Pune is a boring city. I know, there are many who have already picked up weapons of their personal choice and are aiming them at me to make me change my statement. But relax; there is no need to get violent here. There is nothing in this world that mature individuals can't sit and discuss or argue about.
Coming back to the evening, like all of days at work in Pune, yesterday too I was wondering as to what to do after 7 PM. And, as luck would have it, I got a brainstorming idea to go for a movie. Now, in today's times, it is very very difficult to decide on which movie to see. And, considering that you are new to the city and you are staying miles out of the city, you have to take the geographic advantage (ok, I know I am being sarcastic here) which you have and make the decision. I finally decided that 'Shaurya' would be a good movie. Yeah yeah, I know it’s an 'inspired' version of 'A Few Good Men', but since the Hollywood version is one of my favourite movie ever, I thought it would be a good idea to watch the Bollywood version and then criticize the Bollywood director for getting it all wrong.
Ok, so now the which-film-to-see issue is settled. I quickly brought my attention to the next issue, which is, which multiplex to watch it at. Did a bit of research on it (thanks to wwwdotpunediarydotcom) and after a couple of phone calls inquiring the route and distance from my office, I settled on Fame Jai Ganesh multiplex (quite a weird name, if you ask me). Other significant issues such as cash-in-pocket (which was less), who-is-accompanying-me and does-the-bike-have-enough-fuel did not matter much, at least at that point of time. So, armed with a little knowledge of the route and limited financial resources and even lesser fuel in the tank, I set off to a evening which I was visualizing as me sitting on a seat which has the best view in the theatre with a popcorn bucket and a large cola and enjoying a Bollywood version of a good Hollywood court drama movie.
People who know me also know how bad the odds are always against me. There is saying in Gujarati that if a man's fate is bad, then a dog will bite him even if he is sitting on a camel (on reading this after typing, it sounded quite funny. But believe me, it sounds better in Gujarati). My fate is so bad, that the dog will definitely bite me even if I am sitting on an elephant with both my legs pulled up, and the dog is a dachshund.
The website informed that the movie is slotted for 8 PM, and my target was to get there before 8 PM. People here whom I had called up earlier to inquire about the route, forgot to mention that the route which they had suggested has an awful lot of traffic which does not move at all and gets stuck at places for hours together. So, after many U-Turns, stops asking for directions, a bit of rash drive, hitting many by-standers with the rear-view mirrors, and some American Driving topped off with thousands of expletives thrown at me, I managed to reach the multiplex at 8.15 PM. I parked the bike and rushed to the ticket window. By rushing, I mean walking at my usual speed, but with a tense expression. We huge people seldom bother walking briskly. Doing anything briskly is against our pride.
I get this very funny weird feeling inside me whenever situations/things are not going to happen the way I anticipate them. This feeling comes just 5 to 10 second before the news is broken to me. And, mind you, this feeling is never wrong. I got the same feeling when the ticket window at the multiplex came into my view. But, as usual, I chose to ignore it. The ticket vendor had a very bored-to-death expressing on his face. It also had a warning to me, that if I bored him a bit more, he would either kill me or himself. Nothing could faze my enthusiasm yesterday though and I, with a triumphant expressing reached the ticket window and said, 'One ticket for Shaurya please'. The ticket vendor without even changing his ever-bored expression, rested his gaze on me and very coolly said, 'Sir, that phillum was chucked out laast week. Carrantly, we have Krajy 4 on. Do you want a ticket for it?'. For a person who has had a very healthy doze of stereotype Hindi movies, this news is akin to the hero getting the news that the girl whom he loved is now married off to the villian. I too, like our Hindi movie hero, wanted revenge and wanted it fast. Phir bhi, I controlled my anger, and walked off cursing wwwdotpunediarydotcom.
Now comes the part two of the awesome evening. I started my bike to ride towards home and then it dawned on to me that the bike has been running on reserve fuel since last
Wednesday, and now all that would be left is the last few drops of fuel in the tank. I opened the tank in the dim-lit parking area, and shook the bike so as to hear the fuel stir, but alas, I heard nothing (ok ok, I know am deaf and hence could not hear much). Saying a silent prayer, I started the bike with hopes in my heart that I will be able to find a fuel pumping station before the tank dries off completely.
Someone has very wisely said, when something begins to go wrong, everything goes wrong, together. This always works for me. I guess, many must have experienced it, but I experience it quite often. Anyways, I drove off in the general direction of my house with hopes of finding a fuel pumping station. After going on for a considerable distance, the bike began to sputter. This is exactly when my prayers began with revered gusto. The sputtering continued for another couple of kilometers before the bike gave up on me completely. I pulled up to the side of the road, and looked around for a pump even though I knew there is none around. I was hoping that my prayers would be answered and it would materialize out of thin air, and was having scenes out of Harry Potter movies playing in my mind. I did the routine of tilting the bike on one side (I used to do that to Humaara Bajaj**, and it used to work), and guess what, it worked. I was able to successfully start the bike and drive it for another 3-4 kilometers before the bike committed Seppuku* again. Now, I asked someone standing nearby for the nearest pumping station, and as luck would have it (in a positive way), the pumping station was just some distance ahead. All I had to do now is to drag the bike for that distance. I thanked the great Almighty, for making the Humaara Bajaj trick work on a bike and reducing the distance of dragging for me. I dragged the heavy bike along with my own weight to the pumping station and got some fuel into the tank. Pretty soon, I was riding towards home.
By the time I reached home, it was almost 10.00 PM. After taking my ritual evening bath, I sat thinking about the evening. I was trying to find out whose fault was it. Was it the fault of the person who had recommended wwwdotpunediarydotcom to me, or was it my fault for not cross checking with the multiplex whether the film was really being played or not, or, was it the fault of the guy who did not give me complete and proper directions. I was actually trying out permutations and combinations of suspects to find the exact culprit. After a lot of thinking I concluded that it did not matter at all. I wanted to spend the evening doing something else other sitting at the office. I did that, and I had fun too. No doubt, the evening had its exciting moments (in the negative sense, of course), but, nonetheless, the evening was fun overall. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I have planned to see the movie today evening. I have fuel in the bike; I know the route to the multiplex and have withdrawn cash today morning from the ATM. Anyone joining me??
* If you open the link, you will see that Wikipedia says that there is no female equivalent to Seppuku. I do not need it, since I own a Bajaj Pulsar, Definitely Male!! Ha Ha...Sad naa ???
** People who have owned any of the Bajaj manufactured scooters will know that to start the engine of the vehicle, one has to tilt the bike to one side before kicking the starter.