Basic Instinct was a revolutionary movie! It had turned millions of boys across the globe into men in a matter of hours.

I was in the first year of under graduation when the movie was released.

I studied in a residential college, run by monks, so we had strict rules and regulations. The first year used to be the toughest. Students were not allowed to go out of the campus without showing exit slips, signed by the hostel warden, at the gate. There was a TV in the hostel, which often needed a healthy thrashing to switch on, but we were allowed only to watch the regional Bengali movie on Saturdays. No Hindi movies were allowed. Once in a while the warden organized movie shows. I remember watching Ben-Hur and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin in hostel. But such shows were few and far between.

After two grueling years of senior secondary, with constant parental nagging and badgering, we were desperately looking for some freedom. But it turned out to be worse than home. We felt like staying in a jail, especially in the first year (looking back, it feels completely different though).

Overall our college had (and still has) the reputation of being one with students of high moral (!) standards, whatever that means. It’s probably not untrue but exceptions do exist.

We did manage to give a slip once in a while, with excuses like going to the British Council Library for studying or College Street for buying books, and watched movies. But watching Basic Instinct in a theatre was like an irresistible temptation from Satan, as we were fully aware of the consequences. If the monks got to know about it, we would be sent home straightway, with the transfer certificate in hands. But risk-taking is in our genes, started by our nth grandparents Mr Adam and Ms Eve.

So we made a plan. In fact it was Abhishek (name changed for obvious reasons) who masterminded the plan. It was decided that we would go out from different gates to minimize the chances of getting caught and meet at the bust stop. We would then go to a movie hall fifteen kilometer away from the hostel and watch the afternoon show so we could come back before dinner. While returning we would enter from different gates.

The plan worked well till we reached the theatre. Suddenly something went wrong and it had to be with Abhishek. The guard at the theatre allowed all of us to enter, except for Abhishek. Abhishek had a small built, with boyish features and without any traces of facial hair, he looked like a school kid. The guard was adamant not to allow anyone under eighteen.

When we tried to intervene, we were admonished as the guard thought Abhishek was one our under-age cousins. The more we tried to explain the more he got angry. It was not that we were loyal to our friendship but we knew that without Abhishek we would not be able to watch the movie. We could not take the risk of him going back to the hostel and informing the warden about our adventure.

Nervous and jittery, Abhishek did a blunder and said that he was a college student and could show his ID card. The guard asked him to show the ID card. We were terrified with the possible consequences but Abhishek was desperate. He took out his ID card and flashed it to the guard, who was stunned to see the name of the college. For a good ten seconds, he was silent and then allowed Abhishek to enter. Thankfully, the ID card did not carry the college’s telephone number.

We could hear the guard muttering about our moral degradation. But who cares about morality when it comes to Sharon Stone and Basic Instinct. We hurried towards the hall. The movie had already started!

— Supriyo Kar

Photo Courtesy: Vecteezy