I was just watching Bunty Aur Babli on DVD today and it reminded me of the time I first watched it - on my birthday in 2005. It was the time when my classmates and I were readying ourselves for our campus placements and I was hassled with the task of balancing my duties as placement coordinator with my own study time. In the middle of all that, I had a birthday and I told everyone that I would take the whole day off. I would not study, I would not check the e-mail accounts where we got mail from recruiters and potential recruiters. I went out for a movie with my friend Aditi, who was the only one in town among all the friends from school I am still in touch with.
So we decided to go to PVR Vikaspuri (our then favourite hangout) for a movie. Now when I was at the ticket counter, I told the guy that I wanted two tickets for the current show. Now I thought that he'd understand I wanted tickets for the show that was to begin in an hour and a half. But he gave me tickets for a show that had already begun half an hour ago. Now I didn't check the tickets. And I didn't give them to Aditi. (Those who know her don't do that. Long story. Separate post.)
We thought we had an hour and a half, and we could grab a bite at McDonald's. We took our own sweet time doing just that, and it was only after we'd finished that I checked the tickets and realised what had happened. We went back to the box office to receive a standard "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do." They suggested that we go in and catch whatever was left of the movie. We asked to speak to the manager but they wouldn't let us. Now keep in mind that this came at a time when I had not yet started working and Aditi was between jobs, so a couple of hundred bucks were a big deal. We persisted, and eventually they gave in and let us speak to the manager. My friend, I learnt that day, has a way with people. She convinced the manager that what was going on was unjust and we should be allowed to see the next show. He did. Thankfully, it was a weekday afternoon and the hall was not too full. The guy changed our tickets by hand and signed them. By then, we had been around the entire complex, asking the entire staff if they knew where we could find the manager. So the guards and ushers all knew the story.
But do you know what we gained in all this? The early morning shows were fifty bucks cheaper than the others. The one we originally bought tickets for fell into that category, and the other one didn't. I wished I had chosen to treat more people that day, as did some others.
I was receiving calls from friends all day long. In between, I also got a call or two from people who did not know that it was my birthday and insisted that I should act like their placement coordinator. But the best one was a call I got at about half past eight in the evening. This is an old friend of mine who has known me for, like, forever. He was in another city, and we talked about once in a couple of months. The conversation went something like this:
"So, what are you doing?"
"Nothing much. Went out with Aditi in the afternoon for a movie. Been relaxing since I got back home."
"Oh. I thought you were really busy preparing for your placement."
"So how come you decided to take the day off?"
"Excuse me, do you know what the date is?"
"The date? Oh, oh no, I forgot!"
I still burst out laughing each time I think about it.
I've had a bunch of very special birthdays. Maybe I can do a series of posts on them.