Is it a Crime - Obesity, Monsters and Being Single?

I have few of the finest childhood memories associated with certain movies. Movies like the 1998 Hollywood-made Godzilla, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and a couple more associate themselves to the times of when I was a lonely kid living in a Dickensian hostel. These movies had released in the time when I was that starry-eyed little guy out to discover science fiction and some damn good animation in contemporary movies.

Notice how I make it sound a little too intense?

Well, so ever since I saw the trailer of the 2014 redoing of Godzilla, I've sworn upon myself to watch it within the first week of it's release. It wasn't about the stars (Brian Cranston was always supposed to do justice), or the mayhem, or the artistic improvements (Mothra became M.U.T.O. and we thank God for that), or the original interpretations dating back to the Japanese origins of Gojira either. It was for the very reason that made this financially abysmal production into a cult classic - there's a 'something' there, I can't get a handle on.

Just a few days before the movie released in the halls in and around Kolkata, I started searching for people who'd go with me. For movies that'll require lots of thinking, such as Inception, Inside Lleywin Davis and Interstellar, I'd rather go to watch it all alone. But for movies that have a proclivity to bomb on logic, I need some company to successfully achieve a sense of redemption by lambasting the movie cooperatively. And with the increasing number of movies that raise our expectations with their trailer and disappointing us entirely when released, I'd better keep to the safer side.

'Ei, Godzilla dekhte jaabi?' Oi, want to watch Godzilla? I asked.

Perhaps the way I framed the question was wrong. To ask a girl if she'd be interested in watching Godzilla with me sounds nerdy, creepy and childish - all in one. No wonder she laughed her cruelest laugh and declined politely. At least she declined politely, another one raised doubts on my sanity. Someone else said that I was not being serious about saving money (a hard-biting truth) and choosing to waste them on illogical aspirations. But it was Godzilla! I mean, come on! There was no point in asking any of the guys, as most of them who are in the city are engineers. They work to near-death on weekdays and become Rip van Winkle on weekends, keeping their phones switched off indefinitely.

The only woman, who had a slight chance of accepting was in Mumbai, and the other one never replied back on Whatsapp. So I went all alone.


Meanwhile, In Other News..

While buying the ticket, I asked for a corner seat. The anaemic ticket vendor looked at me and asked confidently, 'Do you have a girlfriend, sir?' 'WHAT!! I MEAN.. JUST.. WHAT!? WHY?' I was caught off guard. Why would he ask me that and cause more pain anyway?

'The corner seats are couple seats, sir. Unless it's a house-full, we'd rather keep the couple seats reserved for couples.. sir' replied he, politely yet ashen.

'Okay! Well, give me a place near the middle then!' I made a face, as people in the queue started snickering. The anaemic ticket vendor let me know that he's given me the middle-most seat possible on the middle-most row. I thanked him out of habit, and ran away.

As soon as I entered the movie hall, they dimmed the lights out. I was there, standing all alone, waiting for my eyes to adjust and make that journey to the center of the earth to sit at my reserved seat. I passed a group of 4 guys and a couple to reach my seat. The couple got confused as to which side the girl would want to be seated - on one side was a gang of 4 young guys and on the other side was lonely singular me. It's mildly embarrassing and a lot more infuriating to be identified as a prospective sexual predator in a dark movie hall. So what if I look creepy with 2 glasses on? (Geeky spectacles for the eyes, and the 3D glasses on top of it!)

The girl chose to sit beside me. Perhaps it was easier for her man to beat me up, compared to trouncing the other 4 guys.

So the movie started. I swear I liked the first half as it was a very different take on the origin story (although it was similar to the recently-spent theory of the radioactive monster being a prehistoric Kaiju) of Godzilla. I liked how they managed to recreate a similarly fearful air about it through most of the movie, without resorting to the effect that the incessant rain brought in the 1998 franchise. I liked the music in the backdrop of the HALO jump. It reminded me of the eerie music that was being played when the men encountered the extra-terrestrial monolith for the second time in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Halfway into the movie, there was the intermission. And it was a long one, as the movie was new. Newer the release, longer the interval!

The girl on my right shifted in her seats. The obese man on my left had annexed half my seat with his voluptuous right arm, although I had asked him twice to withdraw his forces from inside my territorial rights. But I could see how it was a problem for him to keep just within the boundaries of his seat by the amount of cheese from the cheese popcorn that was staining his shirt. And two large sized cups of coke.

'Eka esheche mone hoy.. bechara!' He must've come all by himself.. poor guy! remarked the girl to her boyfriend, in a not so subtle way during the interval. I usually go out to stretch my legs but knowing that I'll evoke significant chaos in the hall trying to get past a multitude of fellow movie-watchers, I stayed in my seat. The vendor came to take orders - the entire group of 4 guys ordered a single popcorn. The couple ordered a couple of samosas.

