Wait for your cousin to make an annual trip to Islamabad so your family actually gets together for a movie. Talk endlessly about which movie. Always a conflict between the action movie the nephews choose in a heart beat & whatever else is running -the reluctant groans of everyone.
Finalize a date & pick a movie. Yes Iron Man 3 wins. The night before realize we collectively have no clue about the show timings. Panic about the time.
Find out the time. Plan to leave 1:45 minutes before time. Find something imperative to do two hours before. Get Delayed. Panic about the time. Reach home to pick up all the bachas to realize we’ve cut it too fine. We’ve missed the Movie. Walk in to a sweet little face asking us if we’ve watched Iron Man without them. Feel guilt waves consume you. Recuperate. Decide to go online & search other timings.
Realize that we were misinformed about the time. Could’ve made it had we left then. Groan. Search more to find out there is an evening show of 6pm. In Lahore. Great. Get the phone numbers of 3 different places showing the movie, as the info isn’t reliable online. Go through a weary paper and find all the cinemas with all the movie timings.
Select Star Trek. Groan some more. Choose an early time, as kids will get tired. Call up workaholic cousin & blast her for not joining us. Choose a later show-time so that workaholic cousin gets no excuse not to join. Call up cousin and sister blasts her in the usual foray of Persian , English and Urdu. Have one twin leave to go home and change. Elders panic about time. Kids watch their ”favorite Cartoon” on TV with bad teeth & scary creatures they find cute.
Call twin till she leaves. When she comes & everyone is out the door misplace bag.
Go looking for it in 3 floors of the house. Basement, ground floor, first floor. Get yelled at. Ignore it as run down first floor, ground floor and basement. Check in an unsuspecting place. Sigh with relief. Run up to an incredulous voice saying “your still here? Why are you still here?!!!”.Run out breathless, little niece in tow to find out there is a brawl over the front seat & the two nephews.
Keep Calm & apply gloss.
Crisis heads towards tantrum, and kids piled into the car and everyone fits in. One car sent for rehabilitation of workaholic cousin.
Talk on the way about how beautiful Islamabad is. One child decides there are enough space and so wedges her arms to the mid row of seats. And then slowly tilts half her body and is legs up in the air. Tumbles into her mamas lap.
Mission accomplished smiles.
Take the scenic view in. End up at Lok Virsa. See a dinosaur cum giraffe figure & get the kids excited about it as we whizz past. Realize as we come onto airport road we missed a turning & ended taking a long route .Get a call from cousin to say car 2 hasn’t reached.
Find out car 2 has had a puncture.
Reach the cinema.
Stand at someone else’s car while everyone else gets out. Two decide to get the tickets while the rest go to Mc Donalds. Realize child is still standing at the stranger’s car thinking that is where we’re supposed to be. Collect everyone ,split up & go in respective directions .
Reach McDonalds.Go to the ordering counter. Hum n Hmm while deciding. Ignore scathing looks of the person taking the order, as children change their minds. Order. Have someone Pop in to request the meal to be upgraded to large, extra fries. Decide to call up cousin & ask her order too. Hear the cashier groan .Mumble. Finalize the order.
Go to play area where kids aren't playing. Go into play area and play. Have nephew point out the board which says it’s for 13 year olds only. Reply in a witty lawyerish way which leaves nephew thinking you’re 13.Panic about the food not coming in time before the movie. Have nieces run without shoes, while the older one runs behind her with shoes.
Go in turns to pray Maghribain. Where there seems to be a vacuum where half the crowd doesn't come back. Have a sweet & polite helper get confused amongst me and my twin. Explain .
Food arrives. Trudge kids to wash their hands. Decide to get ketchup sauces on the way with reluctant little nephew. Watch as group after group of guys impolitely take trays of sauces while he watches.
They feel guilty but not enough to give way. Get the ketchup & go to seat.
15 minutes to show.
Everyone is quiet eating, while some are still praying.
Have oldest nephew finish first and yell about how we are going to miss the movie.Keep eating and hear him yelling intermittently.
Gulp down more food.
Cousin reappears from vacuum.
Tell her to eat fast.
More yelling about time.
Get up and get to security booth. Have the mom panic about sending her son to the separate security scan. Go through. Get bags checked. Proceed to main counter ,to have bags checked again. See girls in line have their water bottles confiscated, hear them joke that it is dum ka pani.
Clear through security. Have cousin start debate with the lady checking the bags about what we could’ve put in our bags from security post one to short walk security post two. Groan and tell her we’ll miss movie. Wait for others to join. (While they are debating at post one about what bombs could fit into their bags).See them in the distance. Go towards the gate.
