A NIGHT AFTER THE MOVIES
<DIRECTIONS: Three friends named Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart and Ramabhadran walk into a restaurant which is just about to be closed, few waiters are seen smoking and watching entertainment news while one was yelling at his wife as to how bad his life can ever be. Ramabhadran takes note of that particular waiter’s language. The three friends have just finished watching a spy thriller and all three of them had different views on the same. They take the middle table because it is the only one available. A Chinese flower vase with fake flowers is placed at the centre of the table.>
Narrator<arrange for Amitabh Bachchan to narrate, otherwise Kamal Haasan, do not even think about Gautham Menon. Please!>
Narrator: It was ten minutes to eleven, when the three friends sit down for dinner. Only nature, or if you believe in God would have brought these three people to forge this friendship.
< zoom at their faces as the narrator speaks a few lines on them>
Alfred Hitchcock, Hitch to his friends was a topper right from school. He does not like the number two and has made number one his own, topping classes, divisions,districts,cities,states and countries. He even orders first. His interests apart from coming first include paintings and foreign food. He will eventually become The President of the United States just because the aircraft is called Air Force One.
Jimmy Stewart, Jimmy to all was a topper in school, he then asked himself,” what’s the point?” and later was happy to come second. His other interests include quizzing and cycling. He currently heads a bio recycling company and dreams of taking pictures of penguins and tagging his friends on facebook. He will never become the president of the United States.
Ramabhadran, nothing to friends was never a topper in school. Till the 12th standard he thought topper was an energy drink. He currently sits on the obituary desk of once popular ladies magazine. He does not have other interests because the death rate is too high and most of the time is spent writing obituaries.
The relationship between them is cordial but not inclusive.
It is only moments later that Ramabhadran realizes that it is a high-end restaurant which steals extra money by levying multiple taxes like waiter’s daughter’s education fund tax. Ramabhadran realizes this only after seeing the menu card. The Menu card shaped like a chariot had been specifically designed by a Brazilian architect.
Hitch knows this architect very well, in fact he has dined with him during his last trip to Rio Di janerio where he had gone to conduct a school quiz on contemporary architecture and medieval paintings. So Hitch begins speaking about him.
Hitch: he is an amazing fellow; he has this abstract quality, the texture Oh wonderful.
<Narrator: while Jimmy is able to appreciate the opinion, Ramabhadran was trying to understand what abstract meant. When he gets the chance to view the menu card he is disappointed that none of the food items he knows is on the list>
Hitch: One Pasta alla Norma! <He says with gusto>
Jimmy: Oh! So you like Italian too. It is my favourite, let’s see what else they have<signals to the waiter>
<Jimmy later goes through a lot of names with the waiter and then arrives at what seems like a nice collection of local swear words to Ramabhadran>
Ramabhadran<to himself, quietly>: why didn’t I even look at the name boards before entering.
Hitch<in a more serious tone, something akin to that of an explaining principal> The Pasta Alla Norma was invented in the famed kitchens of Sicily and takes its name from an Opera, you know?
Jimmy: Oh, I know opera. You really require a higher frame of mind to appreciate them, I never get to here good Opera here in Madras.
<Ramabhadran looks at both of them, although he did not know what an Opera was, judging from the conversation that just ended he decided that it was something he could never understand. He was also under social pressure because he had not ordered anything>
Hitch<to Ramabhadran>: why don’t you try the Macaroni salad.
<Hitch said like ‘sa-laad’ and not ‘salud’ as how Ramabhadran knew it>
<Ramabhadran smiled politely and continued to look into the unfathomable menu card, he knew about salads to some extent; it was what prescribed to old men who could not control their diet and additionally he had attended a DIY fruit salad class in his fifth standard and it had tasted quite sweet. But he did not want to have any such thing, in two more minutes he would hit upon an idea>
TWO MINUTES LATER
<Hitch and Jimmy are discussing a small painting on the opposite wall, if not for their over indulgence on the project they would have realised that the painting was done as summer project by the three year old son of the restaurant’s owner. The son was now five and still continued to pursue the arts>
Hitch: Picasso, definitely!<he says with utmost confidence, so much so that if Picasso had been there, he would have been proud>
Jimmy: Are you sure?
<Makes an irritated face at Hitch> Just look at those curves on the edge, too scratchy and look<points a brown patch in the center> Look, so uncharacteristic of him.>
<Hitch looks closely, all along he had taken Jimmy to be not so knowledgeable and was sure Ramabhadran didn’t know a thing, he realised that it would be better to play it say>
Hitch: Hmmm, Jimmy I see your point but it could have been from a very early period. You know he was very productive.
<just at the moment an idea strikes Ramabhadran, zoom to show bright smiling face>
Ramabhadran: Waiter! Waiter!<calls with a sense of urgency>
Waiter<silently sneering>: yes sir, I see that you have made up your mind.
Ramabhadran: One La Dose Vita please and that will be all.
Waiter: Sir<alarmed> could you please repeat that?
Ramabhadran:<irritated> La Dose Vita!!! Now don’t tell me you don’t have them.
Waiter: But sir…
Ramabhadran: Kindly checks with your kitchens please, do not waste my time.
<waiter walks away slowly, something unbelievable had just happened. Meanwhile Hitch and Jimmy suspend their discussion on Picasso to see what was really happening>
Hitch: What did you just order?
Ramabhadran: How many times do I have to say it, La Dose Vita. Now don’t tell me you haven’t had it.
Hitch: Oh of course I have, I lived six months in Italy if you remember. My employers said that I could speak Latin as good as the classical masters. Of course I have tasted La Dose Vita, nice taste you have.
<Jimmy had no option but to agree, but he had bought Hitch’s reply to about 80% and was already happy that he was able to impress Hitch on the Picasso discussion>
Jimmy: yes yes, very fine selection indeed. It is so full that you would not need anything more to eat.
Ramabhadran<to some relief>: Exactly why i ordered it, even the most basic of Italian restaurants should have it.
<Waiter returns at exactly the same moment>
Waiter: Sorry sir, we do not have La…umm the dish u ordered.
Ramabhadran<bursting out like an Italian volcano>: What! I cannot take this embarrassment, an Italian restaurant which does not even have the most basic of choices…..
<Ramabhadran continues on his rant, while the waiter interrupts intermittently by saying sorry>
Ramabhadran: I’ll have nothing of this, I refuse to eat at such a place.
<Walks out furiously, but not quickly so that everybody looks at him. Hitch and Jimmy have no other option but to look at each other’s faces and complete their dinner>
<Setting changes, it is an empty parking lot and its darkness is dispelled by the small blinking light coming from Ramabhadran’s mobile phone>
Ramabhadran: Amma!Do you have any leftover dosa maavu from today morning?, I couldn’t eat dinner here.
Amma: Yes yes, come home son.
<Ramabhadran walks slowly out of the building into the night, he walks slowly because he is afraid dogs might chase him. Scene ends>
<’the end’ flashes like this: THE END>