute they have away from me.
Cue: song and dance bit where roomie and I discuss why I hide literally every part of my social life from my family. (Hint: it’s because I’m terrified they will disown me.)
He’s a super-rich Hot Hero Guy who probably inherited his parents’ wealth because he’s the most responsible out of his three, equally hot brothers. The family business is some type of holding company. But despite his wealth and great looks, he is emotionally unfulfilled due to the lack of love and support he receives from his immediate family. Nobody really knows WTF he’s up to, ever, because he likes to keep a low profile, but he has a few close friends and they’re all supportive and not idiots. This entire description is problematic and I am well aware of it.
Cue: song and dance number with Hot Hero Guy in his boardroom, after a successful pitch with his co-workers, singing about how he has everything he’s ever wanted in life. Except a wife…
It’s a bright and sunny day, and I’m going for a jog, looking fly as all hell. Everyone I pass by is turning their heads, looking at me, wondering, Damn, this girl looks like she has her life and her abs together. It’s the golden hour and my silky, shimmering ponytail is bouncing as I run in slow-mo, when a fatal car crash occurs at the intersection I’m standing at. As the car engine bursts into flames, a chunk of debris flies in my direction, and with my instinctual feline reflexes, I dodge it. I then brush myself off and continue to inspect the scene along with the rest of the bystanders. It’s a family in the car: mother, father, and a baby.
“THERE’S A BABY IN THERE! MOVE!” I yell, as I push everyone out of the way and sprint towards the explosion. Everyone is in awe.
I begin to smash the windows to save the baby (because obviously, the parents died on impact). As this is all happening, cars begin to pile up behind the scene of the accident. For some reason, neither the police, ambulance, or the fire department have shown up. Cars continue to form a tight gridlock when a man steps out of his car and begins to walk towards me. It’s Hot Hero Guy. After witnessing the scene, he had told his driver to stop the car and let him out so he could help me save this baby.
Both of us work together to get the baby out of the car. Then, through the fire, smoke, debris, and destruction, we look at each other. We immediately fall in love and raise this baby as if it were our own. This is a completely unreal scenario which would never ever happen, but that’s what makes it so Bollywood.
Cue: Pepper in a song while we’re looking into each other’s eyes for, like, three to five minutes. This one is about how everything is figuratively, and literally, LIT.
“What about the conflict, Maria? You forgot the spicy drama that we all love!” you’ll say. Obviously the drama would come from the fact that our parents will disapprove from all sides. His parents would hate me because I am not rich and have a baby out of wedlock. They do not know the full rescue story and immediately shun me.
Cue: song about how HHG has been living under the shadow of his family, even though he’s the one who keeps them all living so lavishly through his hard work. Yet, they won’t give him a chance to follow his dreams of becoming a stay-at-home dad.
My family would disapprove because the baby is not mine, and they’d force me to return she or he to its family (which is absolutely the right thing to do IRL, but that’s not how my story is written so everyone will have to suck it up). Both parents begin to fight each other by making petty jabs at the others’ social status, marital issues, and how educated they really are. Meanwhile, I’m with Hot Hero Guy flirting in baby yoga classes, pretending to be the perfect family. Strangers on the street compliment us on how adorable the three of us look and HHG instantly gushes; he’s obsessed with the idea and is set on marrying ya girl. And I’m ’bout it, ’cause he’s a responsible dude.
Cue: song about how I’m ’bout it.
Eventually, with the help of HHG’s close friends, my wildcard roommate and his hot brothers, we devise a plan to take the baby out of hiding from a nursery I had built in my apartment and tell our parents the truth. We trick the two families into joining us for a large dinner and tell them the story about how we found the baby and how it’s adorable and not illegal to keep this baby as our own. We obviously have a lovable, too-open-minded-to-be-real grandmother standing by our side to vouch for us and everyone will eventually approve and throw us a huge, lavish wedding. The baby isn’t present for all of this for convenience. It will return into the picture once we’re married.
The film ends with a musical number where everyone from both families is dancing to a G.O.A.T disco/trap Indian wedding classic, including cameos from SRK, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Big B, Lil’ B, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Amir Khan and Future.
I would call this film, I LOVE YOU, BABY!, because it’s corny enough to make me watch it in theaters. I’m looking forward to it already.