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.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We are family

Now that I have chosen to live happily ever after with a husband, a boy, two cats, a PS2, a PSP, a PS3 and an XBox 360, I might as well see the poetry in my life. So instead of asking the husband every time he is clutching a controller for dear life — when is he thinking of calling it a night?—I engage him in a way that doesn’t take him away from what he is doing; instead exalts his state of mind even further.

The husband has 127 saved games right now. Compute that as roughly over 2000 odd hours of gaming and you will agree that it’s a lot. Perhaps more than our relationship hours. Right, you can get the PS3 out of his life; you can’t get his life out of the PS3.

I figured early enough that if you can’t beat them, join them. And if you can’t join them, talk gaming with them. And whoever said men don’t talk hasn’t asked them questions about their current-state-of-game: What potions is he buying/creating, what arms has he collected, how many cars has he stolen, how many men did he kill today, how many times did he die today, how many times did he crash today, how many rockets did he launch today, how many aliens did he hunt out today, how many women did he meet today, how many reward points did he win today...the list is endless.

So here’s my two-bit about life, love and relationships after innumerable conversations with the husband about the world of gaming:

• Irrespective of how many games populate your shelf, there are games that get played over and over again, there are games that get played occasionally and then there are games that are bought, but never played. Each one has a reason to exist and each one creates meaning for the others.

• There is always an all-time favourite game that never loses its place to anyone else, no matter how much time passes, what other games come along and what their ratings are. Even if they are rated 10 on 10.

• The difference between an all-time favourite game and any other game is the same as the one between a girl you are really into and girls you date, but are not really into.

• When you are playing your favourite game, you never think of the other games and wonder what it would be like if you were playing them. But when you are playing any other game, you are always thinking of what it would be like to be playing your favourite game right now.

• There can never be two greatest games, no matter what. One has to tip the rest.

• Two questions will help you decide whether he is the man for you: a)What game are you in his world? b) Is that his favourite game?

I am Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Incidentally, it is ranked as the all-time greatest role-playing game in the gaming world. Sorry GTA IV. You came close, but I won.

Need I say more?