‘Haliye ? ‘, the sound broke the abominable lull of the morning.
It was 7 and he burst out laughing as he realized that the voice was actually of his drunk senior who had mixed up the words ‘Hello’ and ‘Boliye’, words used when picking up the phone, to make up an epic new one. Haliye.
Other drunk people also realized the situation and as ‘Haliye’ reached their half-sober minds, laughter and claps were all the reaction he got.
That had been one crazy night. It all started when a Gujju happened to find a laptop and some speakers. That was it. Next thing you know, ‘Sanedo sanedo’ is playing at full volume.
And two of the Gujjus are dancing to it with plastic bottles in their hands. Trying to clash the bottles in a synchronized manner but missing every damn time.
The Punjabi seeing this jumps to acquire his fair share in the musical department. Now, a Punjabi song makes its way through the building at 3 in the morning.
That went on for quite long as people seemed to enjoy it and as the Marwari, next in line for the DJ request, was too sloshed to care about the music and dance. Apparently, it was someone’s birthday party.
While everyone placed their demands about the amount of alcohol, soft drink, and water in their glass, the birthday boy sat in a corner enjoying his gathering and his drink, which was served to him before everyone else.
At 7, everyone was sloshed, except our guy. He hadn’t had any liquor. He never did but was always interested in such long liquor parties.
Three reasons. One, It was happening in the lobby of his apartment. He couldn’t have slept with multilingual songs being played at high volumes.
Two, drunk people are fucking awesome and superbly entertaining (Okay, not all but he was fortunate and landed up with some pretty interesting people).
Three, free munchies or as the public calls it ‘chakhna’! Yes. Food, entertainment and great company. What else does a kid need to enjoy! Apparently, not alcohol.
He stood there in front of his group of friends, his classmates, as they all sat around a table in a pub. Of the 10 people, he wanted to sit in the middle so that he could listen to everyone earnestly.
They happily allowed him, as they knew how childish he was about things that may appear common to normal people. Happy to be in the middle, he took part in every conversation around.
There were times when more than 2 topics were on at the same table, but he kept up. Drinks were served and so were the munchies (He would know about what munchies every bar/pub has to offer !).
Everyone filled their glasses as he fed on the ‘Cheese-lings’. Those and Nachos were among his favorite. Good music and great company never bored him and hence, it was an evening well spent.
‘One puff! For me ?’ ‘No’ ‘ Yaar, ek baar try to kar’ ‘No’. This was a scene in every day’s act. Even though he had broken many cigarettes and ashed even more half-smoked sticks of tobacco, he wasn’t really against it. It was just a valid life choice he chose to make.
He wanted to avoid Daaru and Sutta for he knew these were highly addictive. And the thought of losing control of himself after overdosing scared him.
About liquor, the general phenomenon or a popular habit of “telling the truth” after consumption was one of great unreliability.
It could bring no good, he said to himself every time.
Seeing just the bad examples and the worse after effects, he always told himself, “You have made the right choice. Hence proved.”
But until when…..
…..to be continued.