The cool breeze, the beautiful clear sky, the empty roads.
The freedom you have to go wherever you want, to do whatever you want, the knowledge that no one really knows where you are, the thought of having fooled your teachers, your parents and those foolish children who sat inside school studying.
It was the most beautiful, amazing, marvelous, remarkable, incredible, extraordinary, spectacular thing I knew of. The feeling of Bunking school gave the most heavenly feeling anything ever had..until that day. That day, I learnt one of the most important lessons of my life.
It all started when mine and one of my best friends, Aishwarya’s section got split up in 11th. We just never had enough time to talk! And those 20 minutes of break were just not enough for us!
One day Aishwarya said, “Hey, lets bunk school tomorrow! We can go for a movie, it’ll be so much fun!”
“Bunk School? Hmmm…Oh! you evil genius!”
We had a unit test. And people were allowed to leave the school very easily after a unit test, on account of being sick, or having to go elsewhere, or whatever other excuses you could think of. And since Aishwarya and I were in different sections, no one would really get suspicious!
So that was that. We got out of school very easily. I had dance rehearsals, and Aishwarya was sick. Pretty genuine right?
The minute we were out, we were jumping, shouting, yelling, screaming! We were bunking school. And at that time this idea for some reason really fascinated me.
That day we really wanted to go for a movie. And it wasn’t just something we wanted, we CRAVED it. You know the kind of cravings that you get in the middle of the night for brownies and icecream. That kind.
So since select citywalk was walking distance from our school, we decided to go there. We got there, having already decided what movie we wanted to watch. But when we reached there and walked up to the entrance, the guard said “No, NO. Uniform. NO NO.”
What? Not allowed to enter the mall just because we were in our uniforms. What happened to democracy? Anyways, we tried to talk the guard into letting us in, but that didn’t work out too well. He was one of those migrants of delhi who couldn’t speak hindi and spoke very little English. Only they know how they survive here.
Anyways we turned around, thinking of what we should do next. We decided to go to PVR Saket. So we found an auto and off we went to PVR Saket.
By this time, we were already dreaming of nachos an ice teas, which happened to be a regular at each one of our outings. Anyways we reached PVR Saket, and walked towards the ticket counter. We found their movie schedule and decided which movie we would go for. The movie was scheduled to start half an hour from now. Until then, we would go to Planet M and shop for DVDs. And maybe step into McDonals for the Ice Tea.
So I went upto the ticket counter. 2 tickets for Bounty Hunter please.
Maam, sorry, but that’s an adult movie.
So what? We’re adults!
That was when Aishwarya came up behind me pulling me away..”umm..Payal..we cant lie today about being over 18. We’re in our uniforms!”
Oh crap! I’d completely forgotten about that. Now since there was no other show for any movie that we wanted to see soon enough, there was no point in hanging around at PVR Saket.
So anyways, we had to decide what to do next. So we thought why not go to PVR Priya. We could still make it there in time. We had time till 2. If we could rush there and find a show that started before 11:30, we could still catch a movie!
Again the déjà vu. So we rushed to find an auto. Right into PVR Priya Complex. To the ticket counter. The movie schedule.There was a show at 11:40. That worked too.
So I asked “Excuse me, 2 tickets for … 11:40 show”
Yes maam, That would be 500 Rs. Aishwarya and I looked at each other and grinned. We got in! We once again started dreaming of the movie, the nachos, the ice tea!
I turned around to take the tickets. But instead of giving me the tickets, the guy said “ Sorry Maam, We cant let you in during school hours. PVR Policy”
Policy? Really? Who the hell came up with this ridiculous idea? Being a student these days was beginning to feel like being an untouchable. And if movie halls stopped serving to students, especially during school hours, then they were kind of losing out on a huge client base there!
So anyways we turned around again, heads hung low, ashamed of being students. I was going to suggest just hanging out here and then going back in an hour, when aishwarya said “What if..we take the metro to gurgaon! They wont have any of this policy there..hopefully!
Yes, lets go to gurgaon. So once again we rushed, another auto ride, another metro ride and another rushing into the mall, rushing upto the ticket counter. By now, it was 12:00.
We both stood there quietly, side by side, looking at the movie schedule, calculating which ones we could go for.
Then we looked at the ticket counter. None of us felt like going up to the ticket counter and being told once again that we couldn’t go for a movie in our uniforms.
So this time we just turned around and left, with dignity in other words, without having to be sent away!
Friends, I learnt two lessons that day:
Firstly, There are some things that are not directly in your control. Being born in the 21st century, we have become used to having the remote control of our life in our hands. But when you do encounter these things which you can’t control no matter how badly you want to, be it other people’s emotions or PVR’s policies, take a step back and think about what you’re doing before you start trying to find ways to find the remote control again. I believe that everything happens for a reason. So maybe all the PVR guys refusing to sell us the tickets was a way of reminding us to rethink our mind-set and realize that there was really no cool factor in bunking school.
Secondly, If you ever decide to bunk school, do carry a map of the city. It’ll come in handy.