I was a hideous looking ogre named Shrek as he heartbreakingly declared "They judge me even before they know me".
I became the twelfth man in Aamir Khan's historical cricket team of eleven in Lagaan.
I experienced the trauma of Frodo Baggins when he wished that the ill-fated ring had never come to him.
I refused to believe Amitabh Bachchan dies in Shakti.
I felt the first pangs of heartbreak as I lost out to the prettier Rani Mukherjee in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
I turned evil and vindictive as the evil Lestat of Interview with the Vampire declared, "God kills indiscriminately and so shall we".
I dwelled in depression in the company of Devdas.
Who am I? A sensitive viewer or a hopeless film buff?
I do not know, but like Jack Dawson of Titanic says, "I am too involved now. You jump, I jump."
To a bulk audience, watching films is either a means of entertainment or mere time pass. Some watch films because they are fans of a certain actor or actress. Some, more often than not journalists, watch films chiefly to criticize them (seldom constructive). Others to assemble enough dough to gossip about it, till the next release comes along.
My reason for watching films is uncomplicated. There is simply nothing as pleasurable and out of this world than to experience an entire gamut of emotions whilst embarking in an unknown world and meeting new characters.
To chuckle with glee, to stifle in pain. To rejoice in their moments of glory. To empathize with their struggle. To sing, dance and make merry. To be a part of this wondrously created moment. To cross barriers and connect with these imaginary characters on screen. Wow!
In films everyone finds love, happiness and peace and what's more they happily live ever after. Probabilities take shape of possibilities. In the ceaseless battle between good versus evil, good wins hands down. There is a solution to every problem. Dreams actually come true. Every mistake is forgiven and forgotten. Everyone gets a second chance.
Tell me where else one gets to see the Seven Wonders of the World in five-minutes flat (Remember Ajooba in Jeans?) or experience close encounters of every kind, be it extra terrestrials, super heroes, terminators or extinct dinosaurs?
Now tell me, can you really blame me for being addicted to this magical medium of cinema?
It all started when I saw Disney's Lady and the Tramp at the age of five. The fact that the two poor dogs were constantly struggling in someway or the other troubled me no end. But since I wasn't able to voice my thoughts, as eloquently I believe I can now, I preferred to remain confined to profound silence.
The next incident that comes to mind is when I saw Ramesh Sippy's Shakti. Touted as the clash of the titans-Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan, I had tagged along with my Mom and brother to catch this big flick then. Throughout the film I could sense that Vijay (Amitabh's name in the movie) has been wronged. And in the climax scene, when his own father (Dilip Kumar) shoots him, I was howling aloud, "Vijay mar gaya, Vijay mar gaya (Vijay is dead)."
I refused to believe that he wasn't dead for real, despite my mom's numerous futile explanations to convince me otherwise. Ultimately, she had to wait till his next release Sharaabi to prove Big B was alive and kicking.
My sense and sensibilities were shoved aside as the sensitive me took complete charge in the crammed cinema halls. The dim lighting, the spunky aroma of samosas and popcorn, the air of anticipation, the hysterical applause, in its full strength gave me a high.
Among the many emotions I usually undergo whilst watching a movie, crying comes foremost. I have suffered from dehydration a number of times as I spent buckets of tears when a character died or broke his/her heart. The most memorable crying sequence was when a bunch of friends and me went to see Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in Liberty. The scene on screen was: Kajol realizes that her best friend Shah Rukh Khan is in love with Rani Muhkerjee and not her.
The scene off screen was: My female friend had her hand pressing her mouth in disbelief. My male friend was tactfully avoiding tears by looking straight up. As for me, my lenses were literally floating in tears, before they managed to find their way out.
Somehow I tend to get into the skin of the character I like most in the film and experience all the highs and lows they go through. Al though I didn't exactly turn a ragamuffin after watching Rangeela, I admit I thoroughly enjoyed yapping in Munnabhai's tapori lingo.
Ditto for Andaz Apna Apna. I have a set of friends who are as crazy about this brilliant laugh raiser as myself. The interesting part is that whenever we meet we converse only in the dialogues of AAA.
I am often dubbed filmi, movie fanatic, or film encyclopedia for such antics, but being an incurable film buff at heart, such remarks fail to bog me down.
Come to think of it, so many films so little time. On an average I view four films a week and my biggest fear is that I will miss all the amazing films with doubly advanced technology and adventurous subjects after I die. I hope there is some special arrangement to view films up there. Dvds? IMAX? Even good old video player will do.
For the time being I am content watching Shrek for the 81st time. There is no simply no redeeming a filmoholic.
(No marks for guessing what Sukanya Verma is doing right now...)
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