August 15, 2012

The Popcorn Protocol

I never understood the logic behind movie theaters playing the National Anthem just before the movie starts. Apparently, that's the law in Maharashtra. While I don't expect anything better from Maharashtra's political class, this is particularly amusing.

Doesn't it feel a little weird? One moment you're watching a Vicco Turmeric ad, the next moment Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle are singing "Jana gana mana..." and it is followed by a three minute promo of an Akshay Kumar movie. It doesn't make any sense, especially if the movie you're trying to watch has out of work porn stars in it!

And it gets funnier because it always starts when you least expect it. You think that the anthem is at least a couple of ads away. You're still settling down with your popcorn, your glass of Pepsi, your girlfriend's handbag, maybe a three year old kid hanging from your shoulder and suddenly the "Please Stand up for National Anthem" sign is on the screen and everyone starts looking at you like you work for the ISI!

Now you have to stand in attention but you don't know where the popcorn goes. Does it go across the chest like a soldier holds his gun? What if you have popcorn in one hand and Pepsi in the other? Then you have to put in some extra effort to not get carried away by the patriotism of the moment because saluting the national flag is not a good idea if you have soda in your right hand!

These things bother me. Our PT teacher back in high school told us nothing about popcorn during our preparations for the Independence Day parade. I have asked a few people if there is a Popcorn Protocol for situations like this but everyone only says, "Whatever works man!" I wonder how they do it in the Army.

My only exposure to the National Anthem after high school has been at movie theaters in Mumbai and on almost all occasions, it was followed by munching unhealthy amounts of popcorn. So now, I am sort of conditioned to it. Like Pavlov’s dog, I now associate the National Anthem to the taste of popcorn and my mouth starts watering by the time I finish, “Jaya jaya jaya jaya hai!

Now where is my popcorn?

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  1. The same thing can be said about Religion. Or do you differentiate between types of pots?


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