Sunday, July 8, 2012


The buildup to watching a movie begins when the teaser is released, then a few months later the trailer is released. The excitement reaches a fever pitch when the release date nears and the bookings open, you want to be among the ones to watch it in the first weekend that it releases. You wake up at 2 am and book the tickets, you take a printout and you brag about your achievement on facebook and twitter on how you have plans for the weekends. You get into the theatre early and you want it to be perfect, you don’t want to miss a single scene, not a single dialogue should go unheard. You brave yourself through a barrage of advertisements on silk sarees, jewelries, real estate and engineering colleges. The order in which they are aired indicates that once you finish engineering from MGR University you will be able to get a job that will help you buy expensive sarees from RMK and Pothy’s and jewelries from Alukkas for your wife, after which you can move out of the city into a flat with her somewhere in Pattabiram. After that assault on the senses the lights go down and the screen lights up with the starting credits, silence engulfs the packed movie hall when out of nowhere you here a kid go “WAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!”. You then realize that all these days of planning, after braving the weekend traffic, the thrill of watching a blockbuster, the exhilaration of watching epic battles and the hero mouthing off one-liners kicking ass are at the mercy of a toddler whose parents did not have the better sense to leave him at home.

I had watched The Amazing Spiderman in theatre recently, as enjoyable a film as it was, what I had not taken into account was the number of children the parents will be bringing to the theatre. And these were not the 7-8 year old types who could be silenced with a slap or a harsh word or a killer stare, these were the 2, 3 and 4-year olds who would not give a rat’s ass about what others think and expressed their hunger or Spidey’s jaw-dropping exploits in one way­: by screaming their lungs out. Before I go ahead and blame these kids for being the bleating imbeciles that they are, I actually would want to know what makes their parents say:

“Hey honey, let’s go for a movie this weekend, and let us take our brat along with us too. Yes he is brash, loud and spoilt and is raised on a diet of extra-large popcorn with butter and coke, and pizza and already has a paunch coming up, but he also looks very cute with those clothes I have bought for him from Gini & Jony and the public will find his tantrums very cute! For all you know some producer from a reality TV show might spot him and even sign him up for a dance show.”

Is it not enough that photos of him all dressed up and in his element gets you more likes on Facebook than any other pic of yours ever could? Studies have shown that photos of toddlers get more likes, closely followed by hot women, dogs, and flowering cans (Studies have also shown that stating facts with “Studies have shown” give your statements more weightage and help you win the argument subsequently) Why would parents want to thrust their lump of joy across our face by bringing them to the theatre? It underlines their “idiotic parenting” rather than the tantrums of their annoying child. What is more frustrating is to see parents shut their children up by forcefully closing their mouth, like that would help the child understand the gravity of the situation.

How hard is it to amuse a 3-year old that you have to bring him to a movie theatre to watch a man in tights swing around the skyscrapers of New York? You could amuse him in a much easier and cost-effective way, turn on your TV and change the channel to Cartoon Network. You have a dozen channels for children anyway these days, or better you can make your kid watch Roadies. Looking at the host of wannabes on the show who are high on style and attitude but very low on IQ your child would be well aware at a much younger age that he wouldn’t want to end up like those people who go for the auditions. Or you can take him to a park and let him play on the jungle gym, that would be some way to lose all that fat.

I was told that as a kid even I had been lugged around to the cinemas where even I had given my share of misery to the audience by screeching and bawling. I do vividly remember my father covering my eyes whenever there was a kissing scene on screen, my screams of letting me watch a man suck the bejesus out of a woman’s lips fell on deaf ears of my parents much to my annoyance. I feel that might have given a tough time to all the lovey-dovey couples who might have gotten carried away with the moment and would have wanted to do the same. Nothing like a couple wanting to make out in the dark corner of a movie theatre only to be interrupted by the howls of a bitter child. Well I am sorry for being such a nagging child at the movies, and I blame my parents’ poor judgment for that. Incidents such as those would have occurred in the late eighties, an era where our angst could not be documented over tweets, or blogs or facebook. But now with the society having gone more vocal parents ought to know better.

You could leave your kids at home with their grandparents–those gardeners who plant the first seeds of culture within the child’s heart, the first story tellers we had ever known their stories always have morals and shape our beliefs, the foundation for our principles. In short, don’t get inspired by Baghban and separate your parents from your lives after marriage. They might come in handy as a baby sitter some day.

Now if you would ‘scuse me I have to go snatch a candy from a baby.

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