She was 3 and 1/2 years old when we first sat and watched a movie together in a movie theatre. The movie was Ratatouille. That was the daughter and that is if you don’t count one failed attempt. I don’t count that because I placed it on the record that she was not ready for a movie at 8 months. A Baby Einstein airing – possibly, but a Tamil movie definitely not. The husband, mother-in-law both insisted that she would fall asleep within seconds of the movie starting. Of course, nobody listens to the mother, who was not interested in the movie in the first place, and off we went. I hear the movie was good. I was there for the title sequence and then for one song that she liked to shake her bum and dance to. The rest was spent in the corridor next to the tea and coffee vending machines on the floor. One vendor felt so sorry for me; he actually came and offered me a free samosa. He started it. After that, there was no stopping me. In regular intervals, I went for samosas, tea, coffee and ice-cream and still the crowd did not come pouring out of the theatre. Which was when I thought of a topic that would immensely help Tamil movie makers – Brevity. The movie wore on for 3 hours and not a moment of background music time was wasted. I wasn’t even in the theatre and I had a head-ache.
Given the scar of events past, one would think I would hesitate to brave a movie with Tucky clocking in at a year old. I did hesitate. But Disney Pixar’s pull is far too great. After considerable thought, we selected the 10:15 p.m. show of ‘Brave’. With a one year old, sleep times are unpredictable at best. So, I hung onto his eyelids from early evening onwards and made sure he did not sleep. Then gave him a warm bath laced with sweet vapors to soothe and soothe like no man has ever been soothed before. Never one to leave anything to chance, I played him some Mozart as well. I must admit Mozart makes me incredibly sleepy too. So, I was yawning football sized yawns by the time the movie started, but little Tucky was fast asleep and I was hopeful.
I wonder whether you have seen great strategists in action. I have heard of them. Now, I mustn’t boast, but we certainly gave the best of them a run for their money at that theatre. We took in a bulky carseat because I wasn’t going to tickle a sleeping dragon just when ‘Brave’ was starting. I had with me to use at a moment’s notice the following:
1) Thermos Flask with warm milk
2) Blanket to tuck and pat
3) I couldn’t really use the Mozart music as people might have noticed the difference in sound tracks in the theatre.
Finally, no tumbling into the best seats for us. I carefully selected an aisle seat ready to take flight to the corridors at the slightest whimper. (We are extremely conscious of people’s experience of a movie and don’t want to spoil their shows with crying babies)
So, there we were – trailer after trailer came on and just when I popped off to sleep myself, the movie started. I wonder why – but just before the movie starts, they give you an eerie minute of silence that completely ruins the plans of the parents of sleeping babies in carseats. See – the constant drone of noise is the trick. Just keep up with the trailers and the music and the baby sleeps on. Why introduce a moment of suspense before the movie?. Then, the slightest noise seems jarring. No one consults me while doing these things – sigh! After all those hours of Mozart and sweetening soothing almond oil showers, he stirred when the movie started after this tense moment of silence.
Without hope there is no life. I continued hoping that he’d fall back to sleep, but he gave a great chuckle and an energetic giggle at a horse on the screen and settled down to watch. I exchanged a meaningful glance at the husband and we agreed to stay as long as he kept quiet. I must say, the dear was absolutely charming. He watched it like he understood the storyline perfectly. Clapped when people cheered, laughed when people laughed.
Towards the very end, he grew a bit antsy at which point a warm milk bottle was shoved into his mouth and he watched with interest again after that. It helps that the movie was only 90 minutes long. That was the story of his first movie.