Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Chandni Chowk to China at Bombay’s New Empire

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7 Responses to “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Chandni Chowk to China at Bombay’s New Empire”

  1. Any thoughts on this Aarkayne?

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    • LOL….and I do have a story about New Empire! So the year was I believe 1979/1980. We were in the 9th grade. THE SPY WHO LOVED ME was running to packed houses at New Empire in Downtown Mumbai(i believe, in any case wont skip on this story because of theater factualities) as all Hollywood movies did then. Three hormone struck(3 idiots if you so will have it) teenagers decided, we were grown up enough to go see a movie that was ‘A’ certified. Remember theaters in Mumbai were ALWAYS sticklers in those days on implementing the ADULTS ONLY policy. Specially so these theaters that showed Hollywood movies since a certain amount of elitism was associated with them. After all, only padha-likha log saw English movies 😉

      In any case us ‘teen shaane'(pun intended and literally translated wise guys, though it really means smart alecs) hopped on to a suburban train and made the 1.1 hour journey to Churchgate/Marine Lines and then the walk to the theater. There was a serpentine queue formed already. Fortunately for us tickets were still being sold for the current show. But the scalpers(vultures as I saw them then) were hovering around the Box Office window to shut-down so that they could then offload their contraband on the desperate masses. The three of us had dressed carefully. For some reason we were convinced wearing a kurta gave us an elderly look, hence all of us were thus uniformed. One of us had alread begun sprouting whiskers and had even applied blade to skin. There was enough facial hair on some of our mutts, to confuse people into thinking we were above 18(incidentally the age when you were allowed to see A films). We were so desperate, we even confirmed of some of our neighbors as the line inched along, if we would be let in, making them co-conspirators in a way. The nice guys(according us) said, ‘hanh, hanh, no problems’. The cynics said, ‘paagal ho kya, no chance!’. Our hopes rose with the enthusiasts and fell with the nay sayers.

      Soon the counter arrived, and we purchased three tickets for upper stall. Balcony was already sold out. Right after we purchased our tickets, the counter closed and the house full board went up. YES! It seemed that ‘qaaynaat’ was working with us in fulfilling our dream(lust) and Paulo coelho had not even penned THE ALCHEMIST :-). We were lecherous teenagers wanting only to ogle at Barbara Bach’s ample bosom, that hung all over the posters plastered over Mumbai city :-O

      We approached the entrance. Each one of us had our own ticket. I went in first and was let in without another look. I was about 5’6″ then and looked reasonably 18. Next followed my shaved and powdered friend and he too was waved in without any worries. Finally it was the turn of, shall we simply cally him Aramis?! 🙂

      I have forgotten to mention that Aramis was only 4’11” tall. He certainly sported plenty of facial hair, however his height was a certain cause for suspicion. He presented his ticket. The usher looked at the ticket first, then at his face and then asked curtly ‘Umar kya hai tumhaara?’

      Poor Aramis was tongue-tied. I dont know if it was because he did not want to lie or simply becuase he had been caught trying to sneak into a place he should not have been trying to! Nothing came out of his mouth.

      So the usher in all his worldly wisdom, gathered from studying faces of all kinds, said – ‘Jaao, umar yaad karke aao!’

      That was the end of our collective adventure. The other two who had gotten in did not have the heart to go on without Aramis, so we went to a restaurant, ate dosas, drank some tea and smoked cigarettes, cursing the usher all the while. Needless to say there were plenty of takers for our tickets since the show had been sold out.

      EPILOGUE:

      I did return back in another week, ALL BY MYSELF to watch Barbara Bach and Jaws! It was not quite the same without my friends, but its an anecdote we bring without fail each time the three of us meet up. Aramis by the way did not grow too much taller. He continues to sport a shaggy beard and has lost all the hair on his pate 🙂

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      • Awesome. I want Satyam to keep these visual catalogs up simply for the accompanying stories they tease out of you. Just wonderful and fluidly told. Thanks Aarkayne.

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      • And you haven’t disappointed Aarkayne! This is a quintessential tale of adolescence or post-adolescence! On Spy who loved me I continue to be a big fan. The film and the lady!

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      • Thanks you guys. I’m glad you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy narrating!

        As far as the book is concerned, it requires some major writing discipline, which i constantly struggle with. However it shall be an endeavour I hope to accomplish. Thank you for being kind enough to think of and suggest it. Much appreciated.

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