BYO, or Bring Your Own, is a typically Australian invention where you carry your own tipple to certain restaurants or community events. Now, the Maharashtra government has literally raised the bar by allowing moviegoers to bring their own food inside the hall or multiplex. This adds a new meaning to the phrase multiplex which now can be renamed multiplate. While it is seen as a populist measure, the scenes inside the movie theatre will rival those on the big screen. Here’s a typical day at the movies in Mumbai.
Ticket holder: I’ve been in this queue for an hour and the movie has already started, what is taking so long?
Manager: I’m sorry sir, you can see all these people bringing their plates, cutlery, masala packets, pickle bottles and tiffin carriers. In fact, I notice you are carrying a handi…
Ticket Holder: Behrouz Biryani, best in India.
Manager: Our security guards are going crazy and the metal detector hasn’t stopped beeping all day, so please bear with us while we bear with your Behrouz.
Seat 14 G: Arre Rahul ki ma, where are the papads to go with my curd rice and sambar?
Seat 12G: Don’t ask me, I’m trying to wipe the sambar stains from the tiffin box you handed me, it must be with Ramu, he’s sitting in 10G.
14G: Sorry about the spilled sambar, it’s dark in here. (Loudly) Ramu, pass the pappad. And who has the mango pickle?
Seat 12H: Shhh…we are here to watch the movie, not take part in a family picnic.
Zomato Delivery boy (shouting over the movie dialogue): Who ordered masala crab from Trishna?
8C: (Hands raised) Here, in the middle of the row.
4C: Watch it you idiot, you’re stepping on my toes, by the way that crab smells delicious, do you have any extra?
Delivery Boy: Sorry sir, we can’t see too well in the dark.
3C: That’s because it’s a 3D movie, you need special glasses.
Seat 11A: Can we stop all that yakking so some of us can hear the dialogue. Just get some popcorn like we used to.
Seat 12B: Arre Shivasundari, I can’t find the gobi ka paratha, are you sure you packed them in the tiffin carrier?
10B: I’ll find you the parathas if you find the packet of pickle I put in there somewhere, I can’t enjoy this food without it…
11B: I’m sorry, but I’m stuck between you two and all I’ve seen of the movie so far are tiffin boxes and packets being passed in front of my face. I’m going to demand my money back…
Dabbawala: Namashkar, where are the Shinde family seated?
15K: (Loudly) Here, we are at the end of the row, you will have to negotiate all these people in the dark.
Dabbawala: We are used to negotiating Mumbai’s potholes in the rains, this is a cakewalk. Ruckar Jevan.
12K: Sorry, I’m from Delhi, what does that mean?
15K: Bon appétit.
10K: Sorry Mummy, this is the last time I’m coming to a movie hall. I’m going back to watching them on my smartphone. I’ve had my toes trod on multiple times, I’ve had meat curry spilled down my neck, I have not been able to hear a single word of dialogue…
11K: Meat? Did you say meat? I am a strict vegetarian, how dare you eat meat in front of me? Bhagwan bachao, I am sitting next to a meat eater! What sin I have committed…
13K: This is a public place, not your dining table at home. And what is that you are munching on?
11K: Vada pav madam, made by wife’s own hands and garnished with home made chutney and green chillies…
12K: Chillies! No wonder my mouth is burning. I must have dipped my fingers into your plate in the dark, thinking it was cucumber.
Seat 9J: This is a strange feeling. The hero and heroine are at a dinner party munching on kababs and I can smell Bombil fry. Must be that immersive sensory experience the multiplex was advertising.
2J: Something sure smells fishy.
Attendant: Ladies and gentlemen, during the interval, we will be handing out portable garbage bins, please put all your leftovers and dirty plates and dishes into it. Our last show started an hour late because it took so long to clean up the food stains and remove the leftover pickles and masala packets from the seat pockets.
Seat 1B: We are in the last row, we’re halfway through the movie and I have no clue what is and what it’s about thanks to this racket and the dishes being passed from one seat to another. What is the movie called?
2B: Bheja Fry