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A couple of months back, on a weekend, the L & M and I watched a movie during lunchtime. Frankly, I didn’t even know what I was eating that day. Whatever it was, curdled, as soon as it reached, my stomach. So tense was I the whole time.

The movie is all about this pizza delivery boy who goes to deliver, what else, but pizza, at a huge house. The lady of the house lets him in and then not finding enough cash in her handbag to pay him, goes upstairs to get the required amount.

Well, that’s it. From then on all sorts of weird things start happening to him.

The front door bangs shut. That, as everyone knows, is mandatory in movies when the scary part starts. Next the lights go off, which sort of falls in the same category. The pizza guy waits in vain for the lady to turn up and finally decides to go upstairs. After what seems nerve-wracking hours of blundering (but are only minutes) through darkness in the light of his cell phone, finding and lighting candles et al, he finds her, dead as a door nail, all bloodied and stuck on the wall of a room. Soon there is this spooky looking kid that enters the story, alive at first and the next thing you know, she is also dead and stuck on the wall. The lady has apparently been mysteriously scraped off to make place for the latest corpse.

Next comes a man, who starts off by shouting and banging on the front door from the outside, wanting to know what’s happening (Isn’t that what all of us viewers want to know too?!) inside. But before you can say “Pizza!” he mysteriously joins the throng inside the house with the front door still locked. Not to be outdone this man also goes and gets himself stuck to the wall, all cold and very much dead. Same room, same spot. Well, I really don’t know why all three were so fascinated by that particular wall. But of course there is no accounting for taste of corpses which probably differ greatly from those of live humans like us.

Anyway suffice to say they all succeed in scaring the sh*t out of the poor pizza delivery chap and in the process poor old innocent me too. If all this plastering of walls with dead bodies isn’t enough, there are telephones that ring even with wires cut, mysterious callers calling up the chap (Thank God, not me!) scaring him, while his own perfectly ’healthy’ cell phone, stops working when he tries to get help. Creaking doors and sudden odd noises add to the rest. To think the movie had started off with a lovey-dovey scene between a young couple! Sigh. Such a master stroke of deception!

When we had been through half of the movie, the L & M switched it off, and I woke up from my stupor. Our usual habit is to watch half the movie at lunchtime and the other half during dinner. Walking upstairs I had a sudden revelation. I hate horror movies. And yet, unbelievably, all my life I have sat through them as if someone has ordered me to, without a murmur, stressed out, but refusing to get up and walk away, as if proving a point, God knows to whom or why.

It amazed me that this had never occurred to me earlier than this. Sigh. Sometimes it takes pretty long, half a century even, to realize some things. That Saturday, walking up the steps, realization had dawned, making things crystal clear: I really did not HAVE to watch this movie and go through all that unnecessary stress. So I turned to the L & M and told him,

“I don’t want to watch this movie. Such movies make me unnecessarily tense!”

There! Having put it into words, I felt so free and light. In real life, as an Infantry Officer’s wife, I have had to stay by myself a lot. I have never been scared. I am wary only of “real” bad people (which is simply being practical in a world such as ours), not paranormal beings. None of my family, had even an inkling about the way I felt (And some outsiders think they are competent enough to judge me from what I write!) until that post lunch hour, when enlightenment dawned and I revealed all.

The L & M, never one to put me through something I don’t like, readily agreed. So post dinner, only when I was safely upstairs, did he see the rest of the movie. Later on, when he came upstairs to sleep, I was still awake. What happened? I asked him eagerly. What if I was too jittery to see it, I was curious to know how it all ended. (*spoiler-alert* Here is where those who want to watch the Tamil movie ‘Pizza’ stop reading and start leaving.) The L & M laughed out loud at my question and said, there was not a single spooky scene in the second half of the movie. And what’s more, the first half had all been just a wild story concocted by the pizza boy with the ulterior motive of getting his hands on some money.

Well, well, well, well, well! Who would have thought that! But one good thing happened out of it all. I learnt of something that I was doing wrong and corrected it. All’s well that ends well. Eh?