Monday, July 21, 2008

Back off! this blacker is mine!!

I say with no little regret that I am going to make a terrible movie ticket blacker.

I will not even be able to graduate as a ticket blacker's side-kick. I have no subtlety, no knack for spotting suckers and worst of all I get excited and start wringing my hands when a deal looks like its going to come through.

It happened thusly. I was at the movies yesterday with a friend. We made the rounds of three PVR multiplexes in my part of the town to be greeted with the "houseful" board every time. About to give up, I suggested taking a last try at a cinema hall near my house.

I was overcome with dismay at the serpentine queue leading up to the round glass hole of the counter. Behind which sat two very smug looking attendants who must have felt like Gods holding on to the puppet strings of us mortals who sweated, pined and craved for the tickets to Jaane Tu... or Kismet Konnection. And going by the dark evil looks a 20-something girl in cut-off pants was giving her boyfriend (sweating in the line right behind me), the cinema-attendants had every right to be smug.

As is my luck, when I was about three feet away from the Holy Grail someone shouted "Sold out! both jaane tu and kismet is sold out!! both houseful!" After 15 minutes in the spa-like enclosure, I was ready to collapse, but when i did, id like to be clutching the tickets in my hand.

Then a weird, husky voice started mumbling something in my ear. "two tickets.... got two tickets...want one...kismet...."...etc. For the two second it took me to register that this short, fat person in a semi-clean half sleeves shirt was actually a blacker, he was already beginning to move away.

"NO wait!! Don't go away! what have you got? Have you got two tickets really?" he stared at my hysterical face for a moment or two and then at the growing predatory looks on the faces of other ticket-seekers in the line and sensed his danger in letting too many into the scheme. The boyfriend behind me already put a hand on his shoulder saying "Mate, you and I should talk." With a guarded look at me he said "what are you talking about? I have got no tickets."

But I have by then tasted blood and coming out of the line cornered him, this time with my voice lowered... "sorry about that. so what have you got?" Two tickets of Kismet for Rs 4oo each. "WHAT!!! YOU'VE GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!" I hadn't even got the words out of my mouth when I saw his check shirt whisk away in a flash and I was standing open jawed, my place in the line gone.

"And pray why are you gaping like an idiot?" my friend made me jump as he stood behind me. I narrated and he flashed two tickets that he got legitimately by standing in the other line for 20 minutes. It is evident that I do not understand the art of ticket-blacking.

"You were trying to get a bargain price from a blacker?" he said as parting shot.

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