Ravi Speaks:-The first movie which I saw in Theatre in 1975.

Ravi Speaks: 

The first movie which I saw in Theatre in 1975.

ARTICLE UPDATED -22.09.2021. 

My thought goes to my early childhood in 1975-when I along with my little sister had gone for the first time to a theatre in Jammu to see a movie. I was studying in the eighth standard and my sister was too small and studying in the fourth Standard. The name of the movie was “Har-Har-Mahadev” and it was being screened in “Uttam-Theatre”-situated at the Residency Road near the present “Tourist-Bungalow”. To be more precise and accurate, it was exactly at the spot where the “KC Residency Hotel” is situated nowadays. There has been a lot of change since 1975 and the buildings of that time are either demolished or reconstructed over the older structures to such an extent that nobody can recognize the old Residency Road which was known due to certain special spots like Raina’s News Agencies”-where from the newspapers to the whole of the Jammu city were being distributed. The old Premier Hotel which was the special spot on the residency Road those days – is altogether transformed into a big multi-storeyed Hotel cum Restaurant with the fast-food windows opened on the roadside. The older road which was passing beside Dak Bungalow and there used to be the A-Class J& K Buses-standing for collecting the passengers en route to Srinagar- is now all changed and a series of hotels have come up there. It was also known as the Old Missionary Road-where there was a big Christian school named “Alexandar-Memorial-High-School” run by the then very famous “Father Aziz-William”. Also, near that, there was the only known catholic church on one side of the residency road near the CM-residence on the upper Residency Road. In nutshell -how “Time” makes one feel about its presence -such changes happening throughout these 45-years’ time reflect and prove the same.

Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva On Kailash Parbhat.

This “Uttam-Theatre” was that time the most buzzing place on the residency road and most of the time the theatre used to be full of the cine-goers. I remember on that day I had come with my sister walking from our residence in “Julaka-Mohalla” down the areas like “Phattu-chowghan” and reaching the Id-gaah area via Pahalwan-Di-Hatti-finally making it to the theatre. We were surprised to see the people in a very good number and ladies dominating the whole crowd which had gathered there for the show. Such was the level of innocence and deep faith in the religion that some of the ladies had surprisingly kept their shoes/Chappals outside the theatre and had gone inside the theatre naked footed.

The Movie Which We saw in 1975 At Jammu.

The theatre from inside was all different than the ones which we have nowadays. This theatre around 45 years back had the front rows with wooden benches put in three to four rows and behind the benches, the chairs were kept till the end of the theatre in the opposite direction of the screen-where we entered inside. There used to be the entry for the front row from the front itself separately and for the back rows from both the sides as well as from the exact back. The Film reels were being shown from the top of the back wall through the generator room.

Shiv Lingham At Shri Amarnath Ji.

The moment we entered the hall there was a lot of noise inside and the people were chanting the slogans like “Har-Har-Mahadev” repeatedly. The movie started and amongst a lot of noise we could not make out anything in the initial few minutes and after some time the people settled down and even the noise disappeared from the theatre.

The name- “Har-Har-Mahadev” is transformed from the chant 'Hari Har Mahadev'. Here the word 'Hari' refers to the Lord Vishnu, 'Har' refers to the 'Lord Shiva' and the meaning of 'Mahadev' is the Greatest Lord. So, the meaning of 'Har-Har-Mahadev' would be Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are the Greatest Lords. As per Hindu beliefs, Lord Shiva is the father of the whole universe. He is the most divine among all the gods. Also known as “Maha-Dev”, or greatest god. Worshipping Lord Shiva brings prosperity, wealth, health and calms the mind.

Shri Amarnath Ji passage and Shiv Lingam.

Lord Shiva In His Tandav-Mudra

I still remember that Dara Singh was the main character of the movie and the movie was in Eastman-Color. Dara Singh was Lord Shiva in the movie whereas some other known people were Aruna-Irani and one more character whom I remember was Gopi-Kishan the great dancer. Although there were so many characters in this religious and holy movie these are only the few whom I still remember. This movie was the first of its kind which had the detailed narration of “Shiv-Puran” in the whole duration as the Epic depicted. It was very engrossing and at the same time a movie where we saw the sentiments of the people mainly the lady folk even weeping at times and throwing the small currency coins towards the front screen chanting the names of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati very frequently. At times, we too got hit with a few coins coming from the back of us and we could not see anything on the back since there was total darkness in the theatre.

Depiction of Mahadev.

We are being very small-were seeing all that whatever was happening in the theatre as something very unusual-as far as the chanting of Lord Shiva’s name or even saying “Har-Har-Mahadev” by the people was concerned. It would never be forgotten by us and we still as of date remember this movie, especially whenever we happen to talk about our adventures done in our early school age. After exactly two and a half hours, the picture came to an end that too after a very big war scene followed by the concluding commentary in the form of a song relating the rest of Lord Shiva’s Shiv Puran- story by Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha. Thus, we came to the end of the show and waited for some time till the heavy rush of the people eased off and finally in the evening at around 6.00 PM we too went back to our home walking. We had a very special feeling of seeing the first movie all alone without any adult person accompanying us. We were thinking as if some big work was done by us all alone and we came out as the winners in the same. Childhood memories are the sweetest ones that everyone would like to cherish now and then. It gives that feeling of refreshing and the component “Childhood” for some time seemingly dominating the other two essential components of “Adulthood” and “Parenthood” in us. Although according to Dr. Harris- all these three components are in proportionate quantum as per the age in which one is. However, in our case whenever we are reminded of our sweet early childhood memories even his principles seem to have taken a back seat for some time. Those were the times which only can be cherished and relived in thoughts exclusively.




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