one man show

Houston is one of the few cities in US with a large contingency of Malayalee population. Hence it is not totally surprising that new Malayalam movies release here every other week. Though the movie theater is very close to where I live, I hadn’t seen a Malayalam movie, partially due to lack to company and partial due to the abysmal standard of the movies churned out from my home state off late. So I had pretty much forgotten about it till last week when someone asked in chat if I get to watch Malayalam movies here; if so there was this new movie which was really funny. To my surprise, the same movie had released here and was still playing. Given that I hadn’t seen a Malayalam movie in a theater in a long time and the fact that it was a sequel to a very funny and super hit movie released almost 2 decade back, I had to watch that movie in the theater.

Since it was a Saturday night, I expected many of the mallu families in Houston to flock to the theater and hence I set forth a bit too early so as to get a good seat. Also, it was a good opportunity for me to meet some of my fellow Houstonians from my home state and maybe strike up some conversation in Malayalam. So here I was all geared up headed to the theater.

The theater was surprisingly deserted for a Saturday night. Given that there were Telugu, Tamil and a Hindi movies too playing, I expected some Indian crowd…...nope, none was seen even going out of the theater.

I purchased the ticket and the usher directed me to the theater. I entered the hall and there was no soul there. Here I was all alone in an empty movie hall with about 200 empty seats. I picked the seat right in the middle and settled myself. Minutes passed and start time was near, still no sigh of any other human. It would be absurd to carry on with the show when there is no audience (which has been the case in India) and I was certain that the show would be canceled and I would be refunded the fare me.

As I was thinking of what to do with the rest of the night, now that the show would be canceled, to my surprise, the screen lit up and the titles started to roll and the movie started! And here I was watching the movie all alone in the theater as if it was my personal media room.

To cut short the tale, the entire movie 2.5 hr was played for a single person. It was a unique experience for me. Never before have a seen a movie in such solitude. Did I like it? Not really. Not just because the movie wasn’t as good as I expected it to be, but because I was so lonely. Not that I would chatted through out the movie, but I don’t prefer watching movie in a theater alone. I am sure everyone enjoys the movie in the company of friends and so do I. But this time, I wished there was a stranger atleast.


choice control

“There are many parameters that determine your course of action now a days...…..and your control over those are reducing”, I remarked recently to couple of friends. Though it was one of those comments which I ‘uttered-before-thinking’ (which I do quite often), this one made complete sense when I heard it back as I said. The work and the related intricacies are making the decision making a hard nut to crack. Like, for example, taking some time off or going home for vacation. Other than the obvious difficulty of getting the leave, there are further issues like the stringent rules imposed by the immigration off late. I have heard the horror few people had to go through with the immigration that I am more than willing to put off my travel plans. It is true about life decisions too. The economic situation and the uncertainties associated with it have forced many of my friends and acquaintances to postpone their marriage or relocation or buying a house. Life’s always been about making choices, but think the number of if’s and but’s have increased, which is making the task even tougher. You control over your own life is getting loose.

Then I hear about this former college mate of mine who has decided to go back to India for good. And his reasoning is because he felt like doing so. And how I wish if it was that easy for me to make a decision! For a person like me who finds picking between one or the other is one of the hardest things to do (and would be more than happy if there were no choices), it would be nothing short of a blessing. I am sure it would make my life much simpler.