Those days, watching movies was not less than any festival. I remember the Sunday evening movies aired on Doordarshan. After waiting for the entire week everyone just loved to watch the Sunday evening movie together along with friends and neighbors. On New Year’s Eve, during family and friend get-together, when lot of relatives used to visit home, and on few more similar gatherings people used to rent VCR and movie video cassettes. Even though after the introduction of cable TV things got changed, but the tradition of watching movies together like a festival continued for few more years.
I remember "Titanic" movie was released during those days, in the late Nineties, the time when I passed out of school and was about to join Engineering college. Titanic was one of the biggest blockbuster till date. It's an epic romance-disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15 April 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage. The movie won hearts across the globe. Everything is so perfect about the movie, the emotions, romance, cinematography, special effects. It was the most expensive film made at that time. Titanic was nominated for, and won several Academy Awards, including the awards for Best Picture.
Most of my friends already watched Titanic by then, but I wanted to watch it on a bigger screen. Finally, I had the opportunity to experience the magic of James Cameron during a short Guwahati trip. Months later, I don’t exactly remember the occasion but our house was full with guests. Many relatives visited at the same time, cousins uncles, aunties, some elderly relatives as well. The situation was perfect for a movie festival. Some of us went to to rent VCR and movie cassettes. The majority, particularly my mother demanded to watch Titanic. It was a lovely afternoon. I remember an international cricket test match was going on between India vs West Indies. In between the movies, sometimes I paused for a while just to look at the score, and every time my mother and few other relatives shouted at me for the disturbance.
So, we were watching Titanic. The TV room was completely packed, not enough space was left to accommodate another person. My father was also enjoying the movie. At a particular moment, when Kate requests Leonardo to sketch her picture, I was getting a bit uncomfortable. But I was quite grown-up then, I thought it wouldn’t be nice to step out of the room. I simply played a trick, I wanted to switch to the cricket match without pausing the movie for a while. Unlike other times, even after having a look at the score I didn’t switch back to the movie. The audience were getting impatient, and my mother turned furious.
"You don't let us watch even a single movie in peace," she screamed and then Kate Winslet reappeared on the TV screen, but this time without any clothing. Before my mother could realize she already returned to her seat. The room turned more silent as Kate and Leonardo got more closer. I tried to be cool as if nothing happened, tried to sustain the illusion that I was concentrating on the movie. With my third eye I wanted to have a look at everyone’s expression that moment. And then one elderly uncle suggested, "We can watch cricket for a while." But I remained a statue. Finally, after the painting session was over, everyone had a big sigh of relief.
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