I’ve been known to be a party animal ever since I danced butt-naked on the streets of Bangalore. I was three years old then, and I’ve got no regrets (except for the hiding I got from Mom later). I’m considered to be the heart and soul of any party I go to – getting drunk and making jokes about myself and laughing along, having a great time and not remembering a damn thing afterwards. But that animal is now on the endangered species list, more out of necessity than a dying desire at being a drunk amnesiac.
Recently, I was invited to a “get-together” – whatever that means – of all the people in my class. Apparently a few seniors were coming too. So, here I was, thinking that this was going to be a great time to get to know these poor sods with whom I have had the misfortune of spending the last six months with. I thought I’d rather like them for what they were not. Wishfully thinking thus, I hailed a cab and got in, carrying my box of precious Bisi Bele Bath. The city was experiencing the worst snowstorm in decades that night and the cabs had a two-hour waiting period. The roads were buried knee-deep in snow and I had to struggle to maintain my balance as I climbed into the relative warmth of the cab. There was an old Indian behind the wheels and he started lecturing me about personal hygiene all through the journey. I should’ve seen the ominous signs.
The “party” consisted of twelve-thirteen people with little or no dress sense and we were all cooped up in a tiny room, half of which was taken up by my generous girth. We all sat around in a circle on the carpet – the furniture was non existent – and stared at each other with a glass of Sprite in our hands, passing around a huge bowl of potato chips. We smiled occasionally, more out of unsaid pity than anything else, and waited for our tummies to growl. The others had prepared some or the other cuisines and we were all waiting to get our hands on them.
The moment the conversation – whatever little there was of it – turned to familiar grounds like Shah Rukh Khan, the weather and food, I excused myself and went out into the corridor and called Vatson and begged her to help me. She gave me a pretty good excuse to run out of the place (after much haggling) and I was grateful. Before going in, I called the cab and to my dismay, the two-hour wait had now gone up to three hours, courtesy of some fresh snow.
I was stuck in that place for three more hours!!! I was running out of options and sanity and at point of time, thought that jumping out the window might not be such a bad idea after all.
“Hey, great party, isn’t it?” said some asshole.
“Yeah man,” agreed another.
They then sipped their drinks and kept quiet for the next twenty minutes. I almost tore my hair out. There was no music system, else I’d have drowned my sorrows in some beautiful Metallica symphony.
Finally, it was time to eat, and I’ve got to agree, the food was good. I hogged and announced that the cab was on its way. By the looks on their faces, I knew half the room wanted to kiss me. Then I broke the bad news to them. There was only going to be one cab and it could hold only 6 people. The others had to wait for it to drop the first batch and return to pick them up. This time, no one wanted to kiss me.
Ten minutes for the cab to arrive. I picked up my coat, laced up my boots and went out the door, wishing everyone a good night. Someone suggested I stay there overnight and “have fun”. If only I had a good sized stone. I politely refused. I said I needed five more people. One girl literally ran out clutching her shoes in her hand. Six of us went down and waited in the cold for the cab to show up.
I put my name on the endangered species list that night.