A coincidence it might be, but the topic seems to be swirling around my conversations with my friends and cab mates off late. So, what better than making a post about it.
In our conversations, I realized that hindi movie posters seem to have come a long way. Going back to one of the first image-less posters of the film Raja Harishchandra to the recent glossy posters for the Rock Ons and the Gajni's of our times. I remember having seen some of the hand-painted posters of the movies from 60s through the 80s, all stained with paan. Be it then, the colourful and yet crowded posters, with every main character on it, for Mera Naam Joker or the sole strong face of Amitabh Bacchan dominating it for almost all of his films in the 70s. The hindi movie posters have indeed come a long way.
When I was a kid, it was an awaited event for every thrusdays. When with my friends or cousins, I would take the most famous galees where the new movie posters would appear for the three cinema halls we had in our town back then. We would wait a minute or two staring at them, soaking in every detail, and only then would we continue our walk to see the same poster again in the next lane. Finally, we would come to decide on a day for watching.
Now, when I am in hyderabad, a friend reminds me of those posters in a casual conversation, and in my 23 km drive from my house to my office, my eyes search longingly for a single movie poster in one of those forgotten and wretched walls. To my surprise, the only posters I see are for the recent Telugu movies. Most of those are more like hoardings hung on huge billboards. I am forced to talk to my cab-mates about my fond memories of Amitabh, Mithun, or Govinda staring out of the old posters like Greek Gods, suited only for Indian fantasies. I remember, some of my girl friends staring longingly at them. Alas! I have to admit, the era for not just the hand-painted posters is gone, but so also the era for posters on every obscure wall is gone. Sadly enough, I only realized it far too late. I wonder, why such gradual disappearance, so sudden I surely can't call them?
Various answers flash through my head, may be too many TV advertisements for the upcoming new movies, internet bookings, various resources we now have to find out about the new releases. But could it be also because of the changing spaces we live in today. Who did these posters cater to? Who were their audience...? The general mass....
Has there then been a disconnect then in what constituted earlier the general mass?Perhaps yes, we can now divide the mass of any metropolis into - the Urban and the not so urban mass. The urban, looks at the multi-plexes and the internet for movie information and perhaps the not so urban mass is fast catching up. But how about the telugu movies, I grudge them for having the very boisterous posters, though not so appealing to me, staring out and making me all the more nostalgic about my lovely old hindi film posters. Why do they continue having them, and not just posters, but hoardings too. Who is the then the audience for these films? Do they still remain the naive youngster or rather the teenager that I was a decade back? Apart from innocence and such facades that I just used for my past, I think, there indeed is a serius disparity between the masses that watch the telugu and the hindi movies in Hyderabad. Because, just like the telugu posters, back home we still have these occasional hindi movie poster being stained every minute.
I think, merely for the fact that I choose to live in a metro-city, I will have to say goodbye to those celluloid moments, captured for eternity in a frame and live sulking with the glossy, rich multiplex posters.