'One caramel popcorn and a coke please?' I ordered.

What went wrong? Why was everyone staring at me?! So what if I come alone? The timing for the show was so odd, I was getting hungry. And yes, dear Mr. Gobble-me-lot seated on my left, I eat the same amount as you do and don't put on so much weight! I prayed for the lights to dim again as I tried to sink into my seat, slurping in the coke all the while. The last thing I heard was the voice of an aunty sitting in the row behind me, 'Babba, koto khaye?!' My God he eats!

That was the 5th time in life that I've heard that sentence. I am beginning to wish that I put on some weight so that my food habits are justified.



I returned home after the movie. It wasn't bad, except the final 15 minutes perhaps. Never expected our favourite monster to be this amiable and obese. It was almost like the guy on my left won! I expected Godzilla to be a little more scary, and wish it had not come forth entirely as the city's savior in the end. It should've behaved like a monster - no different than the M.U.T.O. themselves - but being involuntarily helpful for the people coupled with irreparable collateral damage.

Anyway, it was a fun watch nonetheless. I called up my best friend in Bangalore on my way back, advising him on how he might consider watching Godzilla at the IMAX. He wondered if he should ask my girlfriend to accompany him. I made him see how that might not work out in his favour (they have had a bad experience at White House Down recently, and my girlfriend is quite vengeful)! But what made the day different were two things. One, I came back home and read a random blog post that got me laughing (and coincidentally, it's author commented on my blog a few days later - kept me wondering if I had dropped a backlink somewhere. But I hadn't).

And the other one was a Whatsapp reply. A reply, that I had expected long back from a very very careless woman. Yeah, I hope you read this.

'There is NO WAY you're taking me out to watch Godzilla! ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!'

Well, there you go.

10 comments:

  1. That was one hilarious read, Deeptiman :D
    Everything about my brilliantly crappy day just changed, when I went through this post of yours :))
    But I thought people don't judge you this much if you go to the movies alone. I have loads of friends who have been to the movies alone...albeit not on a Friday evening show.
    As for the woman you refused to watch Godzilla with you, I agree. I'd never watch that movie either :P
    Another one of your 'funny posts'. Loved this ^_^

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  2. hehehehehe these people and their invalid judgments...
    Just because of this I AM GOING TO WATCH GODZILLA ALONE!!! Bus keh diya!

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  3. Thanks Aniesha! Long time no feed from your blog. You're getting slow..
    Actually there were plenty of times when I went movie watching alone.. but this day was something special - I arrived the movie hall looking extremely hassled! And in those days, I'd watch movies on the days they were dying - almost pulled down from the movie screens - after months of screening..
    And I wonder if you know who the woman is! :D

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  4. Red! Something like this happened to a friend of mine in your city (or maybe it was Calicut).. he went to watch No One Killed Jessica and a random aunty killed him by delivering nonstop sermons on how he should either work or find a nice girl and settle down.. How I love such people! :D
    I hope you fare better.. maybe you'll even be appreciated!!

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  5. All i have to say to this is - "I feel you bro!" ... I cannot tell you which part I found most interesting! The most I can relate to is the part where you ask people to go with you and they pass on it! Sigh! Now I am beginning to think that being single is indeed a crime haha (personal experiences) :P... Nice piece of writing bro! :) I love the sense of humour!

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  6. :D Well, it's a far greater problem if people start believing that you might be single, even though you're not! #TrueStory
    Thanks man!

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  7. I just figuratively kicked myself for not visiting your blog from a long time. Actually, I haven't visited anyone else's too, but I love reading yours. It's simple, easy and so funny.
    "So what if I look creepy with 2 glasses on? (Geeky spectacles for the eyes, and the 3D glasses on top of it!)"
    ^ This had me in splits. Hahahaha..
    My husband does that. 3D glasses on his regular glasses and I always end up asking, "Does that work?"
    And yeah, about the eating habits. I get that too. "Do you really eat?", "Where does all your food go?" - Most annoying thing ever.
    TBH, I love going to movies alone, although I have not gone from a long time. It's a very satisfying experience and to everyone who think it's abnormal, specially that lady who was sitting next to you.. they are WEIRD! lol

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  8. It's only on your blog that I leave these essay comments and ramble like a kid who doesn't know what he is talking about.. Arrgghh. Apologies.

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  9. Apologies?! WHY? You're but a blessing! :)
    I have never faced such discrimination at the movie theatres earlier.. I bunked plentiful classes in my high school days to go watch movies alone at the theatres.. but this was the first time I got conscious! :D I'm so glad you liked the post.. The double glass thing is just sad, but what to do? IT DOES WORK! It's just plain uneasy, and I try to conceal my condition whenever the light comes on during the interval and at the end..

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    ReplyDelete