It was the decade we had to accept that Rahul, not Priyanka would be the next prime minister. The decade Lakshmi Mittal kick-started a furious race for destination weddings. The decade of Bigg Boss and reality television. The decade the world changed. It was also the decade I saw lots of Hindi movies and that’s what I’m going to write about.
Footnote: Small was big and there were many gems such as Johnny Gaddaar (left) and Manorama Six Feet Under.
It was the decade Vishal Bhardwaj and Anurag Kashyap made us believe Bollywood could be trendy. And that Devdas with an updated name could live happily ever after.
It was the decade Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar made more good songs than any other pair.
It was the decade the husband and I had many arguments about Priyadarshan’s brand of comedy.
It was A.R. Rahman’s decade. Delhi-6, Jaane Tu..., Jodhaa Akbar, Guru, Rang de Basanti, Mangal Pandey, Swades, Yuva, Meenaxi, Tehzeeb, Saathiya, Lagaan and Zubeidaa. And this is only the Bollywood hotlist.
It was the decade Kailash Kher made us love a male Bollywood singer again.
It was the decade Aamir Khan proved without doubt that he understands the box office. Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, Mangal Pandey, Rang De Basanti, Fanaa, Taare Zameen Par, Ghajini and 3 Idiots.
It was the decade of A-list debuts. Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan. My favourite first-timers, though, were Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia in Socha Na Tha.
It was the year Ram Gopal Varma got off to a bad start in Jungle and then never quite recovered (Company excepted, of course).
It was the decade Bollywood returned to Kashmir. Santosh Sivan’s Tahaan was my favourite.
It was the decade every 40-plus actor played a college-going youngster. Several times.
It was the decade Mughal-e-Azam was redone in colour and the one in which we lost its brilliant composer Naushad.
It was the decade of Sanjay Gupta-style film-making. Wham, bam, no thank you ma’am.
It was the decade I made up my mind about Madhur Bhandarkar’s films: avoidable.
It was the decade Shyam Benegal went multiplex and we loved him for adapting.
It was the decade English films about India and Indians no longer sounded odd or stilted. Monsoon Wedding, Bend It Like Beckham, Little Zizou, The Namesake and, of course, Slumdog Millionaire.
It was the decade I enjoyed many small films such as Astitva, Dor, Gangajal, Matrubhoomi, Chameli, Khamosh Pani, Maqbool, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Iqbal, Manorama Six Feet Under, Johnny Gaddaar, Jaane Tu..., Luck by Chance, Rock On!!!, Being Cyrus and Oye Lucky!, Lucky Oye!.
It was also the decade big business lost a lot of money investing in Bollywood.
It was the decade Mallika Sherawat changed the rules of sex in Hindi movies.
It was the decade of the item girl. And one in which every A-list leading lady did an item number.
It was the decade of factories. Yash Raj and Vishesh Films led the way.
It was the decade Ashutosh Gowariker did his best to increase the average length of the Hindi film.
It was the decade Munna Bhai was invented.
It was the decade the eye candy meter shot through the roof when Hrithik and Ash came together in Jodhaa Akbar and Dhoom 2.
It was the decade no pair replicated the chemistry of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (please don’t say Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar).
It was the decade I decided I couldn’t be part of Himesh Reshammiya’s transition from music to films.
It was the decade of great soundtracks. Yuva, Murder, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Parineeta, Khoya Khoya Chand, all the Vishal Bhardwaj movies, Lagaan, Saathiya, Delhi-6, Jodhaa Akbar, Swades, Jaane Tu... and so many more.
It was the decade of movies inspired by Gandhi and sports. My favourite were the girls from Chak de! India.