It was one of those hot Chennai afternoons. Half the day was over and not even a single Professor had stepped into our class. But, after hours of playing UNO and sharing gossip, I realized that I was officially bored. I needed to get out of that classroom. So, I decided to go get a drink of water and like any proper Tamil girl, I summoned my two girl buddies to accompany me to the water fountain. God knows what dangers lurked on the way to the water fountain so it was only rational to take the pals along.
Thats when a couple of guys in our class suggested it. I didn't want to at first but they made it sound so wonderful and fun. They suggested that we sneak out of college and go for a movie. I don't think I even asked for the name of the movie- I don't think I cared. After having been stuck in college for so long, even sneaking out to see T.R Rajendran gyrate on screen would have been welcome. So I began the difficult process of trying to recruit other girls for the movie- because as mentioned with the water fountain incident, we girls always moved in flocks. I wasn't too successful because I managed to get just one other girl to agree to the plan- so the four of us, two girls and two guys started for the movie.
'Naanga naalu paer- engalaku bayamae kidayaadhu' - That would have been the caption if Gautham Menon had seen us walking out of college that afternoon. We prepared stories to tell the watchman in case he asked why we were leaving in the middle of the day. Having never bunked college before and having heard stories of unsuccessful bunkers and bunkees doing hard time at the Principal's office, I WAS scared, though I tried hard not to show it. But, luckily, the watchman was missing at the gate and we happily ran out to freedom and the freeway. We then traveled by van, bus and foot and reached the theatre one and a half hours later, drenched in sweat and slightly drooping due to the weight of our backpacks.
We decided to watch 'LOTR- Return of the king' but found that we had just 50 rupees among the four of us. So, we decided to buy the 10 rupee tickets- you know those first row wooden planks pretending to be chairs. There was a different line for the 10 rupee tickets and a completely different entrance- and both were dirty, grimy and tiny. I walked in trying not to touch anything and thinking how my mom would have never approved. Once we got in, the guys had yet another brilliant idea- they suggested that we go and occupy some of the 60 rupee seats in the back, the empty ones. We agreed. So there we were watching the movie in the comfort of those 60 rupee cushioned seats when suddenly, we saw a large man with a cane running towards us. He took one look at our seats and our guilty faces and chased us out of the seats with several thrashes of his cane- I think it might have made contact with the two poor guys! We ran down the aisle and crawled into our first row seats, pretending that it was perfectly natural to run like spooked cattle in the theatre. The rest of the movie, I watched with my bum glued to that rock hard seat, craning my neck up at the most awkward angle and surrounded by wonderful smells of sweat and cigarettes.
After the movie, we parted ways - Our necks were permanently stuck at an upward angle, our egos were bruised, we were still seeing spots after having seen Aragorn up so close, and we all reeked.... but I thought that had been the best college day yet....and for some reason, that movie and that movie experience ranks among the best for me. I walked to the bus stop to wait for the bus home and smiled to myself, thinking of how such a lousy way to spend 50 bucks could still be so much fun ... when I suddenly realized that I was all alone, without a single gal pal... all by myself at the crowded bus stop. Oh the horror!! The horror!!
Note: This story goes to show what a boring goodie goodie two shoes I was in college but don't worry, I improved tons after this incident. Also for those who don't understand Tamil, bear with me- next one will be all English.