Out To Watch ‘The Movie Of The Decade’ – Impressions

Part 1

Quite out of the blue, blew in a couple of tickets and refreshment coupons to a movie in Bandra – it was from a nice kid at my bank remembering me. Mind you, I’ve not been in money since my retirement and have not talked business with her for quite sometime now. On an impulse I decided to take it. My wife was properly surprised at this sudden lapse in form. Anyway the word was out and the tickets were in and so there was no going back.

The movie was a Sunday matinee show of ‘Break Ke Baad’ that was released a few days ago. Frankly going out in the hot sun – this November was unusually warm – after the heavy lunch and the glucose-rushed postprandial nap was an unwelcome prospect. Somehow we pushed ourselves onto the street, helped by an invigorating glass of freshly brewed ‘filter’ coffee. We reached the movie-house almost in sweat and a tad tired after the long ride from Chembur by an auto (three-wheeler) whose rear springs had given up the ghost quite a while ago.

The movie-house wasn’t difficult to find – the shopping-mall-movie-house combo was on the main thoroughfare. We had hit a little early as they were still into the cleaning act. As we waited out gawking at the young crowd, I felt like a priest in a pub. We were the only grey-haired elderly couple all by themselves. I double-checked the posters to confirm if the movie wasn’t some animated panchtantra story or a Lion King genre or about one-eyed aliens sporting antennas and kidnapping unsuspecting earthlings.

My wife sweetly suggested we have a ‘dheko’ (looking around) of the shops in the air-conditioned comfort of the abutting mall. The avowed purpose, more often than not, is misleading and turns into purse-bleeding. I cautioned her in time I carried only a few hundred bucks in my pocket and no credit-card. It was just as well for all my money was good for purchasing at best a couple of pile-less bath towels at this up-market mall. This time I felt more like a priest in a stripper club. We hastily retreated thankfully unrelieved of our cash and headed for the movie-house now admitting its patrons.

The movie-hall was smallish – its rows stopped much short of even the basic course of A to Z, in two small banks. The tickets cost 180 rupees a pop while popped corn at 50 rupees a scoop and sandwiches 60 rupees apiece! Well, if a single rose-on-stem, only a little bigger than a button, could cost 5 rupees, why not? I got it later from an acquaintance in the production business these jaw-dropping prices are ‘very reasonable’! He also revealed the mark-up on these refreshments are nothing to laugh at – the business depends on them to boost the bottom-line.

I remembered the national anthem was always played at the end when half the crowd despite all the admonishment still pushed its way towards the exits. Here they fixed it innovatively by playing it as we entered the hall – everyone dutifully froze where they stood.

The ubiquitous ushers shining their torch lights were not in usual numbers. As we were shown our seats and we had settled down, I looked around. Even for its small size the hall was only half-full. But it was nothing like I had seen before. Air-conditioned, plush seats thoughtfully designed with a drinks-holder at the end of the arm-rest – they let you even have refreshments inside the hall, a large screen from which images jumped at you….though the sound was uncomfortably loud.

I noticed they don’t anymore play the colorless Films Division news-reel. Perhaps today social messages are anachronisms? After a couple of noisy but short trailers – we couldn’t make out who was chasing whom and for what – the main movie commenced.

(To be contd.)


One Response to Out To Watch ‘The Movie Of The Decade’ – Impressions

  1. trisha says:

    riding an auto ricksha is a hilarious experience in kolkata street, 🙂
    a hair raising thriller.


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