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Growing Up- Movies and Morals

In the 1950s family planning hadn’t become popular with the Indian couples and more the merrier was the theme they worked on industriously. So apple of an eye was a rarely used phrase in the Indian homes. There used to be so many apples in the house that you could compare the household to an apple tree and the whole neighbourhood to an orchard.

The idea of exercising some control on the production line, pushed by the government subtly, by freely screening the movies like Ek ke baad Ek in localities was beginning to have an effect. I do not know if our parents ever saw, that movie or not but we, the children didn’t miss to go to see it whenever it was screened within a radius of one kilometer around our home.  It’s not that we were interested in seeing this movie but the workers of the Public Health and Social Welfare Department, would spread the news that a movie would be screened at such and such place, but they would not divulge the name of the movie, to keep the suspense alive and we couldn’t afford to take a chance of missing watching an “educational” movie. Maybe, it was done intentionally because if they would disclose the name of the movie, the people who may have seen it once, may not come again, but for us children, it didn’t matter. A movie is a movie and the fun of seeing it in the open air can’t be replicated except in the dreams on which one has no control.

I must have seen this movie eight to ten times in the hope of seeing something different. You can imagine how badly the impressionable minds of us children must have got effected by seeing something intended for our parents and it will be good that if you let your imagination let you sense the extent of damage it caused on me and those who got psyched because I can’t put in words, except giving a hint that a laborious work like writing in solitude became my first love. Maybe the intended purpose of the project was good but as is the wont of most of the projects of the government the implementation was flawed, because I am sure the parents made a good use of the time, when their children sat on the hillside with razor sharp breeze cutting through their thin layers of clothing, getting brainwashed over the dangers of having too many children. “Bhabhi ki haddiyan ek ke baad ek bachche paida kar ke khokhali ho gayi thin” ( Sister in law’s bone had become weak/hollow as a result of bearing children one after the other), Devanand hammering it down on his elder brother, blaming him for the death of his wife- I even remember the dialogues. We would sit there out in the open, shedding tears for the poor Bhabhi, knowing little as to why her husband was being chastised, while our parents would make good use of the time, turning the schemes of the Public Health and Welfare Department counter-productive by countering it with finesse.

Looking back, I would say, the whole project must have been disastrous and some higher officials might even have lost their jobs but we were the gainer in the bargains because we besides this movie also saw some good movies like “Dil Ek Mandir”, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behati Hai, Bhabhi, Rakhi and many more, I can’t recall, but they were the movies that had strong messages and good morals and our parents were gainers too, because they would get that free time that they could never dream of with a swarm of bees buzzing around

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Navneet Bakshi

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Ushasurya
Ushasurya
1 year ago

Now tghe times have changes, Navneet, as Suresh has said!!
It is having a single kid or two kids!! And today’s kids , most of them do not even know who their second cousins are !!!!
What a rather sad situation..
Small families are good…but two is better than one !

Suresh Rao
Suresh Rao
1 year ago

Ek Ke Baad Ek perhaps started with agriculturalists living and thriving on lands growing crops. Perhaps making babies was the only entertainment too those days. More hands for cultivating the land was the rule. With industrialization and families moving to factory life… baby making followed the reverse Fibonacci series! Zero babies is now the trend!

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