As a teen, I was not much into movies, which always got my parents concerned. My parents were very broadminded; they encouraged me to see all types of movies, to develop my interest, so that I could “know the real world”, as they believed that cinema was a reflection of our daily lives. My brother, who was 15, was even more concerned about my disinterest in movies, and took upon himself, the pious duty of introducing me to the realities of life, though in a starker way. He had a huge collection of seemingly boring movies on his laptop, which he hid from my parents, and which were really good comedies I think. Anyways, when God decided that the time was ripe, I started taking interest in movies. But my genre was horror, yes sir! How I loved those teddy-bear type cuddly cute ghosts, romping without footwear and grunting!
I loved the multi-colored vomits and also the shrieks and shouts of the fellow onlookers at the cinema hall.. it was all so hilarious! Yeah, I mean what I say, because I loved these movies for their comic elements, and not horror. I would wait with baited breath for the huge hairy ghost to appear, and wait breathlessly for him to stumble, or fall.. actually sometimes their masks would be so obvious, that one waited for the mask to obstruct their eyes, which often did. Witches who would howl and try scaring were completely oblivious to exposed lace under the skin outfits, and they would unceremoniously get caught in their own tatters and fall down the stairs with a thud! I could go on and on, but dear readers, let me jump on to my favorite movie amongst all I saw.
I had watched many a movie, till I saw the posters of this movie appear on all city walls. It was called “Paapi Guddi ka Papa Gudda”, which crudely translated would mean “ Devilish Doll’s Dad’s a Doll”. This magnum opus I guess, was much ahead of its times, like my elder bro (though for different reasons), and this I guess was the reason why it did not fare well at the box office those days. It was about a loving dad and his daughter, who move to a countryside home and get possessed without much ado.
A series of exorcisms then begin, but not before the dad and the prodigal daughter have rid the countryside of a big part of the population. The duo, after dismembering their victims would treat them in some chemicals and stuff them and decorate their mantelpieces with these new fashioned dolls! I don’t remember who the cast and crew were, because they were never heard about after the movie. Sometimes I think that many of these poor actors perish on the sets during the making of the movie for want of medical aid, or even food. But let me not digress dear reader, lets move on!
The movie was rated “R”, and I had to see it any cost. It was summertime and I convinced my parents that our school was taking the entire class to a special show for kids of the movie “Santa Comes, and How!” I then got my dad’s raincoat to make me look an adult and even bought a cigarette, just to gain entry. The readers can imagine a 13 year old midget, wearing dark glasses, cigarette in hand, and a long raincoat trailing behind me, as it does when you see models in Gucci evening gowns with white satin trailing them mopping the ramp! I was accosted by the checker at the cinema gate and was about to be dishonored when he comfortingly said,” No smoking inside the hall please”!
I was so relieved, I thought I was about to be caught, but my clever camouflage was a hit. I coolly chucked the cigarette behind me with a style that could beat Chuck Norris, and saw a big hole made immediately in my dad’s raincoat trailing behind me! Thankfully the raincoat was so oversized that I could just turn around and stomp out the fire, still I had to carefully cut and alter the length later so that no one suspected; except my confused dad who kept remarking, ”Strange! Never saw a raincoat shrink before!”
The movie was a real laugh riot.. for me I mean. The stupid audience was so scared that they turned the hall upside down shrieking, howling and shouting. These elders, I thought, have no self control. Could they not just enjoy the movie quietly? I was just getting into the story and waiting for those fun moments to appear when the man beside me suddenly shrieked. I turned around to see him staring at the usher who had come out of nowhere and beamed his flashlight on the poor guy’s face!
After a minute or two, when the cute cuddly bear type ghosts made an appearance, a much louder shriek was heard, which got everybody’s attention. It was the usher himself this time, having beamed his torch on some woman, and getting scared himself. The lady was not pleased at all, but I must admit that she could have done with a little more make-up before venturing into some public place; its just not right to scare people, right?
The movie was so entertaining!! The dad had already turned into a monster and was now attired in a hairy suit, strings of which were visible behind his neck. At one juncture, while accosting a victim, the string got stretched, and he was just about to gasp for air and scream himself, when the editor played a spoilsport and ruined the fun. Well, more would come I thought, and it did. In one scene, while chasing a victim, who, God alone knows why, was strolling in a cemetery at the dead of night, the monster dad clearly tripped over a pointed stone and one could see painful emotions on his face, which the editor also could not conceal. He even swore badly, as I was good at reading lips, but the words were not dubbed later I guess.
The daughter too had her shares of bloopers, when in one particular scene she had to shout to scare a victim in a bathroom, she accidentally peeked in the mirror and shrieked loudly! Obviously her make-up as a ghost was so convincing that even she got scared of her own reflection! But nothing could be hid from my eyes though, because I always had an eye for details since the day I was born. I even remember the soft, pink fingers of the nurse who delivered me, but that dear reader is another essay material! When the dad was first brought to justice by the local folk, the scene involved a lot of ketchup and sauce, and many juniors standing behind could be seen licking their lips with their tongues! The dad was laid in a coffin and a makeshift priest was to exorcise the dirty soul.
The priest looked really holy in his white robes, except for flashy red jockey shorts highlighted under his raiment. His bald head showed from under the wig, which was secured around his egg-shaped head with a lace, supposed to be skin colored, which conflicted a good three shades with his skin and one end of which was clearly visible hanging behind his ear and annoying him no end! And when he was to hammer the wooden stake in the guy’s chest, the small piece of wood that shielded the man’s chest and was directly under the stake, showed, and even slipped when the hammer-blow fell, and the devil in dad winced in pain! It was so genuine that the poor guy hit the roof without the aid of any special effects and landed back in the coffin with a thud, and the dad thankful to the crew for not providing a metal stake!
The audience shrieked and wailed throughout, and when the lights finally came on, many more shrieks were heard! One woman shrieked seeing the man sitting next to her chewing her stole! The man shrieked seeing the woman shriek! An old guy screamed discovering he had chewed his umbrella handle! Another screamed at his popcorn spilled in his lap, not out of fear, come on! The popcorn was buttered and he had ruined his best pair, that’s why! Another woman shouted wildly, discovering that the man to her left was not her husband, and whose hand she had been holding throughout! Her husband who was seated to her right, was slapped by the man on his right, whose hand he was holding, thinking it to be some woman’s! There were even more screams as a lady had sneaked in with her cat, which went berserk listening to the shrieks of the audience. Two girls who were my age, shrieked on seeing their parents seated next to them!
In short it was wholesome entertainment! The movie was good fun, with plenty of gaffes and bloopers for me. And what a surprise, I even found my English teacher while leaving the cinema hall. Yes Sir, I had seen you that day, and I do recognize your wife, who looked quite different that day at the movie. Yes Sir, I do know your address and your phone number Sir. Hope you enjoyed the essay Sir. And just to mention Sir, I need a minimum of 80 percent marks in this essay to pass my English test. I know you won’t let me down!!