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.