Yeah, that’s what I am! And so is my husband.
Well, this madness is genetic and that’s our excuse. While Venkat’s parents were not that mad about watching films, his grandmother from his mother’s side used to be crazy about watching films, I believe. I have never met Ammamma, but have heard a lot of stories about her from Venkat and his siblings. Ammamma used to love going to films and has passed on those genes to Venkat and his eldest sister Chandra who is also a great fan of movies.
On my side, both my grandmothers – Pattu Paati (my father’s mother) and Guma Paati (my mother’s mother) – simply loved films.
I have heard my maternal grandmother telling me how she watched the evergreen romance Aradhana eight times. She lived in Bombay with my Dasarathi Mama the latter part of her life. One day, she visited my home in the afternoon. My sisters-in-law had been visiting with their husbands and we were all watching a Tamil film – can’t recall which one but Kamal Haasan was acting in it. Guma Paati decided to stay over to watch the film along with us. That we watched one more before the night was over was another story altogether. This was how movie mad Paati was.
Pattu Paati was simply cinema crazy. I remember how she used to take my elder sister Sujatha and me to a new release every week. Click here to read some more about that. While Paati enjoyed seeing films and listening to movie songs, Thatha had no taste for either. So it was her, Suja and me. We had watched so many films during our school days.
Then there was the taste we acquired for Hindi film songs, all thanks to Pattu Paati only. Every afternoon, after her nap, she used to switch the radio on for Binaca Geet Mala – one hour of melodious songs from the world of Hindi Cinema. I used to just love it. While I could never get the lyrics right, I remember crooning along with the music, well applauded by Suja. Some golden times indeed!
|Binaca Geet Mala|
Both my parents used to watch films as well. While Appa had an extremely busy work schedule, Amma was equally preoccupied with the kitchen. Despite all that, we used to watch films regularly as a family. In those days, this was the main form of entertainment other than a visit to the beach. I remember how Amma and us children used to go to the theatre along with Pattu Paati to buy the tickets and wait for Appa to get there from his office. Amma used to pack a stainless steel box with a heavy tiffen for my father to eat during the movie. There were those nail-biting times when Appa used to rush there at the nick of the moment just when the film started rolling.
|A still from a NS Krishnan movie|
My Rajamani Chittappa – Appa’s younger brother – is also fond of watching films. In fact, he has a special talent for relaying dialogues, words and tones matched perfectly. Even today, he can entertain for hours with dialogues of NS Krishnan, a great comedian from yonder days. It makes me wonder how my 78-year-old C’hippa can remember every single word without missing anything. Simply amazing!
Is anyone still surprised how Venkat and I manage to catch so many films every month?