A journalist friend of mine (who works for a different newspaper) yesterday invited me for a Nepali movie screening for this afternoon. That wasn’t strange given the trend in Nepal that reporters covering movies in Kathmandu routinely work on behalf of film makers. They also help filmwallas with managing the press show and publicity. I shun the idea and I can’t even imagine me doing the same but can’t really say anything about others, can I? I happily accepted the invitation as I am trying to give more coverage of Nepali film industry these days in the newspaper I work for.
As I was about to go to the theater (again the same horrible Shivadarshan in New Baneshwor), Pawan Neupane of the Kathmandu Post came smiling.
“Wanna go for a movie?” I asked.
“A Nepali movie. It’s called Durga.”
Pawan frowned at me. Perhaps he wanted to punch on my face. What? Nepali film? His reply:
“Hyaa…janna ma Nepali film herna. [No, I will not go to see a Nepali film.]” Now Pawan, the darilwal Pawan Dev, started speaking about a few thousand things he had to do in the afternoon.
“Come on, jau na jau yar, may be you can write something out of it,” I insisted. After he realized I would not let him go Pawan was read to accompany me.
“But you have to sponsor my trip [to New Baneshwor and back to office],” he said as we got out of office in an ‘if-not-i-am-not-going’ tone.
“Okay,” I said. “We will leave the show in the middle and come back if the movie is too boring.”
As we were walking on the streets of New Baneshwor with BICC on our right, Pawan nearly stumbled upon a few girls several times. “Damn beautiful,” said my bearded partner. “Oh…yea,” I said. [Rest, when we return back from the theater!]
We saw a band jaba procession and Pawan commented: “Kati biha bhayeko ho!” Then we talked about the marriages of Rajaram Gautam in Kathmandu and Deepak Adhikari in Jhapa. “It’s the season of marriage.” But what we were seeing now was a strange “marriage” procession. The music was in full volume and some people were walking with the tune. They were not Jantis and there were no behula or behuli. They were carrying placards of the movie Durga that we were going to see. A new way of promoting the movie in town just before its release in Kathmandu!
We reached there and met the scribe who invited me. There was no sign that the screening would start on the given time. After a few hand shakes and exchange of smiles, we became increasingly bored. “Let’s enter the theater and see the movie for about 15 minutes,” I told Pawan. We waited for about another 15 minutes but saw no sign of the film being screened. “Lets go,” I said and we moved out.
“Wow,” Pawan’s eyes were not on the street but on a girl walking on the other side of the road. “So beautiful!”
“Where, where?” I asked.
“There. Not that beautiful but still…”
“Look at her,” I said pointing to another girl. “She is more beautiful.”
“Yes,” Pawan said.
“Too many beautiful girls around these days.”
“Exactly. Don’t know what has happened but I am also seeing too many beautiful girls. Look at her!”
Ha, ha. Enough with ‘beautifuls’. I was feeling dehydrated and wanted to drink sugarcane juice. “Want to have?” I asked. Why not?
We came back, safe and sound, to office. Job of writing stories was waiting for me.