Moderate Manohar was unusually late to the theatres, he had by now guessed that good old Caustic would have taken his seat and would be getting impatient, not because he longed company to see a film but because he knew he would have to narrate to Manohar what was lost in the minutes.
Wiping dripping sweat and cursing the Automan who asked for 20 rupees more than the meter rate, Manohar ran to the ticket counter with his mobile phone cradled in his hands.
“C3” said the gruff voice from behind the counter.
Not minding the unusually dark atmosphere, Manohar continued on his run, stamping on feet of family men, women and children to finally take the seat.
“Sorry Im late, what did I miss?” asked Manohar with some trepidation.
Manohar by now had realised that Caustic was fuming and he wouldn’t speak to him till the movie ends, he tried to look at his colleague’s face, but in the darkness he couldn’t get a reaction. Manohar had no other choice but to watch the film as it is.
As the movie progressed however Manohar had forgot all this and was starting to enjoy the movie for what it was, laughing mostly, and his anxiety over missing the first few scenes had vanished.
He had begun to realize that this was one of the funniest films he had seen this year.
The film ended.
As the lights came on, he decided to confront Caustic Kumar with the issue, he knew he had been late, but being ignored for the entire length of the movie was not something he would like to experience again.
“Now see here, CK…” Moderate began, only there wasn’t anyone in the next seat, the plush pushback leather was empty. There was no way for CK to have got up and left, he would have surely passed Mod.
Shocked and unable to react Mod sat still in the same chair thinking until he heard a call out.
“Hey Mod! Mod!”
It was Caustic Kumar of course, the most cheerful avatar of him waving from the front. Mod by now had been thinking if the Lowly Laureate had sacked him being a gutless git. Shit, they had hired him in the first place because he was one.
The world around him spun. Up and Down. Up and Down.
“I thought you wouldn’t come” said CK as he made his way through the empty seats, “I thought I could change the column to Caustic Kumar Proudly Presents…”
“Stop it! Why did u act so differently during the movie, you refused to acknowledge my existence just because I was late” this was Mod.
“What! You didn’t even turn up I watched the movie alone, there was nobody I knew in G4”
“C4, not G4! See Caustic, you have sat in the wrong place”
“It is clearly G4, and we need to stop this bickering now Mod, we have a review to write remember?” CK said holding out a ticket stub.
Silence followed as MM calmed down and started to think on the movie.
MM: I think it is great! Not because it is an under-seen genre in Tamil, but this horror comedy really works!
CK: Hmmm…but hold your horses Mod, it is good. Not as great as you make it out to be, the first few minutes were close to terrible, I don’t know it doesn’t even prepare us for what comes next. I was sitting there thinking this is one of ‘those’ movies again.
MM: I missed the first few minutes, seems I haven’t missed much
CK: Yes, but nicely tied to the ending as well, what is interesting for me is the blending of the genres and both horror and comedy work big time in Yaam Irukka Bayame. And this guy Karunakaran…
MM: super straight face, I’m wishing he would do more. There is also some good slapstick, which hardly works in other films, guess there is some magic to it when done correctly
CK: And the running gags…
They pause and discuss Vaaya Vaaya for a moment and in unison they said.
CK and MM: Nobody would be able to look into a mirror normally ever again; this film actually is worth a watch for these elements alone and for the laughs.
MM: aren’t you going to say anything about Oviya?
CK: What about her?
MM: Never mind, so overall we basically agree on most things that is a good thing.
MM: Let me check with the counter guy on the C4-G4 issue.
Mod walks out into the darkness of the night and is surprised to see that there isn’t any ticket counter at all.
CK: What counter guy? There was no counter, just someone who checked the mobile phones for tickets.
MM: What theatre is this anyway?
CK: I dunno, some theatre. See, don’t be flustered and tell yourself it’s only a movie!
They both walk out in search of a meter abiding auto, while lightning strikes in the background and dark clouds start to group as though it is some congregation.