Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Advance booking

The husband is a ‘let’s reserve a table’ kind of person while I am a ‘let’s go out for lunch’ kind. I find it absurd walking into a restaurant, having reserved a table and then discovering that most of the tables around me are empty. Because, in my mind, I have done the extra work of making that phone call, listening to a syrupy voice at the other end, talking to it for a good three minutes, and then not being rewarded for it. Ideally my reward would be the visual of other people begging for a table, while I breeze in with supreme confidence, just dropping my name.

On the other hand, I find it equally absurd cold-calling an eatery, noticing that most tables are empty and then being asked, “Do you have a reservation?”

The husband of course takes reservation to another level. He reserves an appointment for his routine haircuts at the salon-around-the-corner called Miracle, where, I reckon, he is the sole customer. Or at least the only customer who gives a fifty-rupee tip. Given that Miracle salon has more staff than clients any given day, the husband’s franticness about having to make that appointment seems a bit misplaced. But it’s still been hard for me to convince him that he can just show up.

It’s evident that I am a creature of spontaneity, while the husband likes planning (never mind that half the plans are never meant to be executed). I like just showing up. If the restaurant/movie/salon doesn’t have room for me, I’ll find another restaurant/movie/salon that does, or just find something else to do. So unless it’s a Rehaan Engineer play (which, if you miss once, you never get to see again) or a good stand-up gig, I never book in advance for anything.

In my single-screen childhood, going for a movie was a high-adrenaline expedition. First of all, we never knew if we’d get tickets, then we never knew what was plan B if we didn’t. Could we afford them ‘in black’? Would it be another movie in another theatre? Would we go out for dinner? Ice-cream? Or would we just go home? But the option of booking tickets in advance for another day was never considered by my get-up-and-go family.

Booking is also a bit impersonal according to me.. where is the thumpety thump of the heart when you walk into a theatre not knowing whether you will actually get to see the film? Where is that feeling of “OMG! There are 17 people in front of me, so will I make it?”.

Unfortunately, multiplexes and their multiple choices have taken the adrenaline out of movie watching. Life, strangely, has become a series of plan Bs.

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