When in India one must see a Bollywood movie – Tales from Agra

Both Sam and I agreed that when in India, it would be simply shameful to miss out on watching a Bollywood movie, so while everyone else took off to see another fort, we opted for the cinemas.

We chose a movie called Anjaana & Anjaani, a modern-day romantic comedy about intercommunal love between a couple of strangers who seemed to have very similar names… or so I thought from looking at the posters. (Anjaana /Anjaani actually means male stranger/female stranger.)

We arrive at the cinemas in time to be checked through the metal detector, have our bags searched and to be frisked. The security was tighter than New Zealands border security! And, unfortunately, they found something – Sam’s full packet of smokes and a lighter.

Security – ‘you can’t take this in, no smoking’

Sam, pleading – ‘But I’m not going to smoke it!’

Security, unmoved – ‘you can’t take this in. this must be checked into the storage.’

To check an item into storage was 200 rupees, and it looked dodgy enough for us to question whether there would be any cigarettes in the packet on our return. On principal, we decided it best to say that we were going to pass the ciggies onto some friends, and instead hide the pack in an empty, unfinished department store (renovations were still being done throughout the mall and there were many unfinished cement rubble rooms). We walk away from the theatre with the security watching us like a hawk, and about 200m away, I quickly duck into an empty store and hide the ciggies behind a brick. When I pop out of the store I notice other shoppers watching us (all men) but they were at a safe enough distance.

The security doesn’t bother to search us when we return to the cinema’s.

We had been warned that there would be plenty of men in the theatre, but were pleasantly surprised to find it mainly occupied with families and non sleazy boys, who were friendly but only had eyes for the movie.

The Bollywood movie experience was terrific! Yes, the movie was full of cheese. The opening scene was in a new york wall street office when the stock market plummeted and these 5 indian men, who I think were responsible, were arguing in the office in Hindi in front of all these white dumb looking westerners, (totally believable). The power cut at least once. There were no subtitles, but the movie was simplistic enough and filled with plenty of over-emotional acting that we got it. And I have to admit that there were times when I would let out an involuntary loud sigh or groan over ‘the obvious’, and the music was so catchy that it got stuck in our heads for days. Yet, it was happy, fun, and the actors were beautiful to watch through the occasional cringe.

We walk out of the cinemas all smiles. Sam, a highly active smoker, was keen to pick up her pack of well hidden ciggies.

Sam retrieves the smokes from behind the brick of our chosen empty store.

Sam – ‘Take a look at this!’

T, viewing the pack of cigarettes which had been full a couple of hours ago and now only had 2 cigarettes left -‘Unbelievable, they could have taken the whole pack but at least they’ve left you a couple’
Sam, laughing – ‘yeah, they saw us hide the cigarettes, stole them, but left one for you and one for me.’

T – ‘cheeky. and sweet.’

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dale
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 10:57:06

    Haha that’s unreal! I’m surprised there wasn’t a photo and a phone number in the ciggie packet.. 😛


  2. Tiara in Transit
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 05:04:50

    they are more the follow you home, take photos of you from the mobile type :p


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