In the years since I first began this blog in 2008, I have written many tributes to many film personalities. A few, a mere handful, saddened me enough to make me feel I had lost someone especially dear to me personally.
Never had I thought a day would come when I would need to (yes, I do need to, for my own self) write a tribute to a fellow blogger. Bollyviewer, who meant much more to me than just a fellow blogger.
When I first began blogging, it was because of the encouragement of Greta, at memsaabstory. After I wrote my first few posts, Greta mentioned me on one of her posts, in an attempt to let people know about me. Some did wish me luck, some said they’d come and read my blog—but only one person came immediately to check out my latest blog post and to comment on it. That was bollyviewer, and she continued, unfailingly, to comment on each post I wrote.
Those of you who are bloggers will probably understand what I mean when I say how grateful I was to her. In those initial days, when it seemed as if I was the only one reading my on posts, she was there. Always commenting. And her comments were fun, interesting, useful comments, not vague faffing about how good my post was. If it hadn’t been for her encouragement, Dustedoff might have died a quick, silent death.
That fun, that interest, was an intrinsic part of bollywviewer’s blog too. Her screenshots were never just screenshots; they always came with witty captions that cracked me up, every single time.
She and I shared a lot of views in common, including a lot of favourite films, favourite actors, favourite music directors and singers. Her reviews of films, her song lists, her articles (I remember one especially brilliant one on unscientific elements in Hindi cinema, another on the types of mothers in Hindi cinema) were always well-researched, very well-written, and highly readable. Occasionally, as in this list of Naina songs, she, Anu and I teamed up to do themed posts.
And she was a wonderful person. When I first got to know her, she lived in Canada, but soon after, between jobs, she came to stay with her parents in India, and we met several times over the space of a few months. We lunched together, we had coffee, we had long chats. Bollyviewer’s warmth, her sense of humour and her genuineness struck me: she was such a lovely person.
Bollyviewer passed away on February 12th, 2021, after a painful struggle with cancer. I had not heard from her for several months, and by the time I realized that she was seriously ill, it was too late. I will always regret not having written more often, not having checked up on her more often. And I will miss her.
RIP, bollyviewer. The world is a poorer place without you.
(For those who want to see bollyviewer’s blog, here it is. Unfortunately, this is a more recent blog—she shifted her blogging platform a few years back, so most of her blog posts were on the earlier blog, now defunct).