Hand over passes; hear guard say it’s incorrect.
Panic. Two kids run through glass doors like Forest Gump. Panic. Find tickets .Yell it’s for 9 people. Have guard mumble wearily. Grab tickets and have cousin scream,” RUN OR WE’LL NEVER MAKE IT”. Tell self-it’s not stares its smiles. People are smiling.
Kids run faster for popcorn station. Reach there. Get 3-D glasses .Go into the hall showing the movie. It’s nearly empty. Sigh as the kids line up in the front row. Convince them to take seats in second last row as tickets state. They wont budge.
Tell kids to get up. They wont budge.
Have khaleh put arm on nephew to pull him out. Khaleh says he is like a tree that wont move. Hear him yelp. Move into correct hall as kids complain we have missed “HALF” the movie .Take our seats. Ignore questions about pop-corn.
Watch movie. It starts with controlling tears and ends there too .(For the actors not the people watching, unless you’re crying out of boredom).
Interval seems more like electricity going off as it is in mid-conversation.
Get popcorn, drinks, Nachos.
See candy station.
Be given the powers of overseeing candy selection. Choose all sour-candies for self. Make way back to movie to find pleasantly that it has started. The more I could miss of it the better.
Dramatic Pause in movie.
Say loudly “I’m sorry, I never meant for this to happen”.
Dramatic Pause over, chuckle as actor repeats same words. Yes, that is the predictability of the movie.
Share sour candies and nachos. Have a grumpy lady shush a little niece. Niece pulls the lady’s pony tail in reply. Have one child say she wants chips “Now”. Have another say she must go to bathroom “Now ”.
Mum of kids keeps Calm & Watches movie.
Have child who wanted to go to bathroom seconds earlier say she is thirsty.
Movie over. Credits begin to roll. Jump up & tell everyone to go out. Kids see Pepsi to quench their thirst but not allowed to exit that way. Go to restaurant to get water and Pepsi. Single file out to take away window.
Show shock and horror at incredibly inflated prices. Use opportunity while cousin is showing shock and horror to ask about the 3-D Motion Ride. Get tickets. Ask if the younger kids can go. He says 4 and above. Everyone piles into the small waiting area. Ask mum of the kids if youngest is above 4 years. Have some commotion happen which makes her end up laughing while crying. Have a pile-up on kids. Avoid second fight between khaleh & nephew.
Take so long to decide which movie that two groups go in. Decide on one adventure. Pleased to state “Haunted House of Blood warith” loses with only one vote.
Sit in the seats. Have older cousins scream about seat belts not being secure. Have workaholic cousin scream the gear handles are loose. Have man explain they are meant to be movable .Have youngest kid slip out of her seat and sit on mothers lap. Have someone scream about how they cant wear 3-D glasses. Have man explain futility of 3-D Ride without them. Get kids in respective seats (movie hasn't started). Have cousins scream to be saved. Laughter & Commotion on cue.
Man starts movie realizing we will never “calm down”.
Screams and laughter rips the air as seats lunge forward. Don’t know if people are screaming from fear of falling or from fun.
Ride over and as we get off the seats laughing, the youngest bursts into screams. Clutches her mother and screams and screams and screams. Everyone is still laughing so hard they can hardly catch their breath. Mum of child says she is only three. Groan tell her it was 4 years old and above.
Sit in waiting area, waiting for child to calm down. Meanwhile fight breaks out over missing candy packets. Effect of fight is that it adversely calms down younger sister as she watches older siblings fight.
See workaholic cousin standing triumphant despite the wreckage of the enterprise and the ride, holding three popcorn buckets, smiling.
Laugh and make way to car. Everyone thanks everyone as car waits at the back .Make way home.
Realize ten minutes into going home that car 2 isn't following as supposed to.
Park near annoying dhol walas. Try to get cousin on phone. Cant get through. Restrain other cousin from telling dhol walas off. Cant get through to cousin. Message her and tell her she is lost. Ten minutes later get through to her. On stubbornness of (hungry) driver they kept following a wrong car. While a cousin kept saying “I can see their pony-tails- they are not in HIJAB!”. Get to cousin’s location.
Talk about chali walas increased prices. Compare it to Magic Corn walas who sell it for Rs 100. Workaholic cousin says that the man selling Magic Corn insists they are imported corn from Malaysia. Says chaliwala will slit wrists if he knows Malaysian corn is being sold at triple prices.
Cousin on phone with shocked spouse at time. It is One:am.
Make plan to meet tomorrow.
Let it begin all over again.
P.S : Oh and if you're wondering this is how it always is & I love it :)