Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I am single-screen and the husband is multiplex. Therein lies the biggest difference in our marriage. I am brazen, say-it-like-it-is, loud, with jagged edges; he is poised, politically correct and the epitome of well-mannered. We still work for each other, and are fairly self-deprecating, so the marriage works. But our differences come to the fore whenever a Dabangg happens.

So while I had to be me and watch Dabangg in a single-screen theatre, because the dabangg in me thinks that’s the only way to do it, the husband chooses to go the multiplex way, because there’s only so much of the real world he can take. Needless to say, I end up watching it twice, once for me and once for him.

I am shocked by the second viewing, to say the least. It is like watching a totally different film. Salman makes an entry. Nothing happens. Salman delivers his first line. No response. Salman takes off his shirt. Nothing. No one gets the brazenness of the writing, forget the nuances. Save one senior citizen who laughed at my favourite line (about the hero punching so many holes in the villain that he wouldn’t be able to tell his orifices apart), it could well be that everyone in the theatre was in a coma. Is this what happens when you pay as much for your popcorn as for your ticket? I wonder.

Coupling of today is a bit like watching a movie in a multiplex. Good on paper, perhaps good for the economy, but lacking in soul. On the other hand, people are coupling all the time, and I have seen several couples in the recent past— some cosmetic, some real, some transient — but rarely have I seen real passion, shared laughs, chemistry, repartee and a I-wish-that-could-be-us feeling. Where are the imperfections, where are the rough edges, where are the real people being their real selves?

Perhaps everything is camouflaged by the muted lighting and disinfectedness of the places people hang out in (have you noticed how few homes you have been into lately?) and no one ever asks anything, so nothing needs to be revealed. May be they are just reading too many self-help books and learning to be guarded, or maybe, like multiplexes, they have all lost their patina of the real stuff, the stuff that tells them apart.

May be I am just meeting the wrong people. Because I don’t get how marriages can be ended by deleting your spouse from your friend list and then announcing in your Facebook status that it is the end of the road? How can one fall out-of-love with someone you clearly married in your senses? How can relationships be terminated by sending a group sms (which also includes your near and dear) that you have, after all, chosen to remain friends?

But then, I am so single-screen, I will never get it.


  1. wow...i have just read one post of urs and im in love with this blog already....:)

  2. I get what your idea is - you are telling your readers how different 'Dabanng' is when viewed in a traditional theatre as opposed to a multiplex. I think so.

    Trouble is, by the time I'd finished reading, I was none the wiser. I think I got the idea that the movie had more impact in the theatre. I wasn't sure why, though. I admit I'm easily confused.

    Maybe the piece would have 'worked' for me if I'd seen the movie, either in a plex or a theatre. But I haven't. That's probably why it didn't.

    I liked the concept and the tone. But more clarity would be nice

  3. hi gaelikka,
    from your note i gather you are not based in bombay/india? unfortunately it is difficult to make all pieces universal; some do have very specific socio-cultural references and may not work in a different context, unlike say when i write about men/relationships, which i usually do.
    This blog actually appears as a weekly column in a city newspaper in bombay, so perhaps references could be local at times, but i try and make it as inclusive as possible. but if you haven't been a part of the single-screen to multiplex transition which is more of an epidemic in this city (and the rest of india), you will perhaps not get it. the transition is also metaphorical of other things (that i have described) which you might, though.

  4. hey, i so agree with you...the other day i had the same conversation with a couple of friends and i realized my hubby is too sophisticated (if that's the right word) to watch a DABANGG with him! hahahhaha

  5. A hopeless believer in love and all those happy endings:))September 15, 2010 at 3:45 AM

    And usually its the same couples (the one who delete the names on fb or send goup sms) who put up pix every other day to show PDA...i think their need to be so social and be seen is whats taking the toll on their marriage/relationships! In trying to look pretty and properrrr they forget what it is to spend time together! Its unfortunate to see so many marriages/relationships being called off...it actually hurts for you know that in many cases its not over because its not working out but its over cause you didnt have the time to make it work!

  6. dear hopeless believer in love ..
    you nailed it! perhaps we know the same people... wouldn't that be bizarre?

  7. Hey, I get it now or rather I get why I didn't get it! An avid blogger and Facebooker I am and yes, I've lived through the single-to-multiplex transition but no, I'm based in a BIMARU state, light years away from Mumbai and totally ignorant of the ways of life there. Sorry about that and ta for the kind and patient reply. BTW I saw your column in HT Lucknow

  8. Dear Lalita,

    They say its a small world! :))
    Btw been logging in since tuesday evening..no sight of your column! :((

  9. A hopeless believer in love and all those happy endings:))September 23, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Dear Lalita,

    They say its a small world :))Btw been logging in since Tuesday evening...no sight of your column :((

  10. hey, sorry. it seems they had no space for it this week due to a huge ad inflow, so will be carried next week as usual.

  11. Hi Lalita, I have now been following your blog for the past 3 months... and I thoroughly emjoy it. Going through your archives I found the one you wrote about men being categorized into shampoos and conditioners..that put perspective into most of relationships..i'm now well into my thirties and sadly still with shampoos :)

    i eagerly look forward to your postings.

    Regards, P

  12. Hi P,
    Enjoy the shampoos, you can rinse them out. It took me a while to graduate to conditioners too!