India is a land that is crazy about movies. Some go to watch and fall in love, some to nurse their broken heart, while a few others to snatch some private moments with their near and dear ones. The whole movie experience has definitely undergone a sea change over the years. Here I am sharing my experiences as a child and as a parent.

Movies Kal

Movies have a special place in my life, because my dad was a movie buff. Watching movies was a way to relax and bond with him. My mom shares stories of how as a young couple they went to movies every week – the best part was both of them didn’t understand Hindi much as they were schooled in Karnataka in the 70’s!

Later on, I have memories of having a movie afternoon with all the society children in vacation. We were one of the few homes with a VCP and a dad who was always on the lookout for great children’s movies. My friends were super excited about watching movies at my place as most of the time dad got English kids movies, which hardly released in India at that time.

Later on we got cable connection. Mom and my sister weren’t the kinds who would watch a picture come what may. So dad found it absolutely reasonable to wake me up at weird hours, just so that I catch the right one! Many times he worked night shifts, so after coming back if he couldn’t sleep he would be surfing the limited channels that we had and if he found a good movie, he would wake me up and give me a quick download to get me up to speed! School night be damned- or rather another benefit of having an afternoon school.  If mom woke up he knew he was in trouble, but that didn’t stop him from waking me.

I secretly loved those night movies. We watched movies irrespective of the language they were made in! We had discussions about cinematography, plot and what not- all this when I was barely 12. I watched some legendary movies with him- albeit incomplete as I would fall asleep before the movie was over, but those are some of the fabulous memories that I have.

Movie Mania – Kal aur Aaj nostalgia

Movies Aaj

I don’t see the anticipation of waiting for a movie in my kids. There is so much content available and that too on-demand they are actually spoilt for choices. We have a rule of movie weekend nowadays and I try and find good movies to suggest but I guess the whole experience isn’t the same. They aren’t that clued into it- maybe they are not seeing something unique or something that they can brag about!

The current crop of movies that are so-called ‘blockbusters’ is hardly worth a watch for children. It has the same done to death with formula or if the content is good the language and the presentation might be too bold for their age. There is a tight rope to walk. The whole larger than life silver screen with dialogues that are catchy but extremely lame and songs that are peppy but make no sense and border on vulgarity is a recipe for disaster. I am not saying the earlier crop of pictures were fabulous, it is just that there was no pressure about watching the latest one. Today, my daughter gets upset if she can’t discuss the latest pictures and actors with her friends as we don’t watch all of them. When I was a kid, that hardly mattered. Everyone’s knowledge was limited to what DD showed and the cable entered our lives much later.

We have recently started watching classics and all the family members seem to bond well over that. I wish to have similar conversations that I had; with my children, just waiting for that time to come. As the kids have been enjoying classics I don’t think that day is too far off.

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41 Replies to “Movie Mania – Kal aur Aaj”

  1. Things have changed for sure. Earlier watching a movie was a huge thing especially going to a theatre. Now, its so easily available that kids don’t actually have to for it.

  2. In my family my mother loves movies and it was always fun to watch all movies with her. We both enjoy classics hopefully someday me, Mom and my little one can enjoy some together like I did when I was small.

  3. There is nostalgia when you talk about the movies in the past. We sure are spoilt for choices today but the movies that we as a family unanimously love, are those of the yesteryears. They were classics!

  4. Ditto! We have started watching the classics and daughter also loves them. Last weekend we saw, Katha and Bawarchi. Today, movies have lost the essence it’s only melodramatic with no soul.

  5. This is a really important post. The lines are blurring as to what the kids can watch and what not. In earlier days there were movies that were specifically made for kids. Now a days we are at the mercy of hollywood animated movies which werent there in our childhood days. Nice one Neha ji.

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  6. Nothing beats the charm of classics! However the new waves have there own flavors. Hopefully cinema should evolve for the best.
    Interesting topic and beautifully written.

  7. Amazing nostalgia about your dad and you. You are indeed lucky to have had him sharing all those classics with you. We used to watch the English ones in school itself or taken tot he theater on Childrens day. These days kids are spoilt for choice. They have so many to choose from.But then their screen time should be curtailed. All the best and share the same bond with your kids.

