Today I decided to take a break from life. Well not exactly from life life but my usual Friday life. The day began early with the habitual morning tea and newspaper. Then the routine morning chores and the task of getting ready for work. Driving to work I get caught in the legendary Hosur Road-Koramangala traffic snarl. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. Close to half an hour. The air-conditioned confines of the car starts to feel constricting. The traffic police with their neon-orange plastic outfit were directing traffic in all possible directions and further complicating the labyrinth. Drumming my fingers on the wheel impatiently, I try to listen to RJ on radio.
“Good Morning Bangalore! This is Cindu on the Big Breakfast…it’s a bright and sunny morning and welcome to the Classic Brew. Today’s mix includes INXS, Aerosmith, Queen and other legends. So keep it locked on 91.9FM.” ‘I want to break free. God knows God knows I want to break free’ Freddie croons. I look outside. To my left a little ahead is the Forum Mall, exactly 200 meters before my office on the same road. The traffic crawls ahead slowly. At the Forum entrance, I turn in. On the rear view mirror my smile looks almost evil. The parking lot is nearly empty. I take the elevator up to the top floor. PVR Cinemas it says in big blue neon. Headed for the counter I scan the screen above showing the timing and availability.
“Welcome to PVR. How may I help you?” Sweet boy at the counter.
“Spiderman 3 - 13:05 and Life in the Metro – 16:10. One ticket each for today”
“One ticket?” Sweet boy looks almost incredulous.
“Yeah, one” I stare at him defiantly.
Why do we find it so difficult to accept a woman going for a movie alone? Ditto when I have lunch alone at an eatery. I have been asked this question before, by well-meaning friends (How can you go alone?) and some have been sympathetic (Sweets, if you were that lonely, why didn’t you call me?) Now, how do I make them understand that I do a movie alone or lunch-out alone because I want to. My usual reply is that one cannot possibly be alone in a theatre with two hundred others gaping at the screen! Moreover, I see people around me inhibited to do something they really want to because of lack of company. My view has always been, if you want to do something, just go ahead and do it. Lost cause they call me. So be it.
Tickets in pocket I head to the basement parking and off to work.
“I am taking the second half off” I announce post the morning meeting.
“Why? Is everything ok?” Bossman looks puzzled.
“Couldn’t be better” I say with a smile and trudge off without any further explanation.
Around lunchtime I leave office and head to the mall leaving my car parked at office. (The parking fees at these malls are unreasonably high and in any case it’s a short walk) In the mall, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. As I grab a bite at the food court I watch the giggling, mumbling, visibly happy people that you would typically find in a mall. Hunger sated, I head for the PVR floor on top.
It always fascinates me that despite the row/seat numbers clearly printed on the ticket and these swankier theatres making it child’s play to find ones seat, people still invariably ask the usher for help. Old habits dies hard I suppose. Generations of theater goers have been subjected to the torchlight wielding ushers of the ‘old-gen’ theaters who invariably would shine the light on an undetectable point in the rows of seats which no person of reasonable eyesight can locate without asking, irritating and mauling at least a dozen fellow cine goers.
Coming back to PVR, I settle down eagerly in my plush G1 seat. I must confess that I absolutely love the advertisements and the movie trailers that play before the movie, and sometimes like them more than the movie itself. The theatre versions of the TV ads are longer and looks better on the large screen. And the trailers are a treat in themselves. Therefore you would rarely find me late for a movie. Just so that I don’t miss the ‘treats’. Here, after drooling over Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End’, the scheduled Spiderman 3 begins.
Let me confess again, I am not a Spidey fan. Never was and post this never will be. With the first movie release of Superman, Christopher Reeves stole my heart when I was not more than five. Subsequently, I fell in love with Batman. I realized early that I prefer my super heroes to look seductive, wear their underpants on top and swish a cape. So I have been bowled over by Batman of Gotham City with his dark, brooding good looks, his menacing attitude and his appetite for fancy gizmos. Therefore the close-to-three-hours special effects galore of Spiderman 3 failed to convert me. Although I liked the ‘sandman’ digi-effects and empathized with Mary Jane, the only positive I can say is that I didn’t get bored. But when it got over it didn’t leave me with any thoughts, not even inconsequential ones. I felt thirsty and waited the next movie.
One quick coffee and I was ready for Life in a Metro. I settle down easily in my K5 seat this time, to watch the trailer of ‘Ek Chalish Ki Local Train’. People trickled in. The movie began. The crowd is matured. Thankfully, I didn’t spot any kids here since it was certified with ‘A’. Three hours and the movie got over. I am not going to critique the movie. I liked what I saw and that’s that. Konkona was brilliant. Dharmendra was inappropriate. Shilpa was sensitive. (she looks really bad when she cries though!) But the movie belonged to Irrfan who was the spark of the movie. But most of all I loved Pritam's ‘goth-rock' inspired score. (I am sucker for angst-ridden torments of the soul..heheh!) On the flip side, the apt title for the movie should be “Life in a Call Center” Or better still “Look Who is Sleeping Around Now!” Honestly, looking at this industry as closely as I do, it isn’t like the caricature that got portrayed. But that's Anurag's take and he made the movie.
Post the double dose, I sat sipping yet another cup of coffee and wrote this post, while trying to answer some of the pending emails that had piled up. At the end, it was a day well spent.
P.S. Those of you who know my boss, keep this info to yourself :) Thank you.