I have to make an honest confession – it’s been years. Absolute years since I have eaten a 20-rupee pop corn in a theatre, powered by fans. And I must say I truly enjoyed it.
There we were, a motley group of 17 people, tucked in the last two rows of the balcony diamond section. If you don’t know, this row is the best – the last – with the finest view. Only that the tickets on these seats are not numbered – so it’s on a first-cum-first-serve basis. And of course, you need to have luck by your side.
So excited we were that we reached a good 30 minutes before it was showtime. And of course the previous show was going on.
“We’re ready for the climax even before we watch the movie,” joked someone from our group and in true comaraderie spirit with the ones inside the theatre – we cheered on.
And as though it was the start of a marathon – as soon as the lock was opened (yes, it was a large steel lock which could be opened by the key), we ran in. Panting, looking around for clues – we ran in one direction and then the opposite in a bid to get the best seats in the house.
The pop corn came before the movie started and it was delicious. Finally the show started – a good 30 minutes late. My emotions moved towards panic – when the print was looking blurred. Blurred? I can’t be watching Baahubali-2 in a blurred print! Soon the panic gave way to relief – the blurredness – seem to correct itself – and the figures moved from double lines to clear sharp lines.
The sound was fabulous, the seats were comfortable and non-stinky (as we had anticipated) and the fun! It was a sheer delight, the film, the fun and the experience of doing something different. Going into an unknown experience differently.
It might sound dramatic – after all, it’s just a film. True. Yet the theatre in question is a little hall in a tiny town on the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border. Of the two public theatres that stand tall, the theatre in question wore the pride of place – as the best theatre experience any place – within a radius of 100 kms – has to offer.
We came back, determined to return to watch another film, another time. It’s a small experience but it helped me break some walls. Walls of well-founded concepts of what I can do and can’t. Ideas of what enjoyment comprises and often, my ideas of comfort (I’ve been only watching films in multiplexes) and the inability to see beyond what I know.
And perhaps this is what life is made of – exploring the ordinary, gently stretching the boundaries and making it a little bit more extraordinary.