The Beginner’s Guide to Going Solo


The Beginner’s Guide to Going Solo

Illustration: Shruti Yatam/Arré


hen I was younger and more impressionable, I made the mistake of going to the only kind of neighbourhood multiplex there is — an expensive one. I had shown up for a nearly empty morning show to watch Vin Diesel and Paul Walker (RIP, thoughts and prayers, etc) do things in cars that Bombay’s roads have never quite allowed me to.

Halfway through the film, the projector went out abruptly, as it often does during Hollywood releases in India, and the lights came on. From four rows ahead of me, I saw three classmates from school looking at me with expressions better suited to seeing someone you know actually go doggy-style on a real dog. Instead of waving at me, or saying hi, their mouths were open, forming the most sincere look of confusion I have ever encountered. I imagined an ice cream cone melt in one’s hands as he tried to register this cosmic reality of one of his brethren watching a movie, all by himself.