Sunday, March 04, 2012
Surfing through the You Tube is fast becoming my addiction----and I've re-acquainted myself with many old Favourites--all part of my childhood and youth!!As a child Bollywood Films were not very easily accessible to us--because Chandigarh then had only one Theater--The Kiran theater in Sector 22--and each Film would stick around for at least 6-10 weeks!!Besides we children would be allowed to see only Mythological Films because the other Films were considered "corruptive" Material in that conservative Era!!Therefore though curiosity about those Films did prevail it was way beyond our reach to see these Films in Chandigarh.
At the time of Mikki's birth we spent six months in Bombay--for my mother had very difficult preganancies so we'd been brought to Bombay by my maternal Grandfather Aazoba.Those were the best six months of my childhood--because I was pampered by everyone around and I'm sorry to say that taking advantage of that I played a brat to the hilt----and was indulged too despite that!!That's when I was introduced to the wonders of Bollywood Films--and I was hooked!!
I spent most of my time at Sudhir's home--his father Baba was my Grand Uncle--my maternal Grandma---Aaji's younger brother and his mother Atya was my father's older sister and therefore I was spoilt silly in that house!! Both Baba and Atya were very fond of Marathi plays and Marathi/Hindi/English Films---and they'd take all of us along to see these.At the age of four I was exposed to some awesome Marathi Sangeet Nataks or Operas featuring greats like Bal Gandharva and others--but being too young I'd fall asleep during the performances---the only thing that I loved was the Music!!Kunda--Sudhir's elder sister and her friend Pushpa were allowed to see Films with their group of friends--being 15 years older than me--and that entire group would cart me along to see Bollywood Films--and it is then that I really fell in love with the various aspects of Films--mainly the Music!!!The fact that I screamed Blue Murder during the fight sequences is another story--for I thought that those scenes were real---and I made a thorough nuisance of myself during those!!Each time before Kunda and her Friends took me to a Film they made me promise not to cry during the Fight Scenes--I'd promise but promptly forget when these started and kick up a ruckus!!Thanks to Baba I got to see all of Walt Disney's Classics--Snow White,Cinderella,Sleeping Beauty,the Jungle Book and the rest.Besides I also got to see beautiful Films of Danny Kaye and Alfred Hitchcock---and actors like Gregory Peck and James Stewart became my favourites!!He bought me records of my favourite Songs from Walt Disney's films as well plenty of Comics of Superman and The League of Super Heroes and like I said I went back to my sleepy little Town well educated about a lot of things!! By now I had two favourite Indian heroes as well--Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor---and both the heroes were very particular of the Music in their Films--taking a personal interest during the Sound Recording of these Songs.So what had been just the Radio now became a means of connecting to that Dream World of films!!
As I grew up my parents began relenting a bit and I was allowed to go to Movies they approved of at the 2 Movie theaters we had now for Jagat Theater at Sector 17 had come up as well.One the Films I was allowed to see was "Chaudhavin kaa Chaand"--a film in Black and White with just the title Song filmed in colour--and from that day till today I became an undying Fan of Waheeda Rehman' ethereal Beauty---and she gained my respect too--for years later her son Sohail was a classmate of Sayali's at Bombay Scottish High School for awhile before they shifted to Bangalore.Sudhir too was a Movie fan--and after our marriage we both became regulars for the Friday Night Show at 9 p.m.!! His friend Nutan's father owned the Lotus Theater so Tickets were never a problem.Not just that Sudhir would buy Tickets in advance for many Films at the other Theaters as well and we rarely missed seeing any Film--English/Hindi/Marathi during the first week of it's screening!!We were regulars for Marathi plays too---enjoying the fabulous "Batata Vadaas" of bothSahitya Sangh in Girgaum and Shivaji Mandir at Dadar--both Theaters served excellent stuff with just the right spicy sting of Green Chillies in them!!During both my pregnancies Sudhir terrorised me by taking me first to "The Boston Strangler" during the first one and "The Cat O'Nine Tail;s" during the second---which gave at least a week of sleepless nights after that!!!The result of this?Lotta turned out to be a Ghoul--loving everything to do with the Supernatural and Sayali just the opposite--abhorring everything about Ghosts and stuff!!
After Lotta's birth we'd go to the Film with me holding Lotta and Sudhir holding a Carry Bag stuffed to the gills with Nappies and Milk bottles--both of us taking turns to walk in the foyer outside each time she cried--but we never missed a single screening!!This continued after Sayali's birth as well--for with both the girls Sudhir had one Policy--we were their parents and we'd take them along where ever we went!!After we moved to our new home the Movie Mania continued and by the time the Drive -In Theater at Bandra arrived we'd become a two kid two Dog family and Friday nights turned into Pic Nic nights.I'd cook Dinner for the four of us and our four legged kids and we'd drive down to the 7 p.m. Show at the Drive -In Theater.There we'd park near enough one of the Rest Rooms for it to be easily accessible for the Girls to use--and spread a Mat on the Bonnet of the Car during the Interval to eat our Dinner---those were really Fun times!!
However as the girls began growing up Cable became a rage--and placing the T.V. in our bedroom made watching Films even more comfortable in the comfort of our own home.So a new period began--that of hiring Films and pausing these whenever we wanted according to our convenience.Slowly the Theater going lessened--the flavour of the Movies changed and I guess we too grew old--till today we'd begun seeing Films only when they were telecast on T.V. and Channels like Hallmark,MGM,Warner Bros.,Turner Classics and HBO replaced our trips to the Theaters!!In the last few years Sudhir and I hadn't been inside a Theater--despite a lot of cajoling from Sayali and Meha and now I don't feel the urge to see the new Films--I can wait to see these on T.V.---where they end up soon enough!!And The You Tube connects me to my favourite Era in Films--that keeps me happily occupied for hours!!