October 29, 2009

Mumbai 2009, Opening Day: They Told Me To Go Back

As evident by my last post, I was extremely excited about this day, the opening day of Mumbai Film Festival, 2009. The opening movie was Steven Soderbergh's latest offering, Matt Damon starer, The Informant!. The opening ceremony, followed by this movie was scheduled at 1900hrs. And I was there well in time. They gave me my delegate pass, after looking at the counterfoil of my registration form and informed me that I can join in from the next morning. I was not allowed to attend the screening tonight! "Today's entry is only by invitation." - the girl at the help desk explained with a forced smile. "Well, I don't know who was supposed to invite me.", I said. She couldn't appreciate the humour. I forgave her.

I had waited for this day for two months. I had waited for the evening the whole day. I didn't watch any movie during the day as I had to watch this. And there I was, on my way back. The Red Carpet, the media flashes, the announcements, the music, the Security, the expensive cars, the honourable guests - it was all there. But it wasn't for me. The Mumbai Film Festival had started. And I was going back.

Let me put it clearly. I knew the Opening Ceremony was not meant for the general public. But who cares about that! I was just expecting the thousand bucks I had paid to get the delegate pass would let me in one of the four theaters - all screening the opening movie. The opening day couldn't give anything for me to cherish. Tomorrow is going to be my Day #1.

I don't blame anyone. I forgive them all. But it is true that I was feeling a mix of too many emotions at that moment. One of them was disappointment. Others, too personal for me to talk about. It is OK, I said to myself, and moved towards Landmark book store. The wonderful book on the cinema of Jean Renoir was waiting for me...

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