Woken up by the sound of the alarm(aka an extremely busy mother), I got out of my bed and headed to the bathroom. I took my brush in one hand, paste in another, and thought to myself, “Here we go again, another day in the life”. I had been having an exceptionally bad week. Monday, I flunked my class test. Tuesday, I stepped in dogshit. Wednesday I got called a “flight risk” and Thursday, well everyone knows how Thursdays are. But wait, that made today Friday. And not just any Friday, it was the last Friday of the month. That’s when my family and I go to the movies!
Each month we take turns to pick the film for the night. Mom generally prefers mainstream flicks or Malayalam films if they’re screening them that week. My younger sister always picks a superhero film. My parents say that it’s her age for films like that. But I know for a fact that she does it just to annoy me. As for my dad, he doesn’t take part in this elaborate ritual. He’s just happy that for one night at least, there’ll be peace at home. This month it was my turn and boy oh boy was I prepared for it. There was a local film festival going on in my town that whole week. They were screening old classics such as Citizen Kane, The Sound of Music, Cinema Paradiso, and their likes. That day, they were scheduled to screen John Huston’s, Moby Dick.
This film is very special to me as I used to watch it with my grandfather. He recalled how mesmerized he was to see that huge whale leap onto the screen for the first time as a teen. Everyone in my family tells me that I’ve inherited this passion for cinema from him. I think so too. He used to tell me stories of how he used to collect the ticket stubs from Minerva Cinema and Gaiety Galaxy. Even after so many decades, my grandfather still had his tickets from when he went to watch Deewar. He used to claim that that flimsy pink piece of paper was his most valuable possession. I wish he was with me today to watch Moby Dick one last time.
It was almost time. I came back from college an hour ago and mom and dad just came back from the office. My sister’s been pestering me the whole day asking about the film which we were about to watch. I purposely wasn’t telling her. I didn’t need her to whine about how I chose an old black and white film to watch for tonight. All I told her was that we were going to watch a “children’s film”. Don’t blame me! She had it coming for picking all those superhero films. Besides, all my efforts of hiding it from her went to waste when my dad told her on our way to the festival. As expected, all hell broke loose. She refused to let my mom drive the car any further and insisted that we went back home. It took 15 minutes of rigorous consoling and bribing to finally get her to agree. We all decided that she’d pick the movie for the next three months. Now, under no circumstance would I agree to a deal like that but such was the situation. That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise.
Finally, we made it to the festival. We were running late. The screening was to begin at eight and it was already 7:50. We hadn’t even bought tickets yet because someone(dad, obviously) thought that we’d have ample time for such things after reaching. All the good seats were gone. Somehow we managed to grab the last few seats left in the front row. After a lot of muttering, name-calling, huffing, and puffing, we settled into our seats at 8:05. Thankfully they hadn’t started screening yet. Despite everything that had happened in the past hour, when the lights dimmed, the screen lit up and the credits started rolling, I thought to myself, “This is going to be the best day of my life.”