Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Mixing 5.1 surround sound with the Kolkata Cine Society can be an hilariously mix - as I found out Saturday last.

Almost every Saturday, the Kolkata Cine Society screens a couple of movies at our Main Theatre here at the institute.

This Motley group of people who come to watch the films are sometimes as interesting as the films they screen.

Our institute has recently installed the Dolby Surround sound. What this means is that – very simply put - film sound can be distributed or sent to any of the four corners of the room, giving a more ‘realistic’ sound experience.

So last Saturday, I am sitting in the back row watching a film by Fassbinder with these people when halfway through the film, the heroine’s mobile rings. This sound comes from the left side, the character being on the left side of the film frame - when suddenly one of the viewers in front shouts out in Bengali –

‘AY brother switch off your phone na!’ thinking it’s someone’s phone in the audience.

‘it’s in the film man, are you asleep or what’ pat comes the reply from someone else in the dark.

‘what’s happening! Why do u need to reply’ another gentleman shouts back from somewhere.

‘OH HO!… be silent all of you!’ a louder voice rings out

This sets off a chain reaction….

Arguments and counter arguments starts being throw back and forth from all over the place in the theatre.

Now let me tell you that an average Bengali loves four things – mach (fish) sandesh (sweets) adda (talk session) and a good argument. (not in order of preference)

The last one was in ample evidence at the theatre where the argument lasted for a good fifteen minutes.

And a good argument in the Bengali language is something to relish.

So anyway the film goes on and an hour later another mobile rings in the movie….

And everyone starts laughing.