Saturday, July 20, 2013

Divine Intervention, or Dumb Luck? At the Movies, Whistle.


When I arranged my travel plans for Bangalore this summer, I had a vague discomfort that my return departure date was a Friday, July 12, and early in the morning. In spite of the fact that Bangalore visits are always enjoyable, and that you have to return to your Silicon Valley home some time anyway, I figured 23 days was good enough of a break from Silicon Valley. However, there was some nagging, indescribable, dissatisfaction.


Fridays are when new movie releases happen nearly everywhere I know, and certainly in both the United States and India. And, one of my acquaintances works in the South Indian movie industry, and I had information before I left on my vacation that the movie in which the acquaintance had acted would be released in early July. I interpreted early July to mean July 5, a Friday. Was I being overly optimistic? Could it be released on July 12, rather than on July 5, thus making it impossible for me to see any show on the day of my scheduled departure?

It turned out that the movie got released on July 12. Not July 5, also a Friday, no. The powers that be had chosen July 12 as the release date. And, I had the prospect of missing out on seeing the movie. (Calls to my airline quashed any hopes of my being able to travel a day or two later).

My flight's scheduled departure time: 06:30 am, Fri July 12. Thus, I'd have to forgo watching the movie because the earliest time the movie would be screened would be at 10:00 am or so.

When I arrived at the airport at about 03:30 am, to conform to the recommended 3 hours earlier for international flights, I was greeted by the airlines' agent saying they'd apologize for the delay in the further departure time of the flight, and that I'd have to stay overnight at London, at the airlines' expense of course, to catch a flight to San Francisco the next day. The Bangalore-London flight would arrive at Heathrow a bit too late to make the San Francisco connection.

Change of Travel

Rather than staying in London, why not extend my stay in Bangalore? That'd give me adequate time to watch the movie of my concern, Whistle. Would the airlines oblige? The airlines indeed obliged and put me on an alternate carrier about 20 hours later, from Bangalore, thus forgoing their corresponding revenue. Ah, divine intervention.

A companion and myself flanking
the movie poster at the cinema
My companions flanking
the movie poster at the cinema.
I got busy after I taxied back to home in South Bangalore, planning my next move. Get to the box office to secure the cinema seats: I didn't want another screw-up to occur. You know the English idiom, close, but no cigar or, as in the Kannada proverb, ಕೈಗೆ ಬಂದ ತುತ್ತು ಬಾಯಿಗಿಲ್ಲ. Within a few minutes of the opening of the box office at a nearby cinema, I had secured enough tickets for two companions and myself.

Whistle is a Kannada language movie with good suspense and romance sewn together. A bit of a Hollywood touch in a Kannada movie, if you will. And, it is short too, by Indian standards: about 120 minutes.

After the movie, I went home, got some dinner, and got ready for the changed international flight.


The latest word on the net is that the movie has been chosen to be presented at the Berlin Film Festival. To think now that I'd have missed watching the movie, had the airline's flight not been sufficiently delayed? It was very important for me to have watched the movie:  You see, Kannada movies do not have as much of an exposure in the United States as the Hindi language — Bollywood — movies do. And, yes, you can always watch the movie on the Internet a few months later, right? Wrong. Timing in life is everything.

Divine intervention, or dumb luck?

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