Southiedom is totally fun--absolutely love the trip to local saravanabhavan and immersing self in total tamil chatter [vennai, aapu, soooper all inclusive]. Guy could never get why, but put that down to his innate MBCTness [Mumbai Born Confused Tamilian--the chembur/Matunga variety who are basically neither here nor there]. Waiting for a Rajni flick in the theatre was no 4 AM wedding, but hey, i dont complain.
So here i am, waiting patiently in what could be called a line only in amoebaland. Mom alternates between reading tamil magazine and identifying people by city-names [a "poda vennai" dialog instantly brought "madras" to her lips, while the mention of "nadu center"earned the speaker a smug "coimbatore" tag]. The guy melts into his blackberry, scanning even junk mail for want of anything to do. The show is to start half-hour late, informs the theatre-manager, prompting a shrill-seeti [whistle] from a dangerously delirious guy. Good-natured laughing immediately follows while i triumphantly look at guy as if to say "see, the fun begins now". Bespectacled uncle, grandkid in tow complains "Whaat is this saar.I thought heeyar atleast movies will start on time". He turns around hoping someone listened, i give him a small smile that indicates i heard him [so dont repeat your complaint again] but small enough so he doesnt think of me as too friendly. Uncle doesnt get the hint: "so much time they take" he adds at a lower decibel, helpfully. "Yes yes" amma jostles her way in. "Phew!" i say, thankfully, trying to squeeze out so that "god knows when in the past we must've been neighbors" chennaites could proceed when mom does the inevitable, introduces me. "This is my daughter,she lives in Fremont"-i almost except a "say hello to uncle" but thankfully mom realizes i am capable of such actions. Guy smirks from my left, and i give him a dirtylook. As his smirk continues, i do what is only right. "And this is my husband, uncle" i gleefully state. Guy gives me a sour look while nodding hello. I havent had enough. "He knows a lot of people in Cisco" i proclaim sadistically. Uncle has just mentioned his "wonly son" working in Cisco and guy hates the presupmtion by parents that cisco will contain only one indian, their child, who every other indian would automatically know.
As uncle enthusiastically describes his son [tall, about 5' 6" with spectacles. he is very popular among his friends at Cisco. Every day or other someone comes to meet him at home, he adds helpfully] Mom nods happily at well-connected son-in-law while guy mumbles something about the friggin' size of Cisco. I peer at posters of telugu and tamil flicks and flyers of uncoming events when manager proclaims doors open. Stampede ensues, with someone screaming "jaragandi jaragandi" in manner of tirupati temple. Nobody laughs, everyone holding to their loved ones as they stumble, plot and scheme for seats together. walking among empty popcorn wrappers and spilt tea, i secure three bright spots on the 10th row. comfortably far from teh screen, but probably still decibelly overwhelmed due to speakers nearby. "Oh boy!" i exclaim joyously, "its gonna start!". Guy starts for the restroom while i land a firm hand on his wrist-"how can you go NOW? What if you miss Rajni's entry scene?" i ask horrified. Guy looks equally horrified, but for different reasons and sit, resigned on chair.
The hall darkens...loud whistles erupt...and the movie begins....