Tuesday, July 28, 2009

5.e

Friends are a family here. Because we have no family here. Friends become our family. And at times they seem better than families. They don’t ask you questions about your future plans. They don’t question your participation in the activities of your kin They don’t stress you out with their strains. And they can be accepted or rejected at any point of time. And similar applies to you. They can accept or reject you too based on a whim or a pointless reason. And finally make up with you because they have tied you a ‘friendship band’ on a ‘friendship day’. Friends have an ideal flexibility to form a happy family. A bonding without a bondage.

And unlike families, they gather at a single call.

When I reached the room with a bottle of Old Monk and Thums Up, I saw a line of motorbikes standing below our room. My family was here.

My steps hastened.

When I pushed open the door with my leg, I saw everybody sitting in a circle, prepared for the grand moment of disclosure. The bottles were arranged neatly in the centre like rockets about to launch off. And the ‘Chakhna’ was decorated artistically around it. Sure work of an artist. Undoubtedly Dilip. Could start a catering business in later life.

“Welcome….welcome!!...We were waiting for you, you fucker!” Anshul shouted aloud!
“And I am here now!!” I shouted back.

Everybody clapped! That’s the best thing about such parties. People get high before they are drunk. It’s not actually about alcohol. It’s about the bliss of having it together. That’s what gives it a high. And that was what everybody was drunk today. Bliss. Except one.

Harshad looked at me in a surprise when entered the room. His face flashed the betrayal sign. I could read it clearly. And so could Piyush. But I didn’t care to look at Piyush. I went straight and sat besides Harshad. I put down the plastic bags. Dilip quickly arranged them in his catering d√©cor.

I put my hand around Harshad’s shoulder and squeeze him. He gives me an uncomfortable smile. I smile back.

“So…what’s the party for??” Samrat asks. He has the right. He doesn’t incline towards any of the vices to reign in some time. Yet he has to sit through the entire episode of emotional eruptions. Fights, promises, assurances, coalitions and debates. And in the end, move the collapsed friends to beddings. Clean up the mess and w+ake them up the in the morning. That was a too big price to pay for being out of the vices. And thyat also gave him a right to know why the next mess, that he has to clear through the night, will be created.

“No!...” Piyush shouted “Let us first begin with the ritual!”

All agreed to it. Samrat began biting his nails. Except him nobody cared about what the party was for. Others were busy worrying how many pegs could they gulp down.

Drinks were opened and poured out in even amounts into everybody’s use-and-throw plastic glasses. All kept it neat and raised a toast.

“Cheers!....to me!” Piyush said loud enough to wake up the landlord.

“Shhhhhhhh” Samrat hissed his fear “You will wake up Mama!!!”

“Oh sorry!...cheers to me!” Piyush said it in a low voice. “All finish the first peg bottoms up” He said and all swallowed up the liquid in a single go.

It went burning down our throats. As we over came the flame in our throats, we were already light in our heads.

“Now tell us dude!...what is the party about?” Dilip asked.

“The reason for the party is….just like that!!!...Its been a long time we haven’t had a large party like this…just that!” Piyush jumped off the track. Moron shat in his pants. And I was vouching for this dickhead. If it hadn’t been for Rahul’s punch, I would’ve devised one thousand easy ways of getting him out of the race. But the fire of revenge is a raging one. I pity myself. I want to hug Harshad tight for a moment and say ‘Shamita is my guarantee…take her!’ And the pain in my belly suddenly hurts me hard. The thought vanishes.

“Yess….that calls for another toast!!” Anshul said filled with enthusiasm.

“Yes!!” We all say in unision.


(Contd.)