  8. Nice post. You made me nostalgic remembering the good old days when watching movie once in a week or so use to be a family affair, we use to be excited. Now every channel and web platform is offering loads of movies but nothing suits our taste and best to choose especially when it comes to watching it with the family with growing kids. True said songs too are catchy and seek attention for shorter span but dont build connect like it use to be with old songs.

  9. This is such a nostalgic read. I agree about kids being spoilt for choice today. When we were kids, TV was non-existent. And watching a movie in theatres required quite a bit of planning.

  10. So, I happen to be from the generation in between. My family has transitioned from the weekend movie days, which were a detailed set of activities that began the previous week, when we start shortlisting the movies to catch during the upcoming weekend and actually go to the video shop to pick up the tapes two days before the weekend to ensure that we get the movies before they are snapped up by the others, to the current situation, where during the weekend, or maybe even a particularly slow weekday, we just go onto Netflix or Youtube or Prime and just catch whatever’s the latest movie out. It’s taken away all the excitement, the anticipation and the togetherness. Like it took away a lot of moments that could have been there. In fact, this is one of the major drawbacks of modern technology. It has indeed made life a lot simpler, but it has also taken away a lot of moments like these…

  11. We always used to have a weekend movie once or twice a month before covid. There is always something to watch with kids though not in Bollywood. Recently when cinemas opened here, we went for Mulan ..it’s a brave and inspiring story of a girl warrior

  12. We’ve started watching classics with our kids too and it is so much fun. Earlier movies were clean, had good content and were enjoyable. The experience is hardly the same anymore.

  13. Movies are a great bonding time. I can totally relate my growing years with you. Do see if you can find dubbed versions of Feluda detective series by Satyajit Ray on OTT platforms. They’re quite timeless.

  14. You got me nostalic with the “kal”! I remember we even used to pack some homemade snacks for interval , those days were fun when we used to go to cinema halls. Things have changed now, we too have one movie a week rule, something that is fun yet adds value.

  15. EVEN MY FATHER WAS MOVIE BUFF AND HE USE TO WATCH FIRST DAY FIRST SHOW. HE IS FOND OF DANCING TOO , FOR THE LOVE OF CINEMA . HE DECIDED TO MAKE SERIAL BUT BUSINESS LOSS MAKE HIM TAKE STEP BACK BUT I AGREE WITH YOU TODAY MOVIES ARE NT SO MUCH GOOD OR HAVE MORAL. EVEN i STRUGGLE TO FIND RIGHT MOVIE FOR MY KIDS

  16. This is so sweet post, I feel sometimes to go ahead and watch few classic movies with kids but little one dosen’t like.

  17. Movie time (when we were at the age that we were finally allowed to watch) was family bonding time for me too. I grew up in a joint family and some movies hold fond memories just because I watched with family and we had such fun times. Good idea to watch classics with ur kids. All the best with that. Btw, your dad is awesome.

  18. I love movies but unfortunately none of family members shared that love. So we never had movie nights. So I used to go out with my friends for movies. I used to, at least. Until corona took away that too.

  19. Very true, Neha. There were times when Doordarshan showed 1 movie over 3 days which my siblings and I waiting to watch (on a show called Bioscope), and today, we have everything on our fingertips and can watch acoording to out convenience.

  20. I too am a complete movie buff and yes times have changed incredibly. The pleasure of movie viewing has diminished somewhat, and now I worry this pandemic will kill cinema halls altogether- which was my favourite method of viewing films!

  21. Too much of anything spoils the fun. As you say, nowadays there are so many options open for children watching a movie is no longer a novelty. You are lucky to have a father who used to encourage you to watch movies. My father was strict and I rarely got to watch movies as a kid till we bought a television set when I was in my 8th grade.

  22. Your post took me for a trip down memory lane when movie watching was a limited affair… We also had that neighborhood uncle/aunty who used to have VCR/VCP in their house and used to call all the kids to watch those yet to be released English movies 😁 I showed my son some of the movies which I enjoyed when I was a kid and E. T. was again a big hit!

  23. I was also a movie person in my childhood. I even watched many regional movies those used to come on DD. And that craziness got a support as my husband is also the same. He introduced me with excellent movies of other countries along with hollywood. We have watch many good movies together and now he makes me watch good stuff of web series world. The time has changed as now OTT is most preferred medium. However good content can still be found and watched.

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