Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Boss – Preview

Ilford Railway Station, London


6:45 PM

Is that Ram?

“Hi Ram”

He didn’t turn. I went further to my right. He should be Ram.


Ram. RamKumar Annamalai, Infoscion. The last day we met was in Chennai a year back. We both were in the same team for more than a year, after which he left to London for an onsite assignment.

I reached London a couple of months back. He stays in a house at a distance of two minutes walk from mine. In these two months, I’ve called him once and chatted twice. But never met, I repeat, we stay in the same area.


“Hi Ram”, I stood exactly in front of his nose. He is Ram.

“Hi Kiran”, he looked at me surprised.

“Where are you here?”

“Sivaji! And you?”

“Sivaji, 9:15 show”

I met him for the first time in London, and for a noble cause, Sivaji!

“Me rushing for 7:15 show,” he raised his head and said “there is a big gang for 9:15 show as well”.

“Fine, I am waiting for my friends to join”

“Ok, me leaving now, you look totally different now”, he smiled.

“Ah, you too sir”.

He left with his friends. No one had actually looked different. He is in a hurry and didn’t find anything to talk. Sivaji mania!

Cineworld, Illford

7:30 PM

Tickets were already booked. But still we reached early, for the simple reason that movie tickets don’t have a seat number. Theaters here work with the simple queue logic. First come. First serve. But the queue starts forming only after 8:30. So, I kept lazing around the lounge with my friends.

Ticket counter:

A digital display showed the list of movies running currently. Movies in local language, including ‘Oceans thirteen’, ‘Pirates of Caribbean’ had only one show and tickets were available. Rest was filled with Sivaji. Three shows for the day remaining and clock showed 7:30 then. And all the shows were filled. For the first time, I saw Customer Notice stuck on numerous places around the cinema theatre. It read

Customer Notice





All tickets sold

I was just wondering. I never saw this ever before. Be it, Spiderman 3 or Pirates of Caribbean or any new movie which created hype. All the Hollywood movies fill the theater only with 50% audience. Sivaji – a Tamil movie.

8:15 PM

Sivaji at 9:15 was screened in the Screen-I in the first floor. We rushed to the first floor. Securities to check the tickets measured 4 feet. No not the height, it is the width. At what ever degree you move around and measure, the width turned to be 4 feet. Every security is made of two Ponnambalams.

I with my friends went to the first floor with the tickets well in advance. And there were more crowd than expected already waiting. We were asked to wait aside for some more time.

We kept fighting against the time, knowing the fact that we will win. But then time, irritated us to the most, moving slowly.

8:45 PM

More and more crowd joined the existing crowd. There were many unknown known faces. We simply started talking in Tamil with the new neighbors in the foreign land. By then a new queue was formed apparently. We were shocked to hear when the securities requested us to take the rear end of the queue. From no where came a lady superstar who fought equally or rather better than the securities. For the first time in the history of algorithms the queue was redefined as last come first in. Queue started growing from the front.

Securities asked us to move back. But poor securities never knew the fact that people walk over the shoulders of the crowd standing in front to move in first, especially for Rajini’s movies. We managed to move two steps back, but remained in the same place. This is not simple. You must get trained in the theatres in Chennai. I thought only few know this, but I was wrong! Surprisingly, the entire mass was professionally trained. We kept moving back, but remained in the same place. Securities succumbed, only that they didn’t wave a white flag. Rest was visible from their shapeless faces. Few moved away.

9:00 PM

We started moving inside the theater. As per the policy, food from outside is not allowed. I had a bag and it was checked to confirm that there are no eatables bought outside. We moved in. The queue moved peacefully in. But the peace existed for less than 1 minute. People started rushing into the theater.

Securities failed to have control over the crowd. I can positively assure that in their life time, they would have never seen such a crowd for any movie. Theater was filled in no time.

I went out to buy some snacks. A guy from outside came running to enter the screen, with a back bag towards the security.

Security asked “Which movie”

“Sivaji”, he replied.

“Yeah get in”, he allowed without checking the bag.

Sivaji – The Boss, Pera Keta Udane Chumma Adhirudilla