Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cocktail - Foreign Made Indian Liquor

Long before the days of Imraan Hashmi and Mallika Sherawat, the only source of titillation for the urban adolescent was the late night show on MTV called Grind. A bunch of scantily clad crowd swayed to some music which, I am sure, no one has ever heard because everyone watched it mute to avoid waking up their parents. But, as Paulo Coelho proclaimed, the entire universe conspired and I finally got to hear that elusive music when I watched Cocktail. The first hour of the movie appeared like a marathon MTV Grind. Seeing DP jumping from one table to another dancing in dimly lit night clubs and prodding men to palm her derriere, I thought she was a bar dancer. Just when I expecting that she would graduate from the table to a pole, she appeared with a camera announcing that she was a photographer. So she belonged to the tribe that goes pub hopping on ladies night when drinks are on the house for the fairer sex.

To give her company we have our very own old retard who wants us to think that he could forever floor females with his facial contortions. They were once funny, but repeated overuse has set in motion law of diminishing returns. The only thing new about his face is the wrinkles. If that wasn’t boring enough, you had a third lady - the new DP. She would consistently keep her gaze to the floor, speak in whispers and trot the streets of London in attires tailored in alleys of Chandini Chowk. While older DP tortured you with her endless prattle, the newer one stimulated the experience with her silence. With a permanent apology plastered all over face, she was just as lost as the remaining two. And so were we, with absolutely no clue where the movie was heading.

While people on screen was desperately trying to entertain, those in the theater showed the same interest reserved for an air hostess demonstrating safety instructions aboard a delayed late night flight. The quick repartees were lost into eerie silence. The funny antics were greeted with sneers and snorts. Even when DP callously striped down to her itsy-bitsy bikini, we just look at our watches wondering how far the interval is.  May be DP forgot that only after we had enough of her as a bikini pinup she got clothed for her bollywood debut which, ironically, had peace in its title but left the audience restless in the theaters.

After what seemed like an eternity, the interval arrived. As I tried to make my way to the aisle, a guy in the adjacent seat lunged towards the knees of his date and pulled them closer to prevent any accidental brush with my calves. In his reflexive concern for the knees, he has, quite literally, scaled new heights of foot fetish. Argh, I had to contend with morons not just on the screen but even before it. I pitied the lady for dating a guy whose knowledge of erogenous zones is entirely erroneous.

The popcorn at the kiosk could have been the best part of the movie. However, I wisely avoided because it was always better to watch a nauseating movie on an empty stomach. I dragged myself back to my seat and got ready for the remaining serving of the drivel. It proved to be worse than the first half. The best props in the movie were alcohol and sex with no strings attached. That gave way to more melodramatic elements like love, relationship, marriage etc. Sudden absence of alcohol started showing withdrawal symptoms in the older DP.  She made a quick crossover from a new age multiplex heroine to a single screen heroine whose dreams were woven around fidelity, family and vermillioned forehead. A lady who invited unknown females to her home and unknown males to her bedroom was suddenly mouthing constitutional rights like right to dignity, right to marry, right to family life etc. The rest of cast was talking about mutual consent, exploitation, social service etc. I never knew that such complicated politics existed in one night stands. The conversations became progressively unbearable. The characters, who wallowed in confusion when the movie began, were now steadily slipping into severe existential identity crisis. Finally, when both the decibels and rationales became unbearable, the younger DP walked out of the house. I too thought of leaving the theater but my masochism came in my way. I was determined to test my limits of endurance.

On screen, our eternally young real life nawab was also was getting his endurance levels tested. The older DP got hit by a speeding car when she staggered on the road and proved that drunken walking could be more dangerous than drunken driving. With one lady untraceably lost and other on crutches, the philanderer who, supposedly, left no skirt, saree and sarong unwrapped, had his libido left in lurch. Even when the lady finally got back on her legs, she declared that she wasn’t going to spread them for him. The mutual consent was withdrawn with immediate effect and until further orders. However, taking pity on his receding hairline and increasing facial lines, she decided to patch him up with the other DP.

Of course, that did not happen before some schmaltzy acts and agonizing songs. But we were spared of the other clichéd ordeals like stopping planes and popping pills. When I came out of the theater, I realized that this Cocktail was actually foreign made Indian Liquor a.k.a Daaru Desi. It left me stirred, shaken and brutally shattered.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Flights of Fantasy

Ever since they stopped in-flight service of meals, air travel has really become boring. Not that the food was great, but you had a great time guessing which was the starter, entrée and the dessert. After the meal, if the lady who served you was pretty, you could always have an engaging debate with her on whether the hot liquid in your cup was tea or coffee. However, the low-cost airlines changed the rules of the game. These days you have neither meals nor pretty ladies serving them. On an outbound flight last week, I found that the entire cabin crew was male. I was wondering if they were trying to celebrate International Men’s Day or something. All of them appeared supremely irritable. I imagined that it was because they were asked to report for an early morning flight after late night romp over beer and Euro 2012 matches. I did not dare to even ask them water. 

The return flight was equally uneventful. Same aircraft. Same crew. Same irritability. And again I decided to not even ask them water. The extreme depressive state ushered in my mind a list of acts that could make my travel livelier. However, I did not indulge in any of them since my mother was accompanying me. Not that she believes in my genteelness, but she is tired of being embarrassed by my antics. If anyone of you has managed to free himself from the shackles of societal propriety, here are a few tips to make your travel eternally etched in memories of your fellow travelers and cabin crew.

  • If you are seated near the emergency exit, after listening to the additional safety instructions, hold the lever of the door and ask if you can have a dry run.
  • Ask for drinking water and pour it into the air sicknesses bag to check if it would leak. Promptly hand over the bag and empty bottle to purser who brought you the water.
  • Ask the flight attendant to repeat safety instructions in the local language. Wave her a copy of the official gazette notification of three language formula if she refuses.
  • After takeoff, pull out the life vest under the seat. Walk up to the cabin crew and ask where the trial room is.
  • If you are passing through turbulent weather, offer to read tarot cards free for all the passengers to know who will land alive.
  • Collect boarding cards of all passengers and then invite them for a game of rummy.
  • Go to the cockpit and pester the pilot to help you identify cloud number nine.
  • When the cabin crew asks if you would like to buy anything onboard, ask how much the trolley would cost. Don't try on Kingfisher. They might actually sell you.
  • If you buy any stuff onboard, pay in one rupee coins.
  • When they come to collect trash, throw in the in-flight magazine. Tell them this is your way of writing letters to the editor.
  • And finally, before landing, request the captain to talk to the ATC and find out what offers are available on car rentals.