My wife and I had not gone out for a movie date in 10 or 15 years. So when my Bank Manager called to say that the bank was offering free tickets to its favoured clients, I accepted the largesse without question. It had been a few months since the children had left to pursue their higher studies and exactly 2 months since I retired. Good time as any, to make amends and start the second honey-moon, I thought.
The Cinema Theatre was in a very nice Mall; the ambience and special effects were great. The bank had kindly provided us snack coupons as well; we each got a huge popcorn pack (that had roughly the nutritional value of breakfast, lunch and dinner put together) and a mug (or was it a barrel?) of coke. Looked like the beginning of a nice evening!
And, then the trouble started. The seats are such, that they have a glass holder on the arm rest: you can park the coke and sip the straw without taking your eyes off the screen. In the first 15 minutes of the movie, I had finished about 67% of the coke. By the 30th minute the one thought that was recurring with alarming frequency was “where’s the Men’s Room?”. It was 15 years since I had so much coke in so short a time !
The movie, called “Satyagraha”, was about corruption and violence in the Indian polity. And boy, they gave it in good measure. Every time they bumped off a guy, his eyeballs came popping out of the screen and you were trying to wipe the blood stains from your shirt. Oh, that was too much to handle. I have seen a lot of violent American movies, (during my wasted youth) but that was violence happening in some far off place. But this was happening “apne ghar ke saamne” that too in surround sound, stereo vision. Ouch, that hurt like somebody kicked me in my balls. Speaking of which, my thoughts were diverted to the lovely Men’s Room they must be having? My seat was the furthest from the aisle, so I had about 20 pairs of feet that I had to stamp on before making an exit.
They say men think between their legs. Now I believed it — a man has to do what he has to do. At the 65th minute I dashed out of my row. I had stamped only 10 of the possible 20 people, of course with a little help from the 3 bald people in the next row, whose heads I used as auxiliary support. And then I had the whole Men’s Room to myself. Wow, great place !
Now, there was no way I could return to my wife in Row J. So I found a vacant seat in the front row (seat # A-21) . The screen violence was right at my nose-tip, but it was safer than the direct violence that would have been triggered on my return to Row J.
Strangely, the movie was certified U/A, and there were many young (really young) children in the audience. In one scene Ajay Devgun gave a hefty soul-kiss to Kareena Kapoor. A tiny-tot in the row behind me squeaked “ab kya hua”. And her slightly older sister whispered “sab kuch ho gaya”. And they merrily continued enjoying the movie. Please God, let the next movie I see be Donald Duck? Preferably over the net (Yes, we carried back the popcorn in anticipation)!