People who come to watch movies in cinema halls in India can be broadly divided into three categories:

  • Those who come with friends and family (adults only)
  • Those who come with screaming children
  • Those who come with screaming children to watch ‘Adult only’ movies.

No matter how incomprehensible the last category might look, it does exist. So does the fact that P.Chidambaram chided the middle class for eating ice-creams and ignoring wheat. Well, eerie things happen. Anyways, a few days back, as I watched Silk Smitha bite her lips and seduce the hero (es), I was constantly perturbed by children running up and down the aisle and screaming their heads off.  Why an adult would bring a child to watch a movie with him and unleash the toddler on the crowd trying to derive some ounce of pleasure from their miserable lives is a complete mystery to me. It is inhuman and sadistic.

If you are very lucky, there will not be children sitting two rows before and after your row, but for that you need the luck of a Bollywood hero (the one who is filled with bullets like a stuffed turkey but still manages to walk and pull out the intestines of the villain). Mostly, you will not be that lucky and would end up in one of the following situations:

  • While watching a very mentally straining and emotionally draining sequence where the heroine has locked herself in the house as the villain lurks outside to rape her, someone screams in your ear from behind, giving you a near perfect heart attack. It’s just a child, opposing his father as he tries to take the mobile back. The father has not bothered to put the mobile in silent mode and you hear 1) Gayatri Mantra 2) screams of the child 3) screams of the heroine as the villain breaks open the door and takes her in his arms 4) A terrible background music, all tossed together as the worse form of torture inflicted on your brain.
  • You will have a horrifying sensation of an octopus spreading its tentacles inside your hair which is actually a child standing right behind you and playing with your head as he mistakes you for a teddy bear.
  • You might panic as your seat starts vibrating and move back and forth all of a sudden. You are filled with images of the roof of the cinema hall caving in due to an earthquake and suddenly get up to run towards the exit, realizing that its only a child thwacking his butt on the back of your seat.
  • You might find water/tomato ketchup/popcorn running down your face while watching a very romantic sequence. Don’t worry. A child just upturned whatever was in his hands on your head as his parents are lost in the movie. Get up and ask for a tissue from the parents. They will say sorry if you are lucky, otherwise they will give you a why-are-you-bathing-in-my-child’s-popcorn look.
  • There might be a child constantly crying in the row just behind you as his mother try to pacify him and keep failing resulting him in bawling more loudly. The decibels will be so high that there might be a danger that the screen will tear apart by the spiky sound waves. You turn back and stare at the mother in disgust so that she might leave but she is intently watching the movie. You stuff cotton in your ears and watch the movie as people might have watched Raja Harishchandra in 1913 – silently.
  • Now some children ask a lot of questions, so you might be in a situation where someone is constantly asking his parents about when Spider-man will kill the Lizard and all you could hear is a lot of destructive interference. There might be children around you who will keep exclaiming – Spider-man! Mom! Spider-man! Dad! Spider-man! Wow! Wow! Wow! Mom why is lizard not wearing underwear?

A lot of people lose their cool and shout at the parents to control their children. The parents react the way Congress reacts to the plight of the common man – with a blank expression. The child is hushed for a second and then he is back to the acrobatics after a while, just like Suresh Kalmadi and A. Raja.

Now it will be unfair, if I do not give all the parents a few tips to control their children instead of staring at the victims sitting around them as if they are talking in Hispanic. Here is the only tip I could think of:

  • It’s your child. You know whether he is capable of sitting quietly for three hours or not. If he can, proclaim him to be the reincarnation of Gautama Buddha and roll in cash for the rest of your life. If he can’t, then DON”T BLOODY BRING HIM TO THE CINEMA HALL!!!!!

In a perfect world

I think that sums it up pretty much. Parents really do not have to watch all the movies in the cinema hall. Bollywood movies hardly run for a week and before you could bat an eyelid they are on television. The quality of pirated DVDs and Camcorder recorded prints is good nowadays. Parents will save a lot of money and they will be doing a great social service by not tormenting the poor souls in the cinema hall who are basically there for the air conditioner because there is no electricity in their house from the last 10 hours.

