Panjim’s Multiplex

When I was younger, there was just one famous theatre in Panjim, Goa. It was Samrat-Ashoka. The theatre was not worth calling a theatre. It had those typical noisy fans, a trademark of the Mumbai trains. But that was not all. It also had some friendly insects, bed bugs; and to top it off, cranky seats.

But this was years ago, when I was little. Times have changed. Now, Samrat has reached somewhere close to the level of INOX, the famous multiplex chain around India. Though, still incomparable, Samrat has renovated itself from a dump yard, to an air conditioned, bed bug free, cheese popcorn serving, sort of Multiplex.

Even with all their changes, when we went to the theatre, my mum felt a rat walk over her feet, which would be unbelievable, if the guy sitting in front of us didn’t jump too. After that episode, my mum swore to never step into Samrat.

So now, we are regular customers of INOX. It felt like entering into another world, when we first set foot into the Multiplex. It had a HotDog stand, a fried junk food stand, a pastry stand, a chaat stand, a Baskin Robbins stand and a bookstore along with its in house ‘Refuel’ section selling typical cinema food like Coke and the three different kinds of Popcorn and Nachos and Samosas and all that.

Being regular customers at INOX for almost 3 months now, I’ve observed a lot and these are a few of the things that really caught my attention.

Standing in honour for the National Anthem is a sign of respect to the country that has given us so much and asked for nothing in return. But, in those 3 months of visiting INOX, I’ve seen that there are always those “cool” few who won’t stand for the National Anthem. One such incident that comes to my mind is a family of three gorging down on their Bhel Puri when the National Anthem is actually going on! How on Earth do they even have the audacity to do such a thing?! My dad isn’t much of a patriot, but when it comes to the National Anthem, patriotism gushes through his veins as a substitute of blood. He turned to them and told them, “Can’t you see the National Anthem is going on? Get UP!” And they obeyed. And so did the couple in front of them who overheard the yelling. It amazes me how people do not feel embarrassed, if not respectful. And honestly, the least that the Goa Government could do for their country is, to position a policeman there to keep a check on one of the greatest crimes committed by the citizens of India, according to me.

I think we humans are born with the instinct of going for the Forbidden Fruit. Before the movie begins, it is clearly and boldly stated “Please switch off your mobile phones.”. Fine, I don’t obey that rule either. But, I DO have the sense to keep it on silent mode. Yet, there are some dingbats who not only “forget” to change the mode to Silent, but, actually go ahead and answer the call and yell their throat out. Bozos, we haven’t paid a fortune to hear you yell your throat out. Use the Silent mode in your mobile phone, its FREE!

And how can we forget the lot of annoying loud chewers?! People, haven’t you’ll been taught the concept of “Chew with your mouth closed”? Honestly, if we wanted to hear you ruminating like a cow, we’d go visit the cow sheds and have a marvellous time watching your
brothers instead of sitting in an air conditioned multiplex.

But even with all the nonsense that happens there, we still like going there. The enjoyment level decreases a tad bit when you don’t have these annoying people who add a little colour to your movie day, I suppose.

Anoushka Sequiera