Rats in the Theatre

I would not have survived my DGO in CMC,  if it were not for Gracy, Joyce and Vanaja.

When I went back to CMC to do my DGO, Joyce Ponnaiya was doing her MD Path at the same time,  Gracy Thomas was doing her MD Obs /Gyn and Vanaja Verghese was doing her DCh. In fact there were a whole bunch of us who had come to do our post graduate training, after marriage and babies. We supported each other, mopped each others tears and jollied each other along . Mercifully none of us were miserable together at the same time. Or for too long.

Whenever we could, we ran off to the Movie Theatres to  spend 3 make-believe hours, totally immersed in every improbable scene that flashed  across the screen. We never missed a single movie that came to town. It did not matter if the Movie was English, Tamil,  Hindi or Telegu. Somebody in the group would translate.  Sometimes the running commentary was more hilarious than the movie itself. Sometimes we slept off, exhausted, lulled to sleep by the cool air-con and the darkened theatre and had to be nudged awake when the movie ended. It did not matter if the movie was a hit or a flop. It just gave us a chance to forget the day’s woes for a few hours.

Meet you at the steps of the LIQ at 9 pm.
It’s a new release
Kamal Hassan and Rajnikanth are both in it

Leaving the day behind with its ups and downs, all of us waiting at the LIQ steps at 9 pm,  would pile into open-top cycle rickshaws and laugh all the way to the Theatre in total abandon. Riding out of the gates of the hospital gave us a heady sense of release, a  phenomenon we thoroughly enjoyed. In the Theatre, we sometimes occupied  the entire row, with very few empty seats around us.

On one occasion there were a group of Roadside Romeos sitting behind our  row of seats. As the projector whirred on , it became increasingly evident that the boys were more interested in the ladies in front of them, than they were in the picture. They kept smacking their lips and passing lewd  comments. Some leaned forward breathing lecherously down our necks, bent on being obnoxious. One uncouth youth actually slid his sweaty paw between the seats and pinched one of our seniors, right in the exposed midriff of her sari clad figure.

The poor unsuspecting guy had no clue that you NEVER mess with the likes of this particular Senior, who shall remain nameless, unless you were prepared for Jhansi Rani to rise up from the ashes.  She is a beautiful spunky girl, with a spirit to match. Absolutely fearless, she stood up in the Movie Theatre, whipped around with her slipper in hand and whacked him smack across his unsuspecting and surprised face.

How dare you …she hissed as she flailed him with stinging slaps.
Take this…
And take that…

The stunned youth was mortified. Beads of sweat gleamed on his  pale face.  He was used to eve-teasing timid girls who would have suffered it all in silence. Or moved to another part of the Theatre. He had obviously taunted many girls before, but none of them had ever turned around to attack him. He was caught completely off guard and his jaw dropped in shock and horror.

In an attempt to regain his dignity and composure he squeaked,
It’s a rat …..Its a Rat….A rat must have bitten you…Rat…Rat…as he bent down pretending to look for the Rat.
This incensed the lady  further, who whacked him some more as she yelled,
Rat ?
Did you say Rat?
You are the Rat!   Nee thaan Da perichali !   You’re the big fat Bandicoot !

The back row emptied itself in a matter of minutes, while the rest of us cheered. I suspect it would be many moons before that particular Roadside Romeo eve-teased any body, in any Theatre.


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