About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016.
Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.

26 Comments

  1. R's Mom July 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    *stands up and claps really really loudly*

    Just yesterday RD and I were having a discussion on our oh-so-boring weekends and he thought we could go for a movie…R is over four and I am yet to take her to a cinema hall…I dont think its the right place to take kids..may be,,just may be I can take her to a kid friendly movie..but to show a toddler scenes from Dirty Picture is definitely not a great idea!!

    Hope the next movie you watch with Geet is like the last picture you put up, with your arms around her, and loads of popcorn in the middle 🙂

    • Amit July 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks R’s Mom. 🙂
      I really do not understand parents who take children to watch adult movies. I saw children roaming around while I watched Delhi Belly and The Dirty Picture and I was shocked. Seriously, what were the parents thinking?
      Also, I did not mention in the post but I found children in Manchester much well behaved while watching a movie. I never came across children screaming and running here and there.
      Sometimes, watching a movie in India is like sitting in a fish market and then you wish you were at home. 🙂
      You should take R to some animation movie. She will love that. I went with my sis-in-law’s 6 year old son an he sat quietly and did not make a sound.

      Well, we always watch movies like that. 😉

  2. Visha July 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Wah re wah

    Cent percent correct Amit!

    I always have the misfortune of being in the cinema hall with a bawling kid just in front of me. And the sudden ringing of mobiles, which kills the serious scene on screen.

    Parents should be very careful on the type of movies they take their children to. My niece, all of 4 years was quiet while watching a good, clean comedy movie. But the moment she came home, she started imitating the hero and his ‘love’ dialogues 😐

    • Amit July 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Thank you. 🙂
      I am also some sort of a child magnet. There is ALWAYS a child sitting near me. And the constant talking and screaming just kills the whole thrill of watching a movie in a theatre.
      Haha! Children pick up such things very quickly. I remember our neighbour left her 3 year old daughter in our house for a few hours. She accidently saw a Shilpa Shirodkar song on TV which went – Mast Mahina bada Kamina. I changed the channel quickly. And then she repeated that in front of her mother. The expression on her mother’s face was priceless. 🙂

  3. Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan July 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    agree.. Often we hear the excuse that the kids are too small to realise whats going on on the big screen.. thats debatable to me considering 3 year olds know who Katrina Kaif is and how to use iphones today.. but you have to realise how disturbing it for those who just came to watch a movie as well and have to put up with the childs screams/yells..

    • Amit July 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      We are living in an age where we allow 4-5 year old children to dance to Chikni Chameli and Ooh-la-la, so that excuse seems a bit bland to me. Even if the child has no idea what he is seeing or dancing to, he will pick up things which the parents will find very hard to scrap off the child later.
      And I have almost stopped watching Bollywood movies in theatre as it is almost a fish market out there. It’s very irritating.

  4. Archana (@evglere) July 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    One of my friends, with a 3 month old baby, put a status on FB saying that she went to the theatre for the first time after her kid’s birth. Her friend replied that she should have taken the baby and she would have enjoyed the it.
    Now my question is simple, “How can a freakin baby enjoying a goddamn movie being played on a big screen with abnormal sound levels – not to mention the darkness and the fact that it is supposed to sit in a dark hall with no idea what to do??”

    • Amit July 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      And on top of it, the baby would not have allowed the mother to watch the movie in peace. He would have been restless and your friend would have finally given up the movie midway, not to mention after disturbing everyone sitting around her.
      How do people come up with such suggestions? Absurd. Absurd.

  5. Ashwathy July 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    It’s about time somebody wrote this post!!! Not everyone in the world is child friendly, particularly those who don’t have kids!! They won’t appreciate a kid poking its nose into your business (in this case, movie watching)!

    Bottomline: If you can’t discipline kids, don’t give birth to them in the first place! Seriously! 😐

    • Ashwathy July 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      And why on earth would someone bring kids to an ADULT movie hall??? 😯 What on earth were they thinking??? It baffles me!!! Jeez!

