Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Woes of an ardent movie goer...

I set out to watch the acclaimed movie "the lunchbox". It was playing at Aswathy theatre in SL complex, Trivandrum. At first i thought there would be a heavy rush and should try to book my tickets online. So i log on to a local site and it shows me a picture of the layout so that i could pick my seats. There are about ten rows with seven seats in a row. I think that probably the remaining are reserved already. I ditch the idea of online reservation and decide to buy the tickets at the theatre. I set off to the theatre. At the gates the security personnel asks me which movie i was going to. When i say lunchbox, he directs me to park outside the gates, otherwise i would not be able to move the car later on, as the movie was not a long one. I find a place along the overbridge and pace towards the ticket counter. I buy the tickets and head towards the theatre. To my astonishment the theatre was only as big as the layout depicted on the site where i was trying to book online tickets. The screen was as big as the overhead projector screen i used to have at home. The acoustics weren't as bad as i thought, but the screen had the shadow of a rotating wall mounted fan. I look around and there are about ten to fifteen people in all, to watch what could have been India's entry at the Oscars. I would have forgiven all these in lieu of the brilliant movie that "the lunchbox" is, if not for a group of three idiots who choose to sit behind us. Right from the start of the movie they started with their own script. After fifteen minutes of tolerating their bickering, i turned around and gave them a stare. They continued. After another ten minutes i turned around and said "please don't add your own soundtrack". At which the guy replied, "she is translating for me as I don't know the language". I can vouch for a fact that it was not translation that going on, it was indeed their comments and noisy laughter. The movie ended leaving me with a feeling of love and despair. Love for the growth of Indian cinema, for the scriptwriter for putting together a beautiful and simple love story, for Irfan Khan and his controlled emotions and many more.. Despair that it was shown at one of the worst movie theatres in the capital city of Kerala, that they thought -this was enough for this movie, for the three idiots who sat behind me disrespectful to the others in the cinema hall. Indian cinema has grown but there are people who don't understand its growth, such that cinema goers like me bear the brunt of their illiteracy. PS, the side view mirror of my car and bumper stickers on the right side were broken/missing, thanks to a few more inconsiderate people.. All in the name of love for good cinema.


A ten day vacation was all that i needed after the tumultuous weeks i had at work, these past few weeks. I didn't have the faintest idea that this vacation that i had planned months ago would actually happen at the most opportune moment. I have had day long layovers at the Dubai airport en route to the US, but this is my first taste of the city. As we stepped out of the airport and took a taxi to the hotel the sprawling freeways reminded me of US. The wide six lane roads and disciplined lane traffic are a welcome break from the traffic and get-my-car-through road rage of India. First pit stop was the monorail and palm jumeirah, the blue of the sea as blue as the sky. The Dubai skyline is a vision. The Burj Khalifa stands tall proud of the phenomenal infrastructure growth that the country has witnessed over the past decade. It is no doubt an architectural marvel. Life here speaks volumes of the millions of dollars that has flown through the city and contributes to the magnificent skyline. It also talks about the thousands of labourers who have toiled in the blazing sun and built this city brick by brick. Thankfully our vacation was timed at the best time possible with regards to the weather. Cool days and cold nights didn't really give us the feel of a desert except the sand spread across acres, till your sight could travel. The desert safari was a memorable experience. Our friends had told us not to miss it and that was so true. The sand is the finest and felt so pure. The lower temperatures had cooled the sand and your feet felt cold with the sand beneath them. I wish i could have walked on sand for some more time. The beaches we have been to are no comparison to the feel of desert sand. The buffet dinner on traditional low height tables, seated on cushions, with belly dancers to entertain you is an experience in itself. This was the first time i entered a mosque. After adorning the abhaya, the traditional black attire that Muslim women wear, i entered the huge sheikh zayed mosque. It was a vision in white marble. As i tread into the mosque the cold marble kisses your feet and sends a wave of divinity to your mind. Asia's largest carpet lays there at sheikh zayeds final testing place, the pioneer of uae. The chandeliers fill up the ceiling and add granduer to the mausoleum. it was a great photo opportunity as the sun set behind the mosque adding to the feeling of divine intervention. At certain temples and churches i have this strange feeling of being blessed and this mosque was one of those places. This is my fifth day at Dubai and this has been a relaxing vacation. would i return? May be yes, may be not. I would love to come back to sheikh zayed mosque one day. But living in this city.. i may just pass that, despite the luxury and comfort this place oozes money everywhere, in contrast to Trivandrum, my most favourite place. Trivandrum has never failed to embrace me with warmth, right from the first time i walked in and each time i return to the city.