A lesson never learnt


Note: This is not a movie review and if you were fooled into thinking that it is after seeing the image, blame it on the younger brat, who has given me a blog theme that demands a big picture!


When will I stop falling for the Trap of Two? Some people never learn and I lead the pack. Sigh.

Oh, you don’t know what the Trap of Two is? Well, I have to go back to my childhood to explain:

It had started when I was a naïve 12-year-old. My older sister, the third one, made me do what she wanted on the promise of buying me two ‘ganne ka ras’ (sugarcane juice).  Now, these wonderful drinks back in those days came in very very tall glasses and to finish even one was a task for me. Remember the SMS that I am in matters connected to eating and drinking? So I would walk something like a million miles instead of riding in a cycle rickshaw (that was the condition, so that we could save the fare for the ras) and sit in the shop trying to finish the first glass super fast. She would have finished hers in before me. 

With a deep breath, I would gulp down the last of it and push the glass away, slightly nauseous at the sweetness and hoping desperately that she had forgotten about the offer of the second glass. No luck!

‘Shall I order the second one?’ she would ask. Like a goat being led for sacrifice, I would nod miserably, unwilling to accept that I couldn’t drink another drop and thereby acknowledge defeat. After all, hadn’t I walked all those miles for it? Needless to say, I would start gagging after a few sips and try buying time by talking nineteen to the dozen.

‘Want me to finish it?’ she would ask, eyes glinting with laughter.

Past caring about losing face and the wager, I would push the glass gratefully towards her and she would gulp it all down in a trice. Three glasses of ganne ka ras, folks!

But the next time she wanted me to do something, it would be the same again. In fact, I myself would ask, ‘Will you buy me two glasses of ganne ka ras?’

‘But you didn’t finish it the last time…’

‘I will this time!’ And so she would end up drinking three glasses of juice again and yet again. Talk of being stupid and I will be in the lead!

Coming back to the present, it went something like this:

The L&M asked, ‘Shall we go for a movie?’

The movies that were running near our house were all of the one-and-half and two-star variety and we could have been prudent and decided against going for a movie, but when fate has it for you, you are done. I was in two minds about going when he dangled the carrot of two large popcorns.

‘Two for me?’ I wanted to make sure. Past experience had taught me that no matter now many tubs he bought, I would not get to eat even one tubful. And I wouldn’t be able to eat a second one, anyway. (Read all about that here)

He solemnly nodded.  So I agreed. Didn’t I say that I can never remember my lessons?

The L&M recommended the Prateik Babbar starrer My friend Pinto. His choice was based on the fact that some of these new movies are really good and at least time-pass. The reviews said that it was a comedy though we failed to read much in the HT review which said ‘your school-going kids will enjoy it too’. It should have warned us, but fate didn’t relax its grip on us.

I could have opted for Three Mosquitoes (I swear that the guys and gals asked for mosquitoes) and I almost bought tickets for that till they asked the counter guy whether it was in Hindi. And it was then that I realised they must have meant the dubbed version of Three Musketeers! But I was not in the mood to watch an English movie in Hindi, so found myself asking for two tickets for My Friend Pinto. The guy asked me which seat I wanted and I told him. The L&M went ahead to buy the popcorn. The movie had started and the usher was guiding us to our seats, when we saw that it was a private screening! There were just half a dozen of us in the auditorium, honest! And on the very second day after release!

Just then my phone rang. I normally don’t pick up the phone in a movie hall, but what the hell, we were in a private screening with no one to disturb and so I did. It was Sudha, who wanted to say bye to me before leaving for Mumbai. We had met each other the previous day for the first time. Hey Sudha, if you had wondered about the noise in the background, you know now what it had been, don’t you?

Ah, the movie. Babbar Jr. with his cute baby face is awkward, trying to look the part of an awestruck villager who has come to Mumbai for the first time. Apparently he is a chip of the old block Smita Patil, but I am afraid I couldn’t see any traces of it in this one. Maybe comedy is not his forte. Whatever it was, we should have left then and there. But we first had to finish the popcorn and so sat and watched some incredibly stupid footage, which would have been great in a children’s movie or even a fairy tale. And to think that it has been produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali!

Michael Pinto comes from a Goan village for a short holiday in Mumbai before joining priesthood after the death of his mother. He is made to do a Forrest Gump by mouthing, ‘Mama hamesha kehta tha..’ (remember, Goans are not supposed to know proper Hindi). His childhood friend Sameer is apprehensive about taking him home since Pinto with his heart of gold is known to get into trouble without trying. It is New Year’s Eve and as expected it is a series of breaks and tears and getting locked out in the balcony in a dressing gown. We were supposed to be laughing or at least smiling.


