It was 30 minutes past the movie had begun, when a usher shone the torch on our face. ‘G-19 and G-20, veliye vanga (come out)!) My friend and I were in the extreme corner, and couldn’t at first gauge what was up. Those in our row shifted in their seats, reassuring that they were not the ones pointed out. A few seconds later, even as the movie was going on, the usher shouted, ‘Madam, seekram vanga (come out fast)’. At this point, like a well-choreographed dance move, all heads bent to see who were the two culprits. The guy next to me whispered in a tensed tone, “They are calling you. There is some issue.”
Sure there was, just that none of us knew what it was.
My friend and I walked to the exit, where a young man asked us to show our online tickets downstairs, get the converted tickets and come back. “But we showed them the printout of our e-tickets, they accepted it and gave us these two, before entering,” said my friend, showing him two pink slips of paper. We could have as well showed him a chocolate wrapper, for he continued asking us to go downstairs and get the tickets. He reminded me of those auto-wallahs who refuse anything below an insane amount of Rs 100 for a three-km ride, with that very annoying negative nod.
We went downstairs, showed them the e-tickets on our mobiles, and got the ‘real’ ones. ‘So who is the manager here?’ my friend asked, after explaining to him what happened back inside. The reaction was instant. The guy at the ticket counter threw back a question at us. “How can they ask you to come in the middle of the movie for a ticket?” he asked, wearing a mask of concern. Soon there was a cluster of staffers, all eager to throw a rag on the fire.
They followed us like paparazzi until we reached the entrance of the screen. We showed them the usher who asked us to get the tickets, the usher got into an argument with us saying he did the right thing, and we asked him to at least Shut Up if he didn’t know to apologise. All this while, the cluster of men stood like witnesses to a road accident. Not a bit useful.
As we made our way to our seats, probably it was just my imagination, but I could see that you-guys-are-freeloaders?-kinda-look on faces. It wasn’t pretty, though the movie was.