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Rats, ‘Hot Aunties’ And Plenty Of Sleaze. My D-Grade Movie Hall Adventure

Rats, ‘Hot Aunties’ And Plenty Of Sleaze. My D-Grade Movie Hall Adventure

Rats, sleaze and a XXXL aunty. What a way to spend my Friday afternoon!

A Rundown Theatre near Bandra Station

My world and that of D-Grade cinema would only cross paths when I drove by steamy hoardings of strangely titled films or stared at their posters on Paan stained walls while urinating.
I always wondered who the fuck watches “Garam Jawani” or “Jaldi Karo, Koi Dekh Lega” ?

Intrigued, I decided to see for myself. I entered a dilapidated theatre in the back alleys of Bandra Station. Alone and slightly scared, I bought a Rs 60/- ticket for a balcony seat. The Bhojpuri movie ‘Ek Aur Zalim Hathiyar’ was already underway.

Inside the Theatre

Bought the Balcony Ticket for the Movie

The theatre was hot, humid and smelled like old clothes stained with even older semen. I needed my phone flash to find a broken wooden seat and brushed against two men who were clearly in the middle of some serious self pleasure, while watching a large Auntie in a shower scene, like a hippo on heat.

A theatre full of testosterone and rodents, without any air conditioning, reclining seats and flavoured popcorn was not my ideal movie-watching environment. Especially because my neighbour kept fondling himself with such violent dedication.

The hot Auntie on screen

The hot Auntie on screen wasn’t doing it for me either. In fact she was positively scary: Her armpits had more foliage than a small rainforest and the excessive choli exposure was giving me vertigo. The steamier the scene the scarier it got. This lady and her choli were on a mission to destroy all my adolescent dreams about sex and seduction. This was assault and battery of the senses.

The movie itself was jumping scenes at an alarming rate – the plot didn’t seem to matter much. The story I think was about a dude who had discovered a smart way to make money by delivering packages to scantily clad aunties. They never paid him so I wasn’t sure where the business opportunity was. I guess the experience made him richer.

Stairway leading out to the Exit

My time in the cinema was becoming increasingly hellish. Call me spoilt, but I needed to get out fast. Between the semen stench, the rats, the attack of the monster choli and my masturbating neighbour I had taken as much local sleaze as a spoilt Bombay kid could. I finally ran out through the exit, breathless and sweating – like the rest of the men there – only to trip over a man sleeping on another sleazy film poster.

Since I did not understand much of this Bhojpuri epic anyway I decided to explore the theatre. With so much media coverage about morality and censorship these cinema halls seemed to be a real anomaly.

Man Sleeping on a Poster in the Middle of the Theatre Lobby

Man Sleeping on a Poster in the Middle of the Theatre Lobby image 2

Suddenly a man in his mid fifties demanded that I visit the office. He insisted that I show him what I had on my camera. They were worried that I was a video pirate stealing their hot auntie footage. My ticket was torn in half and I was politely asked to leave. This was the best thing to happen to me all day. I crossed a small haphazard queue of drunken leery men, waiting to get in as badly as I had waited to get out. Auntie was obviously quite a hit - just not my kind of miss. But I did come away with the answer to one of India’s most pertinent questions: 'Choli ke peeche kya hai?'

And I realized that the Coming Soon sign was more for the audience than the film.

Movie Poster

Next Show Ek Aur Zalim Hathiyar


Words and Photography: Karan Khosla