Crunch, crunch…The popcorn kept us awake as we waited with bated breath for the comedy scenes to begin…Even a Jaane-bhi-do-yaaron-style dead body making its rounds through the movie can’t elicit a smile.

When one tub was finished, (for once, I managed to keep pace with the L&M) he got up for a refill and I woke up enough to watch a bit of the film…The entire story is set in one night when Pinto encounters a series of character — a stereotyped don, a drunk B-grade movie actress, a gambler, a bunch of children who steal his wallet after he helps them get back their puppy, a wannabe dancer with whom he dances in the rain…

Raj Kapoor in Jaagte Raho (Pic Courtesy hindu.com

Couldn’t help but think of the other one-night-story, Jaagte Raho. It had great music by Salil Choudhury and some wonderful character actors enacting great roles in that 1956 movie.


The L&M is back with the popcorn. We are both bored to tears by now and want to leave. But we had the popcorn to finish first.

And then the trap-of-two hit me! I could not finish the second tub of popcorn, which I had demanded in my greed much the same way I would demand a second glass of ganne ka ras when I was younger. I might have, had we stayed till the end but I wanted to leave fast. So I meekly gave up my share to the L&M and gratefully left the hall a few minutes later.

Now you know why this can’t be a movie review.

Image (top) courtesy: ondemand.erosentertainment.com


  1. Try this:

    Go for a horror movie with L&M and if you are not able to finish the popcorn, towards the end of the movie – during the climax – you can have scared jerks which obviously would spill few corns 🙂

    you can improvise on these as per situations 😉


    1. Do you think the popcorn will remain till the end? A horror movie is the L&M’s delight which means he will eat double fast than his fastest. I will lose anyway 😦


  2. Happy Diwali firstly! What am I hearing! Could not down two glasses of ganne ka ras! I don;t ever remember ordering less than two in one go ever! I can barely finish one tub of popcorn though. You should watch Ra-One next. You will probably finish three tubs of popcorn easily!


    1. Today I can drink even three glasses of it, but back then I was a 12-year-old, remember? And getting to eat 3 tubs of popcorn sure sounds like a swell incentive to watch a gizmo-filled movie, which i would avoid otherwise. Psst. don’t tell the L&M, will you? 😀


  3. lol. i too watched, but the guys sitting infront of me was laughing non stop. think they are seeing a movie for first time :p anyway happy diwali 🙂


    1. Some reviews said it was a comedy, maybe the were reviewing a film for the first time too 😀 Wish you a very happy Diwali too!


  4. I didn’t even know there was a film by this name! And good thing too it appears. 🙂


    1. That’s the power of such films. They can remain anonymous. Good thing you didn’t hear of it as you have rightly said. 😀


  5. Reminds me of my younger brother who always wanted two of anything 🙂


    1. But did he finish both? If he did, he deserved it 🙂


  6. Lol! Thank your stars you dont get into the trap of 2 for seeing movies! 🙂


    1. That would be a disaster especially if I am stuck with movies like MFP 😀


  7. Hahaha…poor you! Two tubs of popcorn in a row, watching a silly movie that bores you to death! Now you know why i don’t watch movies in theatres;) A pirated DVD would do, if you just don;t want, you can shut it and forget it!!! And that ganne ka ras reminded me of my younger brother who always made me lose my bets and drink my share:P Great post, Zephyr!


    1. But it is not the same watching a movie on DVD! The whole fun is in going to the theatre, nagging the L&M to hold my hand (to guide me to my seat in the dark) wangling for the popcorn and enjoying a good movie. But sometimes one ends up with such duds too!
      you lost bets and lost the ras? But I WON the bet and still lost it LOL


  8. All you needed was a dash of lemon and ginger in your ganne kaa rass to make it less sweet 🙂 And this is the most adorable review, I have ever read.

    P.S Have you ever thought of trading your second tub of popcorn with coffee?


    1. Alas! If I had known so much I wouldn’t have been the dumb kid that I was back then 🙂 As for coffee, are you kidding? I get the cold drink so that I can drink it by myself as the L&M doesn’t drink cold stuff. He keeps asking though, ‘Is it warm enough now?’ and I promptly reply in the negative sipping faster to finish it when it is still cold 😀

      I told you it was not a review. Why doesn’t anyone believe me?


  9. Nice post!!! Loved reading it and a few past ones :-)))
    May I suggest something? If you could change the font color to a darker one, that would make it an easy read… Hope you don’t mind my little suggestion.

    Would love to read more here.


    1. Glad you liked the post and older ones too 🙂 I have been telling the younger brat to make some changes to the template but he seems to be so busy that he has not yet got round to it. Fear not, I will nag him into submission sooner than later 😀 Do visit again. Do you also have a blog? I am asking because it is not linked here.


