In the evening, we went to the cinema to see Highway (trailer), as recommended by Kallu. On the way to the cinema there were long queues outside all of the Shiva temples by the roadsides, as it was Maha Shivaratri, a day dedicated to Shiva.

We got to the mall (security guards in berets this time) and were taken up in the lift by a gentleman on a wooden stool. Kalu and Sujoy hadn’t yet arrived, so we killed some time looking in Chumbak, a shop selling t-shirts, mugs, keyrings etc with fantastic India-specific drawings on them, like gurus bending themselves into knots and the plastic bucket bath to be found in every home.

I chose a mug with ‘you know you’re Indian when…’ With lots of lovely cartoons that I wouldn’t have really understood before coming here. Before I chose to buy it, I showed it to Sellappan with the promise to myself that if he didn’t laugh I would leave it right there in the shop. We also found a shirt with a certain motorbike on it, which unfortunately didn’t come in Sellappan’s size – but they’ll be getting them next week! I sense a return trip…

We collected our tickets and went through the airport security at the cinema, and I read the auditorium rules which included no hooting or whistling, taking a crying baby outside and not chewing gum. Sujoy and Kalu arrived and we went into the auditorium. We got excellent seats right in the middle of the modern auditorium, with a rail to stick our feet on as our chairs reclined back.

The film was in Hindi, so I didn’t understand most of the dialogue, but it was well acted and very well shot – on a shoestring budget too according to Kallu and Sujay. The film got a good review from all of us, though I’d have to see it again with subtitles to really judge. The characters weren’t exactly incredibly complex or deep, but they developed, at least, and there were enough laughs and action sequences to move the story along. The film also showed off some phenomenal North Indian landscapes that got Sellappan’s feet itching for his bike trip to the Himalayas this summer.

After the film we had a quick bite at the food court before heading homewards. On the way, we stopped at a busy Shiva temple and came away with flowers as well as spiritual benefits.

The film contained so much footage of the open road that my feet are definitely itching for our adventure to the North, which starts tomorrow with our flight to Jaipur.


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