    • Amit July 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      I am fine with kids around but we really need to understand the concept of ‘behaving in public’. Everyone sitting in a cinema hall have bought the ticket with the same amount of money and expect entertainment in return. Now, someone cannot come and take everyone as a collective nanny to bear the tauntrums of a child just because that person takes the theatre as an extension of his house.
      The parents are actually robbing the people around them of the priviledge for which everyone sitting there have paid. If they think that their children will disturb others, they should sit at home or try an alternative.

      For someone bringing kids to an adult movie – search me. 🙂 Someday, I might get up and ask someone in the theatre.

  6. Punam J R July 14, 2012 at 2:22 am - Reply

    I like the way you gave the solution to the problem in just one go. 🙂 True.. bawling kids freak me out too.. although I do like kids.

    • Amit July 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      I am like that. My solutions are one-go-solutions. Aar ya Paar. 🙂 I am ok with bawling kids. They can’t speak so they bawl, but not while watching a movie!

  7. Reema Sahay July 14, 2012 at 2:52 am - Reply

    I remember one of my friends posted on her FB status that her 3 month baby ‘saw’ her first movie Ra One. I could not understand what major feat was that! Movie hall with so many people crammed inside is not suitable for babies. I have no words for people who take their kids along for ‘Adults only’ movies.

    • Amit July 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Hahaha! Wonder what she saw! 🙂 And Ra. One? That is a pathetic first movie. The child will never forgive her mother. 🙂

  8. debajyoti July 14, 2012 at 3:50 am - Reply

    and how about those adults who sit behind you and keep narrating the sequences in advance :D?

    lovely post again. had a hearty laugh. and very true.

    • Amit July 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      That is another post debajyoti. 🙂 They are more irritating than the kids.
      Thanks a lot. 🙂

  9. Maddie July 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    I so agree specially with that Gayatri Mantra running in the background and sometimes Bhangra and metallic songs for ring tones. It so throws you off track. I had gone to Rangeela a long time back with my friends and to my horror there were kids running all over the aisle and the parents couldn’t take their eyes off during the Hai Rama!

    Theatres should start scheduling cinemas for kids only as they have here in Edinburgh. Perhaps that would cool down the kids and calm the parents!

    • Amit July 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      Yeah, and then on top of it people start shouting over mobiles as if they are sitting in their home.
      Haha! Sometimes sexual urge takes precedence over everything, even over what you are subjecting your child too.
      Well, cinemas are not allowed to let children go inside a theatre for an adults only movie. They are supposed to stop such parents.

  10. Scribby July 15, 2012 at 4:29 am - Reply

    I agree totally…I too had done a post on this…It was saddening to see parents bring toddlers to movies like ‘Akrosh’ where violence and rape is the base…wonder is this [from such adult movies] where the children get training of molestation and freedom of wrong thoughts and become a ‘pig’ when they ‘grow’ up? huh, just a thought!

    • Scribby July 15, 2012 at 4:32 am - Reply

      Moreover if parents can’t sacrifice their love for movies for the betterment of their children and the other viewers then there is a huge problem,me thinks!

      Also, all movies have the certificates rated..G/PG/A and multiplexes flash it on their websites about the above 18 rule too but when it comes to literally taking action at the entrance nobody cares to ask the parents ‘how could you bring in your toddlers? they aren’t allowed!’ instead they say ‘you have to buy a separate ticket for above children above 3 years’ !

      • Amit July 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

        Yes, I agree. Sometimes parents do not care to sacrifice a movie. It’s stupid but it happens.
        Children are not allowed for an adults only movie. The person who checks the ticket at the enterance is supposed to stop such parents but they don’t. It’s more money, so who cares.

  11. Sabyasachi Patra July 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    People don’t care about the comfort of others. Most often we find that basic courtesies are missing.

  12. Priya Sreeram (@priyasreeram) July 18, 2012 at 9:56 am - Reply

    gee- the post had me smiling. popcorn for thought (?!)

    • Amit July 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      Oh it’s really irritating! I went to see Cocktail and there was this kid bawling all the time. I wanted to get up and scream and ask the parents to get out!

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