Sunday, 12 April 2009

Kissingate and pornucopia

When C, my best friend and husband, and I were just another 'couple' people in office gossiped about, we'd walk and walk and walk -- down Cubbon road to that place in Manipal Centre which used to make decent dosas (it isn't there anymore), to M Gs, to sit inside Lakeview where C would grandly offer me a rose from one of the tables (much to the ire of the waiters there!) and down Infantry road, past Chandrika, to my PG. It used to be so much fun.

Now, we walk around Ulsoor Lake, with our four and a half month old. One day, we went towards the pier. Did you know it's Ulsoor's unofficial 'kissingate' area? Couples flock there (there's no other word for it), to stand and tongue each other. Walking past two rows of men and women (guys shielding the girls, as usual, with some men even holding helmets in one hand!), all I could think was, "how unromantic". It's dark as hell, the water stinks and besides, is full of garbage, anyway. Plus, there are mosquitos all around. Open your mouth and you'll probably get a buzzful of mosquito!

Quite a few of the couples actually look up to see if you're watching and then go at it, again. Can life get any wierder?
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Near our little flat, in one of those tiny roads that dots the Cox Town-Cooke Town area, there is (or was, depends on how you look at it), an A movie theatre. You know, one of those places that is always all shuttered up and displays posters of dubiously pornographic movies with titles such as 'Man and Woman', 'Teesri Aurat', and such like stuff.

I always checked out the posters eagerly, for the movies used to look so, well, interesting! Anyway, the other day, I realised things had changed. The theatre is called something or the other AC now. And shows everything from 'Ghajini' and the latest Telugu horror blockbuster 'Arundathi', to '8x10 Tasveer'. And there's a big painted notice that middle class costs Rs 75 and balcony class Rs 50.

That got me wondering. Why did the theatre owner want to become 'respectable'? He was doing perfectly good business with shady movies. And he had a steady clientele, men who were so poor that they could only afford to pay Rs 10. Where will they go now for that dose of cinematic sex that cheered up their desperate lives?

After all, respectable, middle class types anyway watch porn at home. They don't need another respectable-looking theatre. Showing respectably 'U' movies.

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