( from chapter 2)
It all began in a lazy Kochi Saturday afternoon, when all of Kochi was emblazoned with the oomph of Urmila Matondkar’s skimply clad postures, that attracted amorous gapes by naïve looking pedestrians every where; a slight drizzle added to the revelery by making the roads shine and fill up with puddles. All roads seem to be ending at the Sridhar Theatre, which was ready with its first show of the Hindi movie Rangeela. A crowd, braving the incessant drizzle, had built up in front of the theatre pushing and prodding for a place near the gate at the ticket counter. Aji stood under the turret of a near by building protecting himself from the drizzle that seemed to be developing into a heavy shower, adoringly looking at the huge cut-out of the heroine of Rangeela. He wasn’t waiting exactly for the gates at the first class ticket counters to open, but for someone whom he was incessantly following for an opportunity to meet. In the morning at the chat, Lathika had hinted to Aji (for Lathika, he was still a faceless guy called Kochunni who lived 100 kms away), of her movie program with her friends in the evening. Moreover, that sent signals to his twisted brain indicating an opportunity to meet Lathika in flesh and blood. Her other attributes revealed on the course of the chat were by-heart to him. Therefore, it wasn’t much of a difficulty in identifying her.
As he stood uncomplainingly under the difficult circumstances of rain and the irksome crowd, he began to feel that; finally, his patience has been paid off, when he saw a lone, tall girl under a colorful umbrella on the road walking with beautiful stride towards the theatre. Lathika! He murmured in joy. She wore a flowery skirt that barely covered her knee and a bright pink top that floated on her curvaceous body. Her face had that sweet innocence that he had stared with adulation umpteen times as images in his monitor. Aji was ecstatic, although he knew that he has to use all his ammunitions to start a conversation with her. Kochunni was not Aji and vice versa! Kochunni known to Latika, atleast in her imagination, was a six-footer handsome hunk and Aji was nowhere near. A skinny guy who could be, not even touching 5’3” ; a bony face character with two protruding teeth in the front, definitely was going to invite that beautiful girl’s wrath.His physical shortcomings were suddenly looming large in his mind. However, he was not letting himself loose such a wonderful opportunity; after all why was he beguiling away the valuable 6 months of his life into enticing the lass. As she approched the gates that paved an opening to the way to the balcony, Aji caught up with her, walking in quick strides.
He called out from behind,” Madam, do you have tickets?”
She was obviously surprised and turned back with a curious look. She had bent her head and look down at the puny guy,
She replied with a smiling face,” Is the balcony already filled up?”