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Dear Amazon & Netflix, thank you for playing with Indian Nostalgia.
I don't usually write reviews. I am a tech manager, whom you certainly can't fool, on how your business model works. But I do like your strategic objective for Indian market.
Somehow, possibly with all the data gathering tools at your disposal, your analytics team knows that most of the guys who can afford your subscription, at a cost more than cable TV subscription, are those who are living in top 200 cities of the world, but are predominantly small towners. Most of your stories, I watch on Netflix or Amazon, take us back to the time when we were coming of age. This is not just my word, it is the word of my colleagues as well. I will have to give due credit here. Your team has cracked that, if you play with our childhood memories, or may be frame your stories around it, then you can get away by selling anything to us.
Rajma Chawal, interesting name though, appears to be just another project in the portfolio. I liked the film. The film is nostalgic, no two words about it. The film subtly answers why, with the advent of Globalisation, the malls (or supermarkets which some in other part of the world might call) came and left, while small shop markets like Chandni Chowk, which are there for more than centuries, are still there and are going to be there in future. Chandni chowk in old Delhi is a 300 years old market, and it is as healthy as it used to be. In India, there are 100s of such Chandni Chowks - Aminabad in Lucknow for one, or Chickpet in Bangalore for two, I can reference here. They all are tacky, filled with filth and tiny streets - but guess what? Our parents still shop from there. We have frequently accompanied our parents in those chaotic noisy streets - wondering why my Mom comes here always? Why do I have to bear the stink of open sewer while she is shopping, or why isn't there a pizza shop around?
Your movie answer the question. Traditional people only do business with those with whom they have relationship. And since these are century old marketplaces - it is ingrained in the minds of the shop owners to build the relationship. That's why, now I know, when my mom used to visit such shops, the shop owner guy would ask about my education or my father's posting. These shop owners have built a relationship - a relationship of trust between buyer and sellers - which goes on for centuries. That's why most of the shops sounds like "Kapoor and Sons" - Which is another way of saying, even if the owner leaves the mortal world, the kids will value the commitment. And this is the trust and relationship - which is sustaining them in ever changing trade dynamics - from malls to online shopping experience.
Do watch this movie - to subtly understand the message. It is not directly told on the face by the makers, but "rather show not tell" thing. Considering the relatively elite crowd, which measures time wasted in traffic over money of theater experience, this is worth the subscription.
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