      1. I do have a blog, but it is absoluetly inactive at the moment. Will link it once I make it active again 🙂


        1. Looking forward to it. Do link back and let me know when you activate it!


  10. Ah so that’s where you were when I called you. The background sounds were intriguing enough to make me think that you were having fun 🙂

    And thank you so much for the excellent review. No, no don’t protest. I lnow you didn’t mean the post to turn out as a review, but … 😀


    1. I was most certainly having fun, since I was still on the first helping of popcorn 😀 But why is no one believing me when I say it was NOT a film review? 😀


  11. alkagurhalka · · Reply

    Junior Babbar was pathetic in Dum maro Dum …Just because he is Smitas son he is getting movies.

    I havent seen a good movies since ages,,,….I dont have ganne ka ras but I am going to make popcorn right now.


    1. Even Raj Babbar acted better, if you ask me and that is saying a lot. 🙂 But with no story and no scope for any emotion, one can’t expect the poor boy to do much either.
      Hope you enjoyed your popcorn 😀 Ganne ka ras is avialable in tetrapacks, did you know?


  12. ganne ke ras se lekar popcorn tak :waqt badal gaya kahaani wahi hai :))


    1. Apty put Varsha. Trust a poet to come up with that one 😀


  13. thanks for that movie review. It was one in your inimitable style! Have you ever run behind a bullock cart filled with ganne. We used to as kids when we lived in Modinagar in the heart of sugar belt. We would beg the guys on the cart to throw us a few.. we had our lucky days.

    ps: why is that times gone by are always (or seem to ) better than today?


    1. I told you it was NOT a movie review 🙂 How can I do a review after seeing just half a movie? Anyway, if it has warned you off the film, it can be called one, I guess. I can just see the bunch of kids racing behind the cart and begging the cartman! We used to eat ganna, peeling it with our teeth! And the reason times gone by sound so wonderful is because we never really grow out of our childhood since they are the best days of one’s life.


  14. hehe I don’t remember ever asking for more, but I am more often not able to finish single he . lpings and my husband always offers to finish. So much so that now I don’t even ask but just keep my plate in front of him :). Ganne ka ras though so unhygienic was always so yummy and refreshing especially in the North Indian summers of my childhood. It was replaced by an equally unhygienic gola in Mumbai 🙂


    1. Things were not so bad in those days hygeine-wise; the vendor always rinsed the glasses in running water and let them drip dry, not wipe in dirty cloth. And the twist of lemon and a dash of ginger, both squeezed with the sugarcane added a fine taste. But gola was something I never tasted till the older brat bought it for me at a hygienic joint in MG Road Bangalore some years ago. 😀


  15. ha ha you went for My friend Pinto?!!! First day, first show there were 5 people in the pvt screening I attended 😀


    1. If that was the fate of the first day first show, I can understand why it had been an empty hall on the second day! 🙂


  16. A friend’s sister has acted in this movie and he had invited me for the premier of it, which I gracefully refused as it was evident from the promos of this movie that it would disappoint in all probabilities. And i was kinda right and lucky 🙂

    Ganne ka ras has so many fond (and not so fond) memories of childhood associated. I was born and brought up in a small town. People from Mumbai used to come there for summer vacations. I had this group of 10 odd people – I called it – Bombay friends. Each evening, we used to beg of our parents to give us 5 Rs. so that we could buy one glass of it for 3 Rs. and a barf ka gola for 2 Rs. I still miss those places and days, your post took me back to that time, so thank you 🙂


    1. Were you lucky to refuse the offer! Even the premiere would have run to an empty hall, I am sure 🙂

      Ganne ka ras and gola? Sound great. Unfortunately our mother didn’t allow us to have golas, wonder why. Glad the post took you back to your childhood. Visit again!


  17. Zephyr, I dozed several times as I read about your friend Pinto and the damned notebook kept falling off to the floor! I hadn’t realized how critical ganne ka ras and popcorn tubs could be in your life before.


    1. Hey Umashankar, one can’t make our from your comment if the film story put you to sleep or the post did 🙂 And knowing you, I think it is most definitely the latter 😀 No, these two are not the only ones that are critical for my well-being. There are some more critical ones too 😀


  18. ahhahahahaaha! you know Zephyr..this happens to me also…I order like a total ‘pakki’ (thats Tamil) and then end up eating almost nothing..and the rest goes to RD!

    MFP is bad is it…loads of people gave me the same review!

    I now so much want popcorn!

    I havent been to a theatre to watch a movie in ages!! so kinda jealous of you 🙂 Does that make you any happy 🙂


    1. How I know the perils of being a pakki! Your film time will start if you find some good children’s movie to take R to. We have now completed our job of raising the brats and so can take off any time we want to, the only problem being finding good films to watch 🙂


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