She collects movie tickets. She has done so since she was eleven. It all started innocently enough. The first ticket was pasted in her diary to commemorate the first movie her parents took her to see. Valmeeki. And so it started. Since then the pages of her diary were filled with nothing but movie tickets. There were occasional entries, but they were all mostly about the movies. Small details that would have interested no one else. The colour of the sari the woman in the row in front had worn. The puff she had eaten in the interval. The hairstyles the heroines sported. She now had fifty journals, chronicling every movie she had ever seen. She liked to look at her old books, and proclaim aloud ‘Tickets used to be only Rs.3 back then. Balcony ones at that’. They sat on her bookshelf, next to the colour photo of Sai Baba and a black and white one of her on her wedding day. The other residents no longer came to see her now, they were scared she would bring out her books and start showing them her collection. All they wanted to do was talk about how their sons didn’t come to see them. Or how their daughter-in-law hid the Marie biscuits. She had no such stories of her own. Hers had been a quiet life. No children. A quiet husband with an even temperament unacquainted with passions and outbursts. Loves, losses, mental breakdowns, adventures, sad and happy endings, children, meddling inlaws and irksome neighbours had been left to others to act out. While she watched with rapt attention, left with nothing at the end of it all, but a small yellow stub.

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