Bollywood on campus — Indian movie night


Movie attendees were exposed to Bollywood film style, which differs significantly from that of American films.

The Indian Students Association at Oakland University (ISAOU) brought Bollywood to campus on Friday, Nov. 4. Music and decorations sprawled across room 254 of the Engineering Center as attendees gathered for the screening of “Vicky Donor” at 6 p.m.

The movie was popular among the ISAOU’s board, a feeling affirmed by the film’s IMDb rating of 7.8 out of 10.

“The movie is all about music, comedy and romance,” said ISAOU president Mohammad “Akki” Aquib. “It’s fast-paced and all about cultural clashes. It’s about a sperm donor and how society looks at him, but overall, as the movie goes on, they realize it’s not a bad thing.”

Oakland alumnus John Derusha (class of 2012) is still involved with the organization and enjoyed the film.

“I’m interested in different cultures, and when I went to Oakland, I would always go to ISAOU’s events,” Derusha said. “Eventually I got to know the members, and we stay connected via Facebook. It’s a good time.”

The gathering was a culmination of all the board members’ efforts.

“We did a movie night last year, and we wanted to do it again,” said ISAOU treasurer Arshina Patel. “Filling out the forms is crazy because every little thing we do, even if it’s food or DJs, we have to fill out a form. Everything has to be filled on the right timeline.”

That was not the only obstacle the organization faced.

“I think advertising the event is the main difficulty,” said ISAOU event coordinator Bindiya Gugnani. “The hard part is getting new people into the organization and out to the events.”

Gugnani stressed the ISAOU’s inclusiveness.

“Some people think that it is just for Indian students, but it’s actually for everyone on campus,” Gugnani said. “That’s probably one of the biggest mistakes people make and don’t show up because of it.”

Gugnani discussed other potential ways to incorporate students.

“We only do two major events per semester, and those are the Diwali festival and ice-breaker,” she said. “Seeing the board being more active through bake sales, or food and book drives would definitely help people recognize our organization.”

Membership is vital to the group’s presence.

“So far, things have gone well, and we’ve seen an increase in enrollment, but next year is important,” Aquib said. “I’ll be graduating, and so will our treasurer, vice-president and event coordinator, so we’ll need to fill those positions.”

Although the future is uncertain, the ISAOU is staying focused and shifting attention to the upcoming Diwali Festival on Nov. 19.  

“It’s a major event, and we will announce and plan according to that,” Aquib said.

Gugnani described some of the Festival’s unique aspects.

“We show off our culture and languages through performances like dancing and singing,” Gugnani said. “The other main part is food, which we are trying to cook and provide ourselves.”

Patel said the members will wear Indian clothes at the festival.

More information about the ISAOU and its events can be found on Facebook and the group’s GrizzOrgs page.