Let me take you back about 25 years. Those were not the days of movies-on-demand, or YouTube, or NetFlix or even CDs.

You wanted to see a movie, then you could go to a theatre. Another option was to rent out a movie. Yes, actually rent out a movie from a video library, you know, like borrowing a book from a library.

These movies would come in VCs or Video Cassettes, also called VHS tapes and they would play on your TV if you connect it to a Video Cassette Player (VCP) or a Video Cassette Recorder (VCR).  To give my young readers (if I have any ;)) an idea, a video cassette is like a big book and it contains a tape of the movie recorded on it. It is like an audio tape but larger in size. Get the idea?

Now, when the video cassette player came into the market, we were not the ones who bought it. 😀

When we were kids, only television channel was Doordarshan and we were happy with it! The only movies we watched were the ones every saturday and sunday at 5.30 pm.

One summer, my sister and I had a wonderful idea to rent out movies from the video library. The movie was rented at about 10 rupees per day. There was a catch! But we had no VCP or VCR to play them. So the workaround was to rent out the player too for a day. The deal was that the rental fellow would come over and fix it with our TV. (We did not know how to do it ourselves!) and then we would return it in a day.

One hindi movie averages about 3 hours. The rental time would start at around 10 am on a saturday or a sunday. We had to return the player at 10 on the next day. My sister and I calculated that we could watch 4 films. 10 am – 1 pm, 2 pm – 5 pm, 6 pm – 9 pm and then next day morning 7 am – 10 am. So we would deliberate in great detail and select 4 films to watch and then we would rent them out.

The 1st session was a breeze. We would have snacks, cushions and all the works. After lunch, the 2nd session would also finish. Then the fatigue would set in, the 3rd session would be a drag. We would not be able to keep our eyes open! Maybe we went cross eyed too! 😀

The next day we would not be able to get up early to watch the 4th film. Even if we did, we would get so bored that we would not be able to sit through it all. That last movie was  always One too many! We would just wait for 10 am and then the equipment went back.

Come summer holidays, we would do it all over again.

Then of course, video cassettes themselves went out never to return!


Written for the July BarAThon.

Today’s prompt is : One too many

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