[The views expressed in this article are that of the author and not necessarily that of ScoopWhoop.]
Recently, I went to watch a movie at one of the most frequented multiplexes in South Delhi. Just as I had walked into the theater, I saw something that made me realize my fears had come true. There were people with kids in the lobby!
Mind you, this wasn't a screening of Finding Dory or some other children's film. It was instead a violent film, not just in terms of action, but also in a Imma-fuck-with-your-brains kind of a way. A movie that needed you to fully concentrate during all the scenes, that needed you to not only pay attention to the dialogue but also understand the genius behind the pauses. A movie that did not need a loud, impromptu "Happy Birthday to you" song from the kid sitting behind me!
The voice inside my head told me to stay calm. "It's just a kid. That's what kids do."
But why should I not be pissed at the parents, who brought their kids to the movies? You want to watch movies? Wait for the DVD release if you have a loud kid you can't control. We live in a society where it's illegal for me to tape the mouths of other people in a movie theater, especially when they're kids, but I'm one bad experience away from a sadistic online petition.
Dear parents, it'd be mighty cool of you to take your child out of the screening hall and into the lobby when you cannot control their decibel level. Don't give me the excuse of "oh but I paid for my ticket so I cannot miss any part of the film". Well, boo hoo, you prick! You also knowingly had a kid, and that comes with certain responsibilities and restrictions. I didn't get my "kids" to the theater, did I?
I too bought tickets to the show you're attending, and so did everyone else. That means all of us have the right to a wholesome movie experience. Your wailing kid is not part of that entertainment package. The moment I see kids in a movie hall, I curse my luck for not booking a different show - and I'm not even that hateful a person, I'll have you know.
No, I am not saying kids shouldn't watch certain kind of films. I'm no moral authority on raising a child, and I hope I never am. It's your kid; they can watch whatever the fuck they want. As they say, "not my circus, not my monkeys."
But when these monkeys disturb my experience, I cannot be cajoled using the "kids will be kids" blanket argument. YES! KIDS WILL BE KIDS. WHICH IS WHY YOU DON'T BRING THEM TO THE THEATER WITH YOU! It's just common decency, guys, to not disrupt the experience of other people present there. In my ideal world, apart from a 'please put your phones on silent' announcement, there's also a 'you and your kid will be asked to leave if that little demon makes any noise' ad before the feature.
After all, this is a movie theater, not your living room. And please don't make me get up and remind you of that. I don't want to do something I wouldn't be proud of.
Dear parents, I also take this opportunity to thank you. You see, I'm part of a generation that's not sure whether having kids is the best idea or not. We're already scared of long commitments. And then you pop up with your loud kids to push my over the edge. Thanks, I'm pretty sure kids are out of my plans now. Yes, in a way, you're like birth control.
PS - Did you know that in America, back in the day some theaters had elevated sound-proof "cry rooms" where mothers could sit and watch the talkies with their fussy children, without disturbing the rest of the crowd? Maybe we need to reintroduce those.
Or just do this.