When was the last time you head for the movies? Over the recent weekend? Last week? Last month? Dare I say last year?
Me, I don't remember, but Pak Abu, whose memory beats me hands down each time, said we have not gone near a cinema since we returned from the Hajj, and that was in January 2009.
Ever since the old man and I got hitched a decade ago, we have been to the cinema all of five or six times, averaging one movie in every two years. Not bad, considering how much I shun tengok wayang.
The abovementioned forays, by the way, were strictly for creepy films, one of the two genres I do not mind, the other being animation. Except for The Others, The Ring and Shutters, I can't recall the other two (or three).
(I watched a few other spine-tingling stuffs such as Blair Witch Project, Sixth Sense, Paranormal Activities etc in the comfort of my living room].
There is no specific reason for this disinclination towards the cinema. I'm just not drawn to films and couldn't care less about theatre offerings either. Neither do I like concerts and stageshows.
People who knew me from back then would probably find this strange, considering I spent the last few years of my journalistic career as an entertainment writer for an afternoon daily.
Those were the early years of TV3 when Mahadzir Lokman, Wan Zaleha Radzi, Ezzah Aziz Fauzi, Norfarahin Jamsari and Fuad Rahman held court, a time when TV3 and the NST group were part of a big family.
A time when Klang-born and bred Fauziah Latif was just a skinny and shy Form Five kid with sawo matang skin and big ears, but one who sang like a nightingale.
And of course, a time when singing diva Sharifah Aini couldn't bear to hear my name mentioned without going all prickly, all because I occasionally wrote critical reviews about her performances.
But I digress, we're talking films.
Once, there was a 14-year span (the entire duration of my single-momhood, actually) between one visit to the cinema and the other.
In 1987, not long after the big 'D', I went with some friends to watch comedy flick Ruthless People starring Danny de Vito and Bette Midler. It was meant to lift my flagging spirit, and it did.
I didn't step into a movie theatre again until 2001, when Pak Abu took me to watch Pearl Harbour. By then it was called cineplex (and looked and felt) eons better than the dilapidated, cramped panggung wayang of old.
It was there, in one darkened cineplex in One Utama, that I learned firsthand my new mate's peculiarity; he snored contentedly as the Japs rained bombs on the hapless harbour.
Way back in the '60s and '70s, when filem Hindustan was the rage, my best friend Hamidah, an avid fan, would regale me with long-winded tales of dramas, romances and tragedies dished out by such films.
I couldn't stomach the screenplays, but loved the songs. Only three people seemed to be singing all the playbacks then; Mohamad Rafi, Lata Mangeskha and Asha Bosle.
In 1971, whilst in Ipoh spending my school holidays with my paternal grandparents (read here), I was taken by an aunt to watch my first ever Hindi movie; Hatti Mere Sathi, about the elephant.
It would be almost three decades later (in the late 1990s) when I saw my second Hindi film, and that too out of curiosity.
The family was then living in Section 11, Subang Jaya, our (haunted) house facing the municipal council (MPSJ) padang.
Each Sunday some kind of aerobics would be held there, during which the song Kuch Kuch Ho Ta Hei would be played full blast.
The weekly blare (it went on for several months) finally got to me; I asked the kids to buy a VCD of the film so I could watch it at home. It didn't disappoint but like before, I only appreciated the songs.
And so my 'tak kisah' attitude towards the cinema in general continued, until recently when there were so much hoohas about a spate of Malay horror flicks.
I was so intrigued by discussions about Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah that I went out to purchase both Hantu Kak Limah.. and its prequel Zombi Kampung Pisang.
Thankfully, both were decent enough pictures and I found myself appreciating their directorial efforts. In fact, I'm not surprised that Zombi Kampung Pisang has reached cult status locally.
There were talks about how scary Jangan Pandang Belakang was, so I got a copy of that too. Fifteen minutes into it, I still couldn't make head or tail of the storyline. In fact, the movie seemed to progress from silliness to absurdity.
I wasn't anywhere near getting scared; far from it. Peeved, I gave up watching whilst Pak Abu plodded on valiantly. He concluded on a 'blur' note as well, poor man.
It was not until a couple of days later, when I mentioned my disappointment to son Naj, that he said: "You must have bought the spoof la Mak. It's called Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak 2."
Patutla! Small wonder I couldn't connect at all. And so, I still owe myself Jangan Pandang Belakang... I am hoping to be scared out of my wits.. boleh?