Sameer Deshpande, 31, manages to watch all the latest movies, be it Hollywood, Bollywood or the recent Marathi films within a few days of their release. With nothing much left to see, he has started watching on his mobile phone an English series about a vampire. Deshpande says it is not really a genre that he likes watching, but since he has seen all the latest movies, he has to watch something for “time pass” daily on the nearly hour-long journey by the local train twice a day between his Kalwa residence and Masjid Bunder office.
“I spend two hours on the train everyday and it gets boring after a certain point. I have never been in the habit of dozing off during train journeys like most people manage to do,” says Deshapande. He adds, “I saw this trend of several people watching movies on the phone while travelling on train. I would ask them to share movies and they told me to download a mobile app, using which they could transfer movies from their mobile to mine within minutes. After watching a movie on the phone a year back, I realised it was the most entertaining way to kill time during these train journeys.”
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Deshpande is not alone when it comes to watching movies on mobile phones during train journeys. Walk into a train compartment, especially during morning or evening hours, and one would find several people engrossed watching a movie on their mobile phones.
On most occasions, these are unauthorised copies of the latest Hindi, English or Marathi movies that are leaked in the same week the movie is released. “There are occasions when we have the movie print even before its release,” says a commuter.
He says there are shops where movies can be transferred to the mobile phones for as less as Rs 30.
“These shops have the latest releases and for most movies, they charge you Rs 30 while others are expensive,” says the commuter. He adds that once one member has got the movie installed, it is shared across their groups through mobile apps.
“There are several of us who take the same train in the morning. Most of us have several movies on our mobile phones at one point. We then share it with each other. I end up watching most of the new movies within a day or two of its release,” says the commuter.
The mobile phone apparently has more to offer. Those who are not busy watching movies, will be frantically moving their fingers on their mobile phone screens as they are surfing through digital subways even as their train chugs away.
This is the category of the commuters which prefers the games on mobiles phones to movies. Then there are those humming to the music playing on their mobiles.
The other chunk of commuters are those who prefer to catch up on the sleep they missed out last night before they reach their offices. And a dwindling minority is of those who prefer their Chetan Bhagats and Sidney Sheldons. A commuter sums it up, “When you are travelling on newer routes, one would look outside the window and check out the scenery. But how much can you look at the very same things day in and day out?”