All cars are out Saturday evenings. If people aren’t going to the pubs they are headed for the malls. Sujaya had two tickets for a Bollywood movie at Inox in the Garuda Mall: a gift from someplace where she’s been spending money. She was keen, so we went. It was as I had feared: we were constantly bumping into people and knocking elbows with them. I peered into the shops while riding the escalators: Mango was empty; many more were empty and were looking into aisles milling with people up to their doorstep. The jewellery shop was full. We were late, and I wanted to escape to the top floor and into the movie-hall. There the movies had begun and the aisles were empty except for a couple hurriedly buying popcorn in American-size tubs—one leg toward the food-counter and the other toward the movie hall, the rest of their body-parts similarly divided and inclined. The toilets were clean, the air-fresheners were effective and a soft disorienting light adequately benumbed the senses. The movie-hall was half-empty, though it was a Hindi movie rated with a good number of stars in the morning paper. The seats were plush, and the sound was strong and sharp. I haven’t, until now, experienced movie-theaters with this comfort in India, and have been seeing films only at home. I’ve stumbled on a new pastime.
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