Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How inflation and taxes hit IITians?

This story is of 15 years old incident that happened when I was a poor IITian :-) IIT Delhi was the most strategic location at that time - if you get out of hostel and go straight, you could hit Chanakya cinema, take left and reach the heavenly PVR Priya (now old fashioned but futuristic at our times), go right and few kms away was PVR Anupam. We were spoilt with choice - and options ranged from Rs 5 ticket at PVR to Rs 20 ticket at Chanakya! Wow, what a world it was.
We used to stand in queue for mess food 5 minutes before it started at 7 PM, gulp few stuff which was bearable in 5 minutes, and rush on our bicycles to the theatres. It did not matter what day it was or what movie it was. We just had to rush!
Reaching the theatre after cutting all the traffic was an easy part - finding a place where we could "PARK" our bicycles without paying a parking fees of 1 Rs was the tough part ;-) We used to have a bargain deal with some parking contractors if we were able to negotiate.
What next - stand in queues for the tickets. There were 2 slab of tickets - 5 Rs for 1st and 2nd row, 100 Rs for 3rd row onwards till balcony. What a fight it was, and shameless folks getting down from their BMWs to stand in a 5 Rs ticket line were competing with us. And then there were girls who we hated as much as we could - they had a separate smaller line, and their boyfriends used to just have fun while making faces at us poor folks. IIT Delhi was competing with the JNUs and DUs of the world in this line.
Ticket window used to open for 5 minutes, then the line will move fast till the 20 odd tickets were sold, and then we used to desperately wait for the next show to come up. Rarely did we get tickets in the first cycle, but rarely did we come back without watching a movie.
It was a wonderful life, till Delhi government or some other department or who knows who decided to increase ticket prices. We got hit by 16% price hike. The ticket price reached a ridiculously high Rs 6 - inflation hit us hard! How could do this to us poor students? We questioned our very existence that day.
And then some intelligent IITian came up with a logic that brought smiles on our face - our ticket went up from 5 to 6 Rs but look at those BMW and Merc waalas - their ticket went up from Rs 100 to Rs  120. We were more happy with their miseries than with our pain :-)
Today, when I pay Rs 250 for a ticket and 100 for a popcorn, I can't forget that was a year full of our movie quota. Those were the days! Hail inflation!