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Kids, Movies and an Anti-climax

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. 🙂

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15 Comments

  1. Ok, let me be honest here. I am someone who enjoys watching movies on the big screen, and enjoys watching them peacefully and with complete concentration.
    Having said that, I will also say that adults make just the amount of noise children do, what with constantly ringing mobiles and getting up to go out and take calls.
    Everyone needs a break, as do parents, and as you said Movie watching is an expensive affair, which is why some people might get annoyed when you have kids making a ruckus.

  2. You know I have such experience of taking out Viraj for every 15 min but now he is used to it ….we all enjoy together..I can totally relate to this post

  3. I totally feel you. Have been there done that. Gone through a lot of eyes rolling sessions. However I do feel the world needs to ease it up a bit. I mean weren’t we taken to theatres when we were small. Maybe people were more tolerant back then.

  4. I take angel to movies which bring imagination in her like some cartoons characters n all

  5. Nisha Malik says:

    I didn’t dare to go for movies with my son unless it specifically for kids. Even then he threw tantrums .

  6. Well you just made me think quite a lot. I’m glad you did. As at times I do get judgemental in movie halls. But I respect your opinion and yes, kids have all rights to accompany parents to movies!

  7. jhilmildsaha says:

    My daughter is too playful. I cant even think of taking her into the theatre. I am sure she will get to her playful mood and will create problem for others. As a mom I can sacrifice this much.

  8. I agree with you Varsha. If theaters have changed, so does the people. They have become much more intolerant. Parents also need a break. So just be numb to people around you and enjoy. 🙂

  9. So untill I had my kid I thought the same as in why people bring kids to the movie hall..but soon I realized it is the case with every parent and now understand that patience is so important.

  10. Anagha Yatin says:

    Movie outings definitely have a charm of their own; time has failed to steal the shine away from it.
    Agree that now a day the movie outing burns a hole in pocket and the level of tolerance (of audience) has rocketed in the inverse direction!
    All said and done, I am a big movie buff and so is my family. We end watching a lot of them whenever the time permits.

  11. ADITI CHIB says:

    Nice blog post. It is always great to spend time with family especially watching movie.

  12. Papri Ganguly says:

    Watching movie with kids is a good idea . I think it would be a total fun. My daughter is just 3 now. Will execute this idea when she will be 5

  13. preety85 says:

    Your post remind me my childhood days I was also a kind like you .. Now we are spending thousands of rupees in multiplexes but still there was something special in those days

  14. I think take my child to a theatre till he was 5 and watched Chota Bheem with his friends from school’s side. I had read a lot about how people were intolerant today of kids behaviour so I stayed out Varsh but I get from where all these thoughts come buddy.

  15. Great Blog! Its really helpful Blogging is an amazing skill with which you can share your thoughts online.Love your ideas keep up the good work!

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