The three-day holiday last weekend, which came close on the heels of the nine-day Eid break, was welcome. But there was no point in spending all my time indoors, so I decided to go for a movie. Hey, why not?
I first hopped along to the cinema at Ruwi, but the congestion around was too much for me. They say, one needs to fold one’s car and keep it in one’s pocket, if you visit the cinema at Ruwi, as there is absolutely no parking available there. And then, the crowds and the smells around are not all that beckoning. So I went to the cinema at Shatti Qurm.
The guy at the booking counter tilted his head as he studied me, then released a streak of laughter and said, “Hop on to any seat, my friend, you don’t need a ticket. But make sure not to disturb anyone.” To my surprise, I saw that there were quite a few seats for the taking, so I tucked myself in one to enjoy the movie.
As I sat focussing on the movie, I noticed, most patrons did not bother to take care of the foodstuff they carried along. There was popcorn strewn all over, in every row, intersperse with nacho chips, ice-cream/chocolate wrappers, half eaten samosas/nuggets, even huge splashes of salsa and melted cheddar cheese and sliced jalapenos. Coffee cups and cola cans were stuffed in every nook and corner and the carpet in many places was soaked with cola and coffee.
As people filed out of the exit doors when the movie ended, I looked at the sad faces of the cleaners waiting outside, broom and bag ready in hand, to clean up the place before the next show. They did a thankless job and no one seemed to care.
While everyone came out beaming, after enjoying the comedy movie, I came forth with a sorrowful frown. I wondered if people ever learnt any dining etiquette and, if they did, whether it was not meant for the cinema.
Some of the happy patrons even had streaks of melted cheese and salsa on their trousers. And the popcorn strewn in the aisles gave the feel of walking on confetti during a wedding march as one walked out.
The lady at the hotdog counter in the foyer, seeing my sullen expression, asked, “Didn’t enjoy the movie, young chap?”
I looked up at her with a melancholic expression and muttered in dismay, “Sad movies always make me cry…”