Of Reel life and Real life

A typical Sunday for the Seth parivar encompasses the entire family squeezing into the family sedan and driving to the movies. The conversation along the way, usually varies from the premise of the film we are going to watch (Half the time, the film is chosen by one family member, and that choice is never up for negotiation!), current political sensational events, a heated debate regarding the to-do list for my upcoming wedding or sometimes, exhausted and silence-absorbing radio advertisements.

Since horror films have been an unsaid banned genre, we usually end up going for the latest Bollywood movie. Whether it is a hit or a “flop” film, that is usually pretty inconsequential to the decision. Driving to the movies involves stopping at the Chowpatty signal where I encounter the same 14-old year girl selling gajras every single day after school. Her look has never changed: 2 pigtails tied with red ribbons, a grey and white school uniform dress, and this ever-beaming 100-watt smile that never leaves her face. The earnestness with which she sells her gajras, should make it to the top 10 consumer-selling tools that every marketing guru has ever discovered.

After beginning to work with ConnectFor, the disparities between the rich and the struggling are drawn further to my attention. Fast forward to reaching the cinema: A big bag of popcorn, a large coke, a plate of Bhel and pizza are usual accompaniments to the movie. The grand finale, of course, is the nutella waffles . Let’s think for a second about who is behind the making of each of these delicious, finger-licking items? An ever-patient poorly paid “sous chef”, whose monthly salary works out to the revenue generated by him in two days. The cost of two weeks ingredients works out to the cost of his child’s education for the entire year. Through the course of the film, I finish half the coke, and eat most of the bhel except for the bottom bit, which is too spicy. Where do I discard my half-finished items? Well under the seat, of course. The film gets over, and as we walk out, I notice two uniformed labourers standing: One with a vacuum cleaner and one with gloves on. Their job? It is to clean up the cinema floor and ensure that there are no remnants left on the expensive carpeted floor. Their salary? The cost of our monthly cinema tickets.

Do we ever notice these heroes who make our experience so smooth-sailing? Probably not. Behind this delightful family outing is the bittersweet reminder of the fact that there are families out there, who never get the joy of enjoying a Sunday evening as we do, and who thanklessly work towards making our Sunday evening as comfortable as possible.

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