The other day I sat down to watch ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’. After precisely five minutes into the movie, I realized the movie is simply unwatchable. It appeared gross, grotesque and as Bongs would put ‘churanto nyaka’. However, ironically this is the same movie that ignited passion and romance in me 28 years back when I was at the onset of puberty. Like a typical ‘pichan paka’ (please refer to Bong dictionary) girl I had got tremendously inspired by this amazing ‘love story’.
Those who grew up in the 90s would remember VCR and VCP. In those days we used to hire videocassettes of movies from the local video parlour and binge-watch them-These were way before we got hooked to binge-watching Netflix- Special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and festivals like Mahashivratri or Holi used to be the coveted occasions for movie viewing when the entire family and neighbourhood used to gather around a box like ‘colour’ television set fitted with a VCP and watch movies, one after the other.
I put colour within quotes because back in those days having a ‘colour TV’ was part of the status symbol. And those who had a VCP/VCR were almost the likes of those who have personal movie theatres nowadays. Unfortunately, we had none. My puritan dad always felt that television was the root of all evil so after much argument, he brought home a small black and white portable TV. Younger readers wouldn’t know what a portable TV is. It was basically a smaller box with similar options. In those days even television sets with all options had only the liberty of watching Doordarshan and pirated Bangladeshi TV where you could watch CNN.
Back to Maine Pyar kiya, I watched this movie in VCP in one of my friends’ house. I told my mother that I was going to watch Sound of Music while secretly watched Maine Pyaar Kiya, exactly the way kids these days watch Sunny Leone. For my parents ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ was blasphemous, especially for a pre-puberty child. They believed love stories spoil the kids and teach them to fall in love and do ‘dirty things’ (get the drift). Falling in love was equivalent to sinful act in those days.
Due to this holier than thou attitude of the society our generation eventually grew up with zero sex education in school and home. The word sex was a taboo and we were almost taught to pour gangajal into our ears the moment we heard the three lettered word. Our previous generation kept us away from sex as if it was plague till our wedding day but immediately after marriage, they started demanding grandkids. Now imagine, if you keep Calculus out of syllabus through the entire semester and never teach it and then suddenly on exam day want us to perform and score a perfect A+, how is it supposed to happen?
Have you ever wondered why there are so many IVF clinics these days? I tell you. It is because our generation has such a warped idea that many of us are probably clueless about the actual act.
Our only sex education came from Bollywood movies and Bollywood taught us how to kiss by using placeholders like two flowers nudging each other or two birds touching the beak of each other. How were we supposed to learn from this? Had we been allowed to watch Hollywood we would have still learned but Hollywood movies in most theatres were restricted for night shows and most scenes were deleted by Censor Board.
In movies like Maine Pyaaar kiya the love was so pure and clean that even Dettol would suffer an inferiority complex, absolutely 100% no germs. Hindi movies taught us that making love is equal to singing songs around the tree or in a mustard field. There was no concept of ‘making out’. All heroes and heroines of Hindi movies were so celibate that they could give Baba Ramdev a run for his money. The level of ignorance was so low that in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam the character of Aishwarya felt that a kiss could get her pregnant.
Pre-marital anything was a strict no and all the female protagonists were direct descendants of Sati and Savitri. They were innocent, pure, virginal with zero libidos. Think of the Sooraj Barjatiya brand of movies where the girls were either in the pooja room or kitchen. Their bedrooms were also so virtuous that all of them conceived like Virgin Mary. The movies were so sweet that India is today the number one country in diabetes.
I sincerely feel movies these days are much more realistic. Even though there is still some amount of prejudice involved yet they are far better than before. Yet most of us love watching those movies of the 90s for the sake of nostalgia. What do you feel? Do you agree or disagree? Please let me know.
Linking this post to #MondayMusings hosted by dear Corinne.