One thing that binds us Indians together with a few exceptions is our love for movies and cricket! No wonder these have become the biggest money spinners and industry in their own right! I would like to travel down the memory lane as I saw the transformation of these two over the years in the Indian context.
As a kid I do not remember when exactly, I fell in love with watching movies, but I was told that as a toddler my first movie was ‘Funtoosh’ in the Regal theatre in
I created a racket, broke my bottle of milk and howled away to glory, when my
parents decided not to watch movies till I became a little more civil! The time
rolled on. Delhi
We used to have movies screened in the park adjacent to my house in the government colony where I spent my childhood. The whole colony would congregate in a festive spirit when a screen would be set up of white sheet and the projectors would beam the black and white tearjerkers. The aunties sobbed and the little girls cried! There would be action scenes involving the villain Pran, who took on the hero and puffed cigarettes endlessly! We liked to copy the action scenes which were not as gory as they are now. Once in a while a ramshackle theatre would come up in the bigger parks and there would be a film festival lasting ten days with a new movie each day! The screenings would be in the evening and the place would turn into a big party where the hawkers would sell ‘chana jor garam’( roasted chick peas, groundnuts etc), ‘kulfi’ ( local ice creams) etc. I would accompany my younger brothers and we would watch the evergreen Devanand in movies like ‘Kala Bazaar’, ‘Hum Dono’ etc. We were transported into a different world altogether! Sometimes there would be an interruption in the screening of the movie to make announcement for some children whose parents were waiting outside for them to return home!
The TV screened movies only on Saturday and Sunday and we went to the community centre in the vicinity to watch them with great enthusiasm. An event like coverage of Republic Day parade drew massive crowds and one had to jostle for a decent place to view.
Come September, and cricket season would start! There would be commentaries running on the radio and people hooked to the transistors like magnetic reminders to the refrigerators today! While the commentary blared, we played unconcerned, breaking glasses of the neighbor’s houses that would scream or run after us to spoil the sport! We did not give a damn to whether
India won or lost against West Indies or but
were happy when Nawab of Pataudi scored a ton! Australia
Once in a while we would be treated to movies like ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘My Fair Lady’ by our indulgent parents to ensure that we became equally well versed with the western world.
As time wore on, I finished my school to land in college! There were times when students resorted to ‘mass cut’ classes only to land up in the theatres showing the blockbusters! We would invariably buy the tickets costing least, to ensure that we have money still left in our pocket to buy a burger from the Nirula’s. I remember having stood in the queue for over three hours to buy the tickets of ‘The Godfather’ and ’Siddharth’ when they were screened during the International Film Festival.
The game of cricket kept growing in popularity and ‘one day matches’ took over from the conventional ‘five day test match’! There was more money and ever more crowds so most of the time the commentary or watching the game on TV was the easier and more economical option.
The technological strides soon changed everything forever. The aged single screen movie halls were knocked down and multi screen theatres conjoined with malls emerged. The new theatres have Dolby Stereo and latest state of the art movie projection including the 3D effects! Instead of the lilting music of 60s and 70s we have loud music often plagiarized and skimpier outfits! There have been some excellent movies in the current times too! Also, the pirated versions of the movies appear on the CDs almost simultaneously when the movie releases in the theatre. Here too things have changed rapidly from a VCD to the DVD format bringing more clarity and quality. The good old VCRs are laid to rest forever!
The thirst for more and better is still on! We have the Blu Ray players and flat screen TVs with accompanying music systems to create a home theatre! How the times changed from watching movies in the make shift theatres near home to having a home theatre where one can watch movies, concerts or game of cricket to own convenience!!
PS - Image Kind courtesy Google