All of us, at one time or the other have bunked schools and colleges to catch a movie! The parents were obviously not informed about our escapades! In my younger days, I too, was a part of this fun filled adventure. But naturally, my folks were blissfully unaware that I not only bunked my classes at the pharma college but also the town for it!
Such was the craze for Sholay in those days that one only wanted to watch the 70-mm film in Minerva Theatre. The pride of Maharashtra, they claimed. Ramesh Sippy ka Shahaakaar, they advertised!
So, I along with 4-5 of my friends travelled all the way to Mumbai from Satara to watch Sholay. And look at our guts or rather the intense desire to watch Sholay! Where did we decide to stay? In a friend’s empty house in Kalbadevi itself! A couple of lanes away from where my folks lived! Though the chances of me being caught in Mumbai were one in a million but I was on the tenterhooks all the time. Imagine coming face-to-face with your folks at a time when you were supposed to be in the hostel, studying!
The lines outside the ticket windows were serpentine. Tickets were being sold at Rs. 150 in black – which is about 3500 today! We, being college students, did what was prudent and joined the line! It wasn’t as easy as it reads. The lines resembled the queues that were once outside ration shops, where you had your office peons, servants, drivers, neighbors, and sometimes even stones & cloth bags saving your spot while you cooled your heels in the shade. But our efforts paid off and we managed to get the tickets!
The jubilation upon getting the ticket and watching the “paisa vasool” film with friends is a memory that was etched in my mind and heart forever. I now have a new set of friends ready. And I’m just waiting for the right film to hit the screens. Though, this time, instead of my parents it would be my wife who would be kept in the dark! He he he…! Till then…