The chirpy song plays on the big screen. The handsome and suave Shammi Kapoor sways in his signature non-choreographed dancing style on the melodious music. He’s wooing his onscreen darling Sharmila Tagore with one of the best songs of his career Tareef karu kya uski from the movie Kashmir Ki Kali.
Discarding the seats the little girl chooses the theatre stairs to settle down instead. She watches in awe as he wiggles his whole body repeatedly before falling in a heap in the boat. The wonder changes into amusement and soon out of nowhere a loud laughter erupts out of her, and then again and again. Her version of ROFL garners many a chuckles from her parents and the audience. For a while, even Shammi Kapoor is forgotten. 😉 😛
That little girl was me and it was a night show. A toddler then, going to theatres for movies with my parents was commonplace for me (and others too, I believe). Although Mom had reservations sometimes ‘almost family’ neighbours insisted on taking me along and she sent me with them albeit with a whole list of instructions. It helped that I was a well-behaved obedient child.
Ours was a budget conscious but fun-loving middle class family. A movie outing didn’t cost more than five hundred rupees, all expenses included. While our parents enjoyed Rekha’s jhatkas or Amitabh Bachchan’s angry young man dialogues, kids ganged up. Familiarity was never an issue, we quickly found some common ground. Our noise-making met with no more than a shush and we graciously allowed others few moments of peace. 😀 😛
With multiplexes replacing almost all single screen theatres, the whole movie experience has changed. With awesome visual and sound effects, story-telling has evolved. Old theatres with their coveted balconies and smelly First Class seats are gone. Faded wallpapers and washrooms now don a chakachak and hygienic look. Who wouldn’t like this glassy and glossy transformation?
For one, me. Please hear me out before taking me wrong. With overpriced tickets and the obligatory popcorn, movies have now become an expensive affair. With nuclear families on the rise and both working spouses it is one of the few dates kids get with their parents. It is about the price they’re paying and the treatment they deserve in return. Also, I believe in general we’re all becoming intolerant. 🙁
Derision, hence, has replaced the resilient fun attitude parents had for their as well as others’ kids back then. People see a crying infant with abhorrence while a fussy toddler is an unpardonable annoyance. ‘Why do they come to theatres with kids?’ is preached without a second thought. Haven’t their parents paid and don’t they understand it too? Does anyone care to reflect how well-mannered they themselves were as kids? I guess not.
My friends have mocked me in the past for taking a toddler A Jr to the movies (who by the way, LOVES movies). 3 Idiots was his first one, no less! He was just about a year old then and like me, sat on the stairs. 😉 🙂
I heeded their argument until someone told me that it is some new parenting technique *rolls eyes*. Do we need to learn basic manners and decide according to others now? I know kids can be a handful. Angel has mood swings during movies and needs to be taken out every 15-20 minutes. Does that mean we shouldn’t see movies or just leave her behind? Is patience no longer a virtue?
Care to share your thoughts on this? I’m expecting and accepting a backlash too. 🙂