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I believe I can safely make the assumption that if you happen to be born to Indian parents, you have at least HEARD of Bollywood. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I love Bollywood (or Hindi cinema, for those of you thinking I meant to type Hollywood and lost my mind for a second). Drama (more like melodrama), colorful costumes, endless dance numbers, awesome soundtracks (at times), the fact that several of the movies do not even require you to bring your brain with you to the theater….My absolute favorite part though? Their uncanny ability to teach us important life lessons which really encourage us to reflect internally. For instance..

1. Andaaz Apna Apna

AndaazApnaApna Being a bum, living off our parents’ hard-earned money, and striving to achieve your life-long dream of marrying rich by conning a billionaire’s daughter is the key to living happily ever after.

2. Yes Boss

yesboss_630 Always respect your boss and do exactly as he says, even if it means pretending to be married to the girl you love so that he can fool his wife into thinking there is nothing going on between him and…the girl you love.

3. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

ddlj1 In the event that you miss your train on a month-long trip across Europe, it is completely safe to proceed to complete the rest of the journey with a strange Indian man who insists on calling you ‘Señorita’, gets you drunk, and pretends you slept with him as a joke.

Also, if the girl of your dreams is getting married to someone else, it is only natural that you follow her to Punjab, save her fiancé’s life so he becomes best friends with you and invites you to be on the ‘groom’s side’, win everyone over with your charming ways while you have a secret affair with the aforementioned girl of your dreams, and then make a sad puppy face when everyone finds out and gets mad at you for ruining the wedding. Then, to prove your love, there HAS to be a fight in which you repeatedly get your butt kicked by a gang of angry Punjabi men (I mean, there’s really no getting out of this one alive) UNTIL someone punches your father! At this point all bets are off and you become the Hulk, throwing everyone off you and punching and kicking butt like a boss UNTIL you almost punch the girl of your dreams’ scary father! All bets are off again, and you make a huge show of barely controlling your rage, redeeming yourself in the eyes of the scary father and convincing him to let his little girl run free (after counting to a thousand Mississippi’s first so that she has to sprint behind the departing train in her 50 pound lehenga) and be with the man of her dreams.

4. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 

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It is in fact quite easy to dribble, do layups, and shoot perfect 3-pointers in a saree but God forbid if the wind happens to whip your “pallu” off your shoulder, it is time to call it a day.

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Also, always be prepared with a stellar backup song and dance number complete with synchronized backup dancers, balloons and confetti in the event that your college dance team flakes on you at the last minute. Be sure to add the college principal and everyone’s favorite teacher to the mix to cinch first place.

Koi Mil Gaya

5. Dil To Pagal Hai

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If your best friend tells you he loves you and asks that you only wait at the gate if you love him back and you don’t in fact, love him back, it is only logical that you stand frozen at the gate contemplating your next move so that when he does turn, you’ve pretty much signed your certificate of marriage. It is also advisable to then proceed to fall in love with someone else (who is kind of doing the same thing to his best friend), you know, just to make things more interesting for everyone.

6. Devdas

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Smacking a pearl necklace against your girlfriend’s head, hanging out with courtesans, and then drinking yourself to death is really the only way one should deal with heartbreak. All those other things like saying you’re sorry and standing up to your family for her aren’t as effective.

7. Sholay

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A highly effective way to get your girlfriend’s un-consenting folks to agree to her marriage to your hoodlum, jobless, criminal self is to get super wasted, climb to the top of the highest tower in the village, and drunkenly threaten to commit suicide while yelling out your love story for all the world to hear.

8. Dil Hain Ke Manta Nahi

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If your rich daddy won’t give you what you want, your next course of action should be to run away from home (with no money), dance around with fisherfolk in an attempt to lose your father’s henchmen in the crowd, board a bus by yourself to a far away destination, get idiotically robbed on the way, take the help of a complete stranger, which includes spending a night with him in a random hotel room, and then calling daddy to come take you home when the going gets tough.

9. 3 Idiots

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No matter how much the college principal hates you for your past transgressions (including hitting on his daughter, mocking him, and getting into loads of other trouble), everything is forgotten and forgiven if you deliver his other daughter’s baby. Oh, also, an engineering degree and a sturdy ping pong table is all you need to deliver a baby.

10. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun

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Always get the dog to do your dirty work. Need to steal some shoes? Umpire the family cricket game in favor of your team? Tell your recently widowed brother-in-law whom you now have to marry that you really love his brother? Use the pooch. His cuteness will overshadow the severity of the situation at hand and then everybody wins!

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