The day I walked out of a movie!

I was tensed the whole day.

At 4.45 pm I gave in to the temptations and opened the Bookmyshow app on my phone and when through the usual familiar steps to swiftly book a ticket for Karwaan. BMS has been on my phone since I bought the phone, it is sacred. I’ve installed and deleted many apps as and when I pleased. But BMS, Never!!

I drove down to PVR. The Radio channels don’t have a single melodious tune this time of the day today. It’s just a constant barrage of migraine-inducing ad jingles. I shut it down. My mind’s working overtime today. The movies have always calmed me down. A trip to the theatre and a sad day has turned into a good day always. I’m hoping today’s no different.

I pay the parking charges at the mall. I wonder whether I’ve ever factored in the cost of parking my car in my movie budgets. I find a spot and this random fiscal discipline protest in my mind fades away.

My phone battery is at a perilous 30%. I shut down all the unnecessary background apps in an effort to conserve whatever juice the phone has left. My main concern is that I won’t be allowed to enter PVR premises without my movie ticket.

I’ve arrived a good 10 minutes before the start time. My mind calculates a whopping 25 minutes of wait. It’s PVR 15 minutes of ads run before the first scene of the movie rolls on celluloid here.

Fanney Khan’s song “Mere Jaisi main hun, tere jaisa tu hai” plays in the poshly designed waiting area lobby. My sarcasm can’t stop but wonder how hard the lyricist must have worked to come up with this song.

Finally, the gates open. My feet move instantaneously towards the hall. I sprint my way towards the last row, as always.

The national anthem plays. It’s Independence Day tomorrow. The little patriotic person inside me forces me to stand with more respect than usual today.

After a tsunami of ads, trailers and anti-tobacco ads, which make me hate myself every single time for some of the choices I’ve made in life, I finally see the Karwaan CBFC certificate and I heave a sigh of relief. The ride begins!

It’s the first time I’m watching Dulquer Salmaan, a south star in a movie. Beyond Bahubali, Arjun Reddy and Aruvi I have no clue about the magic that is Southern India’s cinema. He’s earnest. It shows.

I notice Irrfan Khan spells his name in the opening credits with a double R. Trivia! I roll those Rrrsss and laugh to myself.

Mithila Palkar is one of these new age Marathi speaking people who make me happy as there’s such a lack of representation in pop culture on a national level when it comes to “cool”, “urban” Maharashtrians. Marathi cinema has plenty of rural life depictions which satisfy the soul. But then the “city” half inside me craves recognition too. Long live Radhika Apte!

I’m enjoying the movie. It’s easy-breezy. The travel scenes remind me of my road trip in Coorg. Irrfan’s really a gem. What an unbelievable comic timing! It’s sad to know that he’s now recovering from a life-threatening rare cancer in London. He needs to bounce back! He’s already quit AIB’s Amazon show “Gormint”, a political satire. My mind zooms back to the movie.

The back of my mind is still tensed though. My phone battery is at a meagre 8%. Battery Saver didn’t really do a good job I guess.

I’m restless. I switch on the mobile data. A message from my friend pops up: Results? I check the time, I can’t do the mental computation of US EST and IST. I refresh my Gmail. The eyes light up when I read the message: Your CFA results are here. I take a deep breath before touching the screen to open it.

I start reading it. It begins, ” Congratulations., we’re happy to inform you that you’ve passed CFA Level 2…”

The movie hits intermission. I missed the last scene leading up to it. I spring up from my seat. There is a marked difference in my demeanour. A big smile would tell. I’m going to eat popcorn. I waltz to the lobby. There’s a confidence in my gait. I’m going home, I say to myself.

I glance at the exit door which leads me outside to the mall.

I walk out with a smile.

PS: All the happiness of the results has faded. I sit on the sofa in my living room wondering what happened in the 2nd half! Amazon Prime I’m waiting!

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