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Bollywood is nothing if not about dreams. It starts with a dream and it usually ends as one. Dream sequences are an essential part of story-telling and plot progression in Bollywood and sometimes lead to dramatic turnarounds and twists.

In the golden period, great pains were taken to create elaborate sets, glamorous costumes and extravagant songs to put together a memorable dream sequence.

Focus would turn soft, lights would dim and a poetic romance would ensue. Unrequited love would suddenly turn pliant and coy and the whole sequence being a dream, all that the dreamer has ever desired for would unfold in the following few minutes…

The declaration of love, is a very difficult proposition in Bollywood and as love interests are ubiquitous, irrespective of the genre, professing love usually takes a lot of manoeuvring, taking heart from friends and looking out for the right opportunity and in that process, the feelings remain stifled and unknown for quite some time. Thus arises, the need for an active imagination and a creative sub-conscious

Considered the first dream sequence to come out of Bollywood is the Nargis Dutt- Raj Kapoor song, Tere Bina Aag Yeh Chandani/Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi from the film Award, 1951…An elaborate dream sequence song, the song had roman architectural structures, Nargis in an off shoulder dress…looking much like a Roman lady herself, and yes bling covering her hairline and torso…It was an epic sequence choreographed by Uday Shankar and gives us goosebumps even now.

In a dream-sequence the girl who might have an affinity for Indian wear in reality suddenly transforms in to a nymph sheathed in some figure-hugging short piece. It is someone’s fantasy after all. Can’t fault them for that, can we!

When Yaar Bina Chain Kahaan Re first became a part of public memory, it was a hit disco number picturized on Anil Kapoor and Amrita Singh, a middle class couple, sitting on a non-descript Mumbai street, and dreaming about the song with their eyes wide open, watching their opulent selves gyrating to the pumping Bappi Da number…

In Mr. India, Anil Kapoor keeps his rendezvous with a sexy saree-clad Sridevi, in his invisible avatar, the song being the sultry, Kaate Nahin Katt te. A lot of thunder, lightning and one-sided action ensues leaving both parties, visible or otherwise, quite happy.

In Rangeela, superstar Jackie Shroff is head over heels in love with fresh faced Urmila and imagines a hot hot romance with her in Haaye Rama

Saif Ali Khan finds love in a dream sequence, while watching a dream sequence with on-screen love-interest, Sonali Kulkarni, quite Inceptionesque we might say…

In recent times, Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor twist and turn with umbrellas in hands for a fun dream sequence song Zoobi Doobi in 3 Idiots

In a country where almost everything including a road-rage free morning drive can seem like a dream, it but seems natural that dreams are the most convenient albeit the most expensive way possible to ignite a romance and other such interesting possibilities.


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