Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Must Wait

I see a movie in cinemas once about every six months. But I saw Life of Pi in the theater twice. Both times, we bought the inexpensive seats where you are seated with your nose pressed to the screen. The second time, when the lights dimmed and the ushers fell asleep in the corner seats, we stealthily made our way to the neat row of recliners in the back.

There was just one row of these expensive seats- pressed to the rear wall of the theater just below the projector. My thighs were the first to register how comfortable these seats were- plush leather instead of cheap felt. There were two buttons on the right armrests (of which there were two for each seat; no need to elbow your neighbor territorialy) . When I pressed the first button, the chair’s spine relaxed , the seat underneath me shot forward and the area touching my calves raised itself. The damned chair became a bed, you could have had comfortable sex there.  

I first saw these novelties when after the interval, I was trying to get to my seat without imposing my derrieres on other people in my aisle. The row was empty then but when the lights went up at end of the movie, it was full of people who looked around sheepishly for the ushers and then jumped out of their seats too fast. The beautiful seats were separated from the poor seats by a real golden cord woven through short golden posts. They cost 250% more than the regular seats but I suspect I will buy a ticket for them the next time.

I read books often, at least something each day. But I won’t be reading Dan Brown’s Inferno (due to release in ten days) for very long. Like everybody else, The Da Vinci Code was the first Dan Brown book I read. I gobbled it down while sweating in the upper berth of a sleeper class on a 3-day long train ride to Kolkata. Over the next two years, my sister sent me second hand copies of his books scavenged from roadside book peddlers of the cities she visited. I read Deception Point tattered, Angels and Demons pirated and the Lost Symbol borrowed.

Inferno’s release price is Rs 502 and mind you, that includes a 32% discount. There is an equally expensive eBook version too. Audio books- I won’t be using them till my eyes fail me. Also, the better narrated they are, the closer to radio they sound.

The paperback won’t be out for months, the second hand copies won’t start circulating for months again. And when they do, greedy booksellers will charge extra for the cardboard. I can’t borrow it from a friend because no reader friend lives nearby. I won’t buy it pirated because I don’t do that voluntarily. There is no lending circuit here. My birthday is far away. I can’t return it to FlipKart or Infibeam after reading. I have tried that.  

Therefore, I must wait.

What is the use of stacking a book between two cardboard pieces anyways? Expensive theater seats are comfortable but hardbound books just tire my wrists.

Even though they do feel fancy.

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