Going on a date with yourself has got to be one of the most underrated experiences in the world. As a strong advocate and liberal indulger of the idea, I always get thrown reproachful stares by friends and family who can't, for the life of them, imagine why they are being refused an invitation for an outing with me that day. Often they even offer to tag along, trying to mask their tone of pity with a nonchalant proposal. I turn them down. Another day, I say.
One cannot overemphasise the refreshment such one-day excursions encourage. Beyond the odd aesthetic picture for Instagram and moments of pretending to be engrossed in leisure when you catch a neighbour figuring out why your companion for the day hasn't shown up, solo dates are fulfilling.
A place my solo self finds pleasure, every other date, is at the cinemas.
For starters, it's the most convenient option for the days that you haven't found time to pre-plan. Looking for ideas in your head for your solo date may well land you on the same old reading-a-book-in-a-cafe scheme that you played out the last three times. It is the prettiest one after all, no?
The cinemas are always a good idea, on the other hand. It could be the same theatre, the same popcorn, the same seat but a different viewing each time. No two experiences would overlap.
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A viral tweet on the topic of going to the cinemas without a companion has caught the fancy of netizens who are sharing anecdotes of their solo escapades. "How many of you have ever watched a movie in the cinema hall without accompanying anyone? In your own company only. Solitude types. And how was your experience?" writer Ekta Shah asked followers on Twitter.
"So many times. First time, it was a bit scary but I adore a solitary experience in the cinema more and more," one user wrote. "I have, and I must say, it's actually an experience like none other. A must-try, IMO. The peace you attain is unparalleled," another said. "I cannot enjoy a movie with someone else now, feels distracted," one comment read
"Almost half of the movies i watched in theatres in the last decade was alone. No compulsion to buy costly snacks in the interval," wrote one user, raising a very valid point.
Many even fondly recalled their best solo film-watching experiences. Interstellar, Boy Erased, The Conjuring, Piku, Spider-Man are some notable picks from the tens of titles mentioned.
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Film buffs (I would like to consider myself one) will likely have a more distinct taste for enjoying the solo movie-watching experience than their non-buffy counterparts only looking for 'timepass' enjoyment. Those who immerse themselves in the world rolling on the big screen appreciate best the absence of an annoying hall neighbour quipping in every few moments with wisecracks.
I, for one, don't hold back on the shushes.
The thrill of watching a film alone in a theatre crowded with a like-minded community there with the singular purpose of enjoying the visual experience is unparalleled. Thrill that the unyielding &t=3s">pandemic has snuffed out brutally.
With the hope that 2022 will change gears and slowly bring life back to the old lane, here's looking at a year of many solo dates at the cinemas.
Views expressed are the author's own.