Sunday, September 21, 2014

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Nostalgia Takes Over - Gone are Those Days of Sholay!!

A usual Sunday afternoon when I was lazily flicking through channels to catch onto something to kill the time while wishing that the next morning never comes and I come across the good old Zee Cinema which was showing the grand old epic of all times – Sholay. My fingers suddenly stopped and remote dropped to a side as my mind engrossed itself in the gun battle between Gabbar’s army and the two protagonists. Equally enticing was another fight between the JAI and the VIRU almost on the sidelines of the battle to decide who would stay and who would leave to get backup from village. While the former is yet to be won, the result of later is decided by a coin toss – which we all now know is two headed mischief. And as the fight ensues, I am reminded of what my mom said a few days ago while cleaning old stuff at home –
“Humne pura VCR khali Sholay mein hi nikal diya (We spent the life of VCR using it only to watch Sholay).”
What a true articulation of the fact that Sholay was the only movie we had ever watched on our VHS system. And today while watching the movie I am simply swarmed with nostalgia of those golden times. We bought it initially to watch onto the cassettes recorded at Dad’s work covering miles of railway track laying and other functions. However now that system was at home, we had to have a movie cassette at home too and after some relentless persuasion of me and my brother, supported by mom, dad finally relented and got us the cassettes for Sholay. We watched the movie and then watched it again. It was almost a grand affair where we enjoyed the fights, suspense, romance and dance sequences as a family with mom serving snacks only if we agreed to pause for that bit. Such was the excitement that we watched again the next day and probably every other day for next week. Though through the week we were only watching it partially every day when we were allowed to have our lunch infront of television. It was a show-off when we had guests and we would watch the movie one more time each time we had visitors. Such was the repetition that I almost remember each scene and dialogue by heart.

So different were those times when we had set time to spend infront of screens and most time was kept dedicated for studies. Even for us, all we would wait for were evenings when we would run down to grounds and spend time with friends playing. Okay agreed I was never a player but still those blissful moments in open sky were something I always looked forward to. And all this has now come to a fact that even if I want to look out to check weather, all I use is windows on my laptop. So yeah times have changed and for better or worse, it is only screens which we look out at for major part of our day. Similarly have changed our movies and the way we enjoy them. Today, I watch movies either on YouTube (guilty as charged if it is piracy for someone) while on the Metro (which I sometimes use to commute to office) or with friends at those multiscreen theatres which get sophisticated and up-market audience. And never in recent history have I come across a movie which I would stop at for second time even on television, leave alone going back to it.

Yeah I know that you are probably wondering of what is the point I am trying to deliver with this seemingly endless rant. In true sense, there is not. However if thought deeper, the point is simply to bring forth that it is not that times have changed but probably it is us who have. Infact recently when I was posted in Hyderabad, we used to visit this theatre which was more on lines with traditional cinemas offering its best seat at 50 bucks. Watching movie in such theatre is completely a different experience where the audience extracts value for each penny spent. The innocuously dancing crowd on each dance sequences in alley, comments shouted from back benchers (many may ofcourse find them offensive) and the excitement among masses on exiting after the climax of the movie is very contrasting to what we see in the modern PVRs and DTs. 

In the fight for upgrading lifestyles and in name of leisure being the purpose of life we have moved so ahead that we have stopped cherishing those small pleasures of life – like watching a fun movie with family. Ofcourse the life was much simpler, sweeter and fun in that childhood where all we wanted was to grow up. And now that we have grown up, all we want is a time machine with a screen to choose those 1990s to return to and enjoy that lovely childhood a second time.

Do you have similar memories from childhood? Did you have a favorite movie in your childhood which you would have watched any number of time? Do you miss those days too? Do justice to all the memories and express yourself in comments!! Let's all share your good old time :)

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