It was sometime in ’93 or ’94 when my uncle took me to Premprakash Cinema Hall in Jaipur. We tried to get the seats but apparently it was House Full. We had already given up but then my uncle thought of giving one more chance and tried our luck at Lower Dress Circle window. Luckily, there were 2 tickets available of the front row seats. The tickets were small chits of Pink Color, 14 Rupees each probably (and the parking chit was yellow in color, 3 Rupees), if I can guess correctly, give or take 5-10 Rupees here and there. Then I got to see, probably my first English movie (dubbed in Hindi obviously) in a cinema hall, and the movie was called Jurassic Park.
Now when you see a movie, that too an action-adventure genre, from the front row seats, everything looks real. Jurassic Park that time was watched without 3D, without IMAX and surely without Dolby Digital Surround system as well. So, what was shown on the screen was unadulterated loud and on your face fun! I was thrilled, I was frightened, I was amazed and I became its life long fan. When I was coming back from the theater, sitting on the pillion seat of the Blue colored Bajaj Chetak, we went past many camels on the way home. Those camels looked as frightening as the velociraptors. I bought dinosaurs merchandize later, along with one 10 inch tall plastic each-part-detachable skeleton of T-Rex, which was later hidden away somewhere by my mother because, unusually, it happened to be unlucky somehow. When the skeleton was sitting pretty and handsomely on the TV Trolley, my brother got his hand fractured and my father’s car got hit. So the toy went underground soon. Still, the love for Dinosaurs and JP never stopped. I went on to see The Lost World (1997) thrice in cinema hall (and it was the first movie I was allowed to watch alone in theaters with friends). Even our school took us to watch that movie. Meanwhile, whenever Jurassic Park was aired on TV, I watched it. From 1994 till 2013, if it had been shown 200 times, I would have watched 100 times at least. I stopped counting after the century.
Now on 6th April 2013, I got another chance to see the magic on big screen again. That too in IMAX 3D at Bangalore. I went to the theater and saw kids who weren’t even born in 1994 flocking in with their parents. It gave a sense of aging. Sigh. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie on the screen as much as I had done 19 years ago.
The movie had so much effect on me that I had even decided to become a paleontologist when I grew up. (Although I didn’t end up being one).
I can still remember the white shorts and jungle-scene shirt, I had worn on that day because after few days when those clothes got washed, the upper pocket of the shirt still had the crumbled pink chits.
Here’s a small tribute poster I have made for the movie: