Manav and I had been dating for over a month. We were both in our first year of college in Mumbai. Belonging to overly conservative families, it was impossible to find a place to ourselves, where we could just kiss and make love for hours. Yes, you guessed it right, we were really frustrated with our raging hormones and new found love, and were finding it difficult to keep our hands off of each other. Although, we did get to make out occasionally in the back seat of his car, but the cramped Mumbai roads, a gazillion cars and people walking on the street, made it too difficult to keep it discrete.
So Manav came up with a plan. He said, ‘Why don’t we book movie tickets - corner seats obviously - for some godforsaken awful movie that is doing terribly at the box office and is likely to attract minimum crowd at the theatres?’ Now that seemed like a beyond brilliant idea to me. We could cuddle up (I mean, keeping in mind the space constraint), make out and hold hands in the dark, without attracting any prying moral policing eyes.
What happened next? Manav booked two tickets for Raaz 3, morning show, at a movie hall quite far away from home for the next Saturday. This was a very calculated move, as the movie had got a two stars rating, which meant that it was a huge flop. Also, we had to eliminate the possibility of running into some long lost relative or family member, hence a movie hall that was on the other side of town. Both of us told our parents at home that we had extra revision classes at college being held that Saturday. This was the best plan ever, I couldn't stop grinning to myself and wondering how wonderful it was going to be. Besides, there was the thrill of being caught, because obviously, movie halls weren't meant for making out. I just couldn't wait for Saturday to arrive.
Finally, it was Saturday morning. I slipped into a cute summer dress and wellies, excitedly finished my breakfast and made a dash for the door. I did realize that I had been exceptionally chatty with my parents at breakfast (which was unlike the grumpy girl I usually was in the morning), to hide my nervousness. I won’t lie - I had almost never lied at home before. I put my thoughts to rest and continued walking till I reached the market, where Manav and I were to meet. He was already there, waiting for me in his car, and I hopped in. We reached the movie hall in an hour, well in time for the show. Excitedly, we took our seats and the movie began.
I quickly scanned the audience and felt reassured to see no one that I knew and just about 15 other people in all. I leaned in on Manav’s shoulder as he held my hand. I won’t deny, it was a tad bit uncomfortable. A few minutes later, he started running his hands over my freshly waxed thighs. I thought to myself that wearing a dress today was a great idea after all. Next thing I knew, we were kissing and our tongues entwined, we started making out. I was enjoying this so much and wondered why we hadn’t thought of doing this earlier. Suddenly, I felt a very sharp tug at my hair and I let out a loud scream and pulled away. Manav knew I liked it rough, but this was a whole new level of rough. Next, I realized that Manav’s hands had been over my waist all this while.
It was this little kid, sitting behind us with his mother, who had sharply pulled my hair. ‘What a naughty brat!’ I thought. Before I could react, his mother stood up and started yelling at the two of us. Her exact words were, ‘Beta, movie halls are a public place, please indulge in these dirty things behind the walls of your own house. I won’t allow you to corrupt my little kid’s mind!’ And you won’t believe what she did next, because neither could we. Before even giving us a chance to speak, that lady called the manager of the movie hall to reprimand us. After receiving a stern warning, we were made to leave the movie in between.
This was by far the most embarrassed I have ever been in my life (even more than staining my school skirt when I got down in school in grade 10). Manav and I hopped into the car and he dropped me home. We swore to never cater to the idea of getting intimate in a movie hall ever again. But now when I look back, it’s a super fun ‘made out in a movie hall story’ to tell my friends on sleepovers. I can now confidently say that making out in a movie hall in India with the public acting as the moral police 24x7 is an absolute no no! But I still do wonder what a 5 year old something kid was doing with his mother, watching a horror movie at 11am on a Saturday morning…