On the way to Delhi I find myself in the company of jaats, in fact a whole bunch of them. Now jaats are nice people but you don’t want to displease them because then they can be not-so-nice, at least thats what the general assumption is. This assumes more significance when they are wrestlers and there is a whole team of them. So while they freely chose to sarcastically comment, I continued to talk with a co-passenger girl who was an English Literature graduate student. Our talking mostly revolved around writers, writing and reading — as it happens when two aspiring writers meet. But as I later found out, she chose to change her seat for the rest of the journey, much to the dismay of her accompanying father, I assume. When I met her the other day, she quite predictably, blamed it on the jaats.
There was this one moment though when two jaats decided to push the middle berth back to its original place thereby making the lower berth a place for everyone to sit to (than to lie down). One guy had been already lying there and he chose to push the middle berth (hanging then) to its plying place without looking at the hook which was to hold it after the push. Obviously, the middle berth was not able to sustain itself and came back swiftly. The other jaat then quipped — Spiderman nahi dekhya hai ke? Jyada Taakat ke saath zimmedaari bhi aani chaiye (Haven’t you seen Spiderman — with great power comes great responsibility).
In Delhi, on a Wednesday evening I am in front of PVR Cinema, in Saket — The same place I once saw that journalist 13 years ago and watched an English movie first time in a movie theater. I am there to watch a movie and I have no idea what movie would be it. Valkyrie, looks good and I get a ticket to Audi 2, Row E, seat number 8. Before the show starts, I spend the little time I have listening to Robbie Williams on my iPod. As I enter the cinema, the security guard frisks me and my possessions quite thoroughly. So comprehensive that he wants me to show him my two cellphones and my iPod in “working” mode. I know the answer but I ask him why. So that we know these are not empty cases, he tells me. What harm could an empty case do, I am tempted to ask, that little wee bit of sarcasm and just to drag it a bit though I know exactly what he means. The glowing screens of my gadgets seem to satisfy him.
In the movie, just as another plot to kill Hitler is hatched — Intermission intervenes. You know its not supposed to be there but the cinemawalas need you to go get something to eat while they modestly show you their overpriced menu. I get myself a tea while I wonder how Tom Cruise looked the same, just as young as he is now, even during the times of Hitler. And while I try to make the most of the wide leg room at offer, my foot hits something hard on the floor. Its my iPod, lying there since I don’t know when.
Saturday evening I am at the exact same place at the exact same time and as it would later turn out the exact same seat as well (thankfully, not the exact same movie). I get myself a ticket to “The Curious case of Benjamin Button”. The security guard this time does not seem interested if I am carrying empty cases of what look like gadgets (And this baffles me — its a weekend so the “threat level” should be at a higher degree). And at Audi 2, Row E, seat number 8, this time I am left wondering how Brad Pitt who has been invariably looking the same since eternity has chosen to be born as an old man.
A little confused, I check for my iPod. Assured, I make the most of the wide leg room at offer.