Posted by: Kaushik | January 15, 2006

It was a New Day yesterday

31st December 2005

Venue: Kausha’s
The Usual Suspects: Granny, Prat, Bovine Boy, Dubs, Dit, The BFG, Smutty & Yours truly-Chandu

In a tradition passed down from the dawn of civilization, men have gathered in a sacred rite to mark the beginnings of each year. Sharing a bond born of blood, fire and secrets, this rite has always served as man’s anchor in this maelstrom of a world. RRRRiigghhtt! The New Year is just another excuse for underage guys to get legally shitfaced! And New Years, 2006 was no different.

But the question that cripples me is how does one begin to describe the embarrassing events that surround the advent of a new year? Is there really a dignified way to air dirty laundry (yours or anyone else’s) in public? And in the 3 minutes between being struck by the epiphany of writing about our new years, and trying to think of anything worthwhile to say on the topic, I have not yet found a way to make our attempts to usher in the new year sound any more interesting or any less stupid. So let this epic tale of ordinary men driven to excesses (inter-spaced liberally with sizzling gypsies), be judged on its own merit�.

As with any gathering, our tale begins with the entry of a character. Literally. Granny (yes, that’s what we call him) arrived in Bangalore on the morning of the 31st, amid the smoky aftermath of the terrorist attacks. A few of our ragtag, sleep-deprived ensemble were waiting at the station, huddled together (only to share body warmth! I swear!), with dripping noses, sore throats and various other maladies. We were to be (paraphrased from the shrill, haunting words of Gran) the pitiful shield between Gran and the nefarious terrorists (as much as one dirty midget, one sniffling, slightly unco-ordinated, pajama-clad giant, and one quiet lad sworn to non-violence can be!).Once Gran’s various pieces of luggage were collected, we proceeded to rejoin the rest of our troupe at Chateau Sridhar (sounds smoother than ‘Kaushik’s house’), with a small stop to drop off some homemade cake (hence the name “Granny”) on the way. This little diversion (only 20 km in the diametrically opposite direction to our intended destination) was deemed “more efficient” by Gran (meaning that it would save him from having to find the place by himself in an auto).

Breaking from tradition, the Committee of the Enlightened (basically, the most vociferous of us) elected to stick with an itinerary of “in-house activity”, to avoid the potentially embarrassing consequences of being accidentally blown up by the few well-meaning “freedom fighters” wandering round the city (may be for a new years party of their own!). So the day was spent pursuing various humanitarian endeavours around the mansion. Certain people like Bovine Boy (another of our illustrious crowd), who dreams of moonlighting as a superhero, and believes the only requirement is to don a dashing “super-outfit” made of a strategically-positioned scrap of diaphanous material (basically, a see-through ‘thorthe’) even developed intimate, near-erotic relations with certain pieces of audiovisual equipment (a disturbing situation that we all tried very hard to ignore). We dined in style on mouth-watering platters of traditional South Indian delicacies at prescribed intervals, interspaced with brief periods of group and individual “transcendental meditation”(read “sleep”). The more intellectual of the group (intelligence being defined as the ability to recognize and sometimes spell one’s own name) also spent the afternoon hours reviewing and discussing a film of great social and political import, made by a little known, critically acclaimed, foreign film director, Q. Tarrentino (I can’t really remember much. I was deep in “meditation”. Apparently, I was classified ‘retarded’).

A whole day of confinement drove Prat (no, it’s not just a clever name. He really is one), who was used to spending his days on numerous “walks”, restless. Not with motives involving being closer to nature as I first believed, but rather, for the purpose of regular self-medication. This medication consisted of extensive herbal treatments, mostly based on the inhalation of noxious vapours, apparently based on the ancient traditions of the Sioux tribe of American Indians (ask stupid questions�!). BFG (a.k.a. Kaushik), still clad in only his pajamas and with pitiful motor co-ordination, but noticeably less sniffling, set out to find the last of our gang. And I, who was by now, a somewhat less dirty “little person” (that’s what we like being called now) was conscripted to go along (what else could u call being tucked under someone’s armpit as they marched off?). I’m sorry to say that we found the last member of our octet already a quite inebriated. I can only assume that the extreme trauma of having to find a single house in the city one was birthed and reared in, drove Smutty (a sleazy-looking, skinny, bespectacled boy possessing a few strands of straggly-facial hair, who’s behaviour seems to resemble that of a stereotypical dark alleyway purveyor-of-pornography or child molester) to “orient” himself at various intervals along the way to meet us.

The reunion of our band after so many months was sentimental (ok, I was the only one crying!). But soon the old and comforting patterns of abuse and liberal vitriolic exchanges resurfaced and I think, reassured each one of us of the many reasons why we had been forced together all those years ago by the other residents of our hostel. What followed that evening could only be described as a soul-searching journey comparable to any of those described in those self-help books, for each one of us.
By 12 am, January, 2006, Bovine Boy had become a little difficult (read, “a mean f**king drunk!”) and decided to “bond” with various members of Kaushik’s family. He later took to having many, rather “one-sided, conversations with a commode”(the details of which would probably gross you out), assisted by the helpful inputs of our legal eagle, Dubs (whose skillful and witty needling of the pathetic, fat, drunk was exemplified by the immortal line, “Achtung, Fatty!). I must admit that this embarrassing “outpouring of emotion”(puking, interrupted by the passionate hugging of BFG along with tearful cries of, “Hold me, Kausha!”) was probably the most significant event of the night. Prat also livened up the situation by taking it upon himself to suddenly breakout into an impromptu demonstration of some self-choreographed dance moves (which looked surprisingly similar to an epileptic fit) which unfortunately, was not very well appreciated by certain parties (alarmists!). But how did we usher in the first few minutes of the New Year? Testing various laws of physics under the inspirational leadership of Bovine Boy (basically, trying to keep a 90kg dumbass upright and from accidentally drowning himself in a toilet bowl!). Suffice to say that that particular idea did not go down well with the rest of the group (we would have killed him if there had been any way to get rid of a carcass of such gargantuan proportions!). So the decision was taken to “retire” our erstwhile leader (four reasonably strong men had to carry the comatose f****r down two flights of stairs! Science has proven that there is no shorter or easier way to give yourself a violent hernia!). Once the painful act was done, however, the rest of us decided to put it behind us and carry on in the true spirit of this ancient tradition (drink till dawn, or till you drop!). Soon, spirits were flowing freely again and morale was as high as it could be! A time of sharing confidences (about crushes, girlfriends blah blah blah) was interspaced with self-esteem-building exercises lead by BFG (repeated, slurred statements of “Yoorrrr da maannnn!” in an American Born Confused Deshi accent, to everyone). Finally around 4 A.M., with nothing but dregs left of the ceremonial wine (read “all the booze) the few of us not caught up in the throes of near-religious ecstasy (ones closest to sobriety) slowly led the others down to sleep . And thus ended the rite, and our contribution to the history of man.

Here endeth my tale of Men and Gods. Granted, there were no ‘sizzling gypsies’ but then this was always a simple, uncomplicated tale of drunks. And what would sizzling gypsies have to do in such a tale? I mean, really?!



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