A few weeks back, as I changed out of a perfectly decent casual attire into a semiformal traditional one ,my son who was visiting me asked,'Werent you supposed to go watch a film?'.'Yes', I replied.'Mother, what is that weird smelling thing you are applying?'Mosquito repellent ,I quipped.As i proceeded to drink a large glass of orange flavoured 'Glucon -D',I saw my son looking puzzled and starting to punch on the keys of his laptop rather aggressively..(I am sure he was googling 'progressive dementia'!)
My pre-movie preparations complete, I left the house to watch 'Patiala House'.I must apprise my readers ,that i have only ventured out twice in eight years for a film in this town,more as a social obligation than for a cinematic experience.Unfortunately i have had the dubious distinction of passing out , both the times before the movie started!I was adamant on not making this a hat-trick and had no intentions of stealing the show from right under the charitable noses of the patrons !!
I reached the movie hall and was received by the President and members of the Club screening the charity show.The President greeted me warmly and gave me a reassuring hug , whispering into my ears'You will be allright'.Another , very diplomatically remarked that she had not seen me for a while and hoped i had been keeping good health..A dear family friend , who had missed the film twice on my account, told me she was carrying orange sweets and a bottle of Mirinda in her bag !!
Sheepishly ,i climbed the steps of the hall.On entering the theatre,I was deluged with a sea of familiar faces.Prominent citizens of the town, my ex, present and future parents, my ex, present and future children, my ex and present staff and innumerable family friends..We were well into the credits by the time i finally finished with my social rounds..
I was just settling down in my assigned seat , when a lady in front of me shouted out to her friend not to occupy J5!Apparently, the seat slided up and down on its own and had the cushioning ripped off so one could actually feel the iron bars (OUCH!!)I found myself nervously jumping on my seat and checking the reclining mechanism (which did not work ).I sat upright , without complaining...I was going to last through the film and enjoy it !!
Just when i had started to make sense out of the nonsensical happenings on the screen, I was blinded by a bright spotlight on my face! I was rather confused as to why the usherers were using spotlights instead of flashlights in this town.I was informed that it was the cameraman from a local TV channel covering the event !!
Half way through the film, suddenly there was a lot of tittering and excitement amongst the audience.Fearing , a local politician/ senior bureaucrat making a habitual late entry , i looked towards the entrance.I saw a few people carrying huge cartons..Packed boxes of snacks started getting distributed .Loud cries of approval and disappointment followed.I was negotiating my snack pack in the dark when I found a huge tray bearing soft drinks perched on my head, as the viewers in the back row helped themselves and passed on the glasses at a leisurely pace !!!My protests fell on deaf ears..Several more interruptions later (power failure, announcement of lucky draw winners etc..)the movie finally ended..
I left the movie hall with a broad smile on my face..I realized that 'going to the movies', a regular outing anywhere in the world is an event to be experienced in my small town !!