Just before they go, we see many, many silly films. ‘Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hain’. Tushar Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. ‘Haseena Maan Jaayegi’. Govinda, Sanjay Dutt, Kareena Kapoor, Pooja Batra. ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya’. Bobby Deol and Aishwarya Rai.

Thus ‘Housefull 3’ (Sajid-Farhad, 2016). Just because it’s going to be a long time before we watch silly films together again – Shy, Dhanno and me.

It was the last day at school. That small, winding lane we took home everyday, from the small gate at the back of the school, was strange. Fancifully. As if we didn’t really know where it led. As if we were going to go down it for the first time. Knowing fully well, we were going down it, perhaps for the last time.

Dhanno will go to another country for a few months. Shy will go to another continent for a few years. Other children around Dhanno are going away too to other lives.

I try not to think about it too much, because if I do, sometimes I just forget to breathe. Instead, we watch silly films. When killing ourselves wouldn’t do, we can make do with killing some brain cells.

There are too many wax figures in ‘Housefull 3’. Too many disabilities. Too many offences. The girls have names longer than their skirts. There are too many double takes needed to decipher the dialogue sheet. One person translates sounds from a language she doesn’t seem to know to another language she doesn’t know. Another makes slips of the tongue. Another speaks in acronyms. Another turns names into bad puns. Another dissociates on hearing a word. There are too many bad accents, too many languages. Too many races. Too many personalities. Too little science.

And everyone in the film seems to have their brain cells already dead. Dhanno says, “These people have only one solution to everything – switching off the lights. They think cutting off the power supply will solve all their problems.” “People, leave the electricity alone”, she says.

A large man with a large stomach had eased himself into the seat next to Shy, and promptly began to snore, even before the film began. We giggled even though it was mean. He did seem to have the right idea, though. His snores rise above the humdrum nonsense; his stomach undulates gently, amusing us much more than anything on the screen.

We don’t even have popcorn.