Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Malegaon: A town where Hollywood films are a craze...

At seven in the evening, most of the powerloom workers bid adieu to their day's shift. They head for their homes after measuring the length of the fabric they have woven over the nine hours they have spent on powerloom machines.

The eerie load shedding, thankfully, has not had much influence to the income of these powerloom workers, mostly school drop outs; who abandoned their education midway to supplement their family income. They still made more than Rs 1,000 on an average every week.
Friday almost all the powerloom units in the textile town are shut and brings to these workers a day off to indulge in leisure. The only mode of whiling away for these underprivileged workers is watching films with co-powerloom workers.

Though the Hindi films screened all across the ten big and small cinema halls along with the Mumbai release, the powerloom workers adore the Hollywood movies too and queue up to buy the tickets for them. An average ticket charge for such Hollywood movies is around Rs 15. For screening of such movies there are more than five video parlours decorated with state of the art sound technologies.

Top Hollywood superstars like Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Will Smith, John Travolta and above all Pierce Brosnan of the Bond movies are ideals of those who flock these video parlours every whenever they find time.

Mustaqeem (name withheld), a class IV drop out had to resign from his studies and do odd jobs at eateries and tea stalls when his father, the sole bread winner of a family of three, passed away last year after succumbing to chronic Tuberculosis. Since his father's death the burden to feed his family now comprising only himself and his mother came crashing on his still immature shoulders.

With a great passion for Hollywood movies, this eleven-year-old recognises the films by seeing the movie posters. "Last time I was duped. I could not recognise the name of the movie. Merely after seeing the posters I bought the ticket," said the hapless powerloom worker who had to leave the video hall mid way as he had already watched the movie.

For a town like Malegaon, Mustaqeem is not the only person who splurges money to watch their Hollywood favourite stars.

"Mujhe English nahin aati phir bhi main hamesha English filmein dekhta hun," said Anwar (name withheld) another school drop out who unlike Mustaqeem has three elder siblings to take care of their family of six.

With number of such video goers experiencing a steep rise, the owners of these small cinema halls are forced to survive the competition from the rival video parlour owners. As a result the craze for Hollywood movies doesn't seem to be dying down.

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