Bad lunch at the mess translated into uncontrollable hunger in the evening. So, in order to get some good food, a couple of us decided to get dressed quickly and leave for the city earlier than everyone else. Swetha, Ruhi and I took the college 6:30 pm bus out, and went to Tertulia at Koregaon Park. Oh, before that, Ruhi made me wear fat shoes with massive heals just because she thought that I have to have a perfect-looking pair of shoes to go with the dress. Quite obviously the shoes started killing my toes within 10 minutes. But we played along because anyway I was having a good hair day as well. 😛
We realised that we are too frikkin’ used to being treated like shit and being at the receiving end of crap – we asked a waiter at the empty restaurant if it was ok to sit at the nicest table in there! 😐 My mood undercurrent has been ‘blah’ for the longest time now, and yesterday it was a little more than usual. I had gone because I did not want to sit in my room and sulk more. Without a plan in mind, and without much of an interest in thinking, I let Ruhi and Swetha decide what I should have. So first we ordered a mojito for me. The girls ordered their respective drinks too, and we had the yummest mushroom and potato starters as well. Swetha had been wanting to drink for a few days now, so she had made sure she ordered a strong, hard drink. As expected, she became ‘happy’ too soon. After the main course I felt like drinking some more. While I loved the mojito and the mint in it, I wanted to try something new. I let that feeling completely take over because something like that almost never happens with me. The two of them suggested again, and this time I had a green apple martini. It was strong, and it was absolutely yummm! I could not savour it for as long as I would have liked to because we were getting slightly late for our partay! 😛 So I gulped it down, and on the way to The One I waved to some random men walking on the street. 😀
The place looked pretty decent. The music was very Bollywood-ish, and it felt good to be there. The loud music added to the happiness.
Automatically started dancing, hugged people around, and felt the need for some more drinking. Looked around at the bar, think I tried thinking, saw Jack Daniels, remembered people raving about it, and ordered it. It was also pretty yumm. I think the first real drink that I liked the taste of. Old Monk’s all right, but only when there is limited choice. I anyway do not like what it does to my stomach. So I danced more, hugged more people, felt some pity for my dying toes, drank more, and made little conversations here and there too. Pretty high by then, standing near the bar, I told a batchmate that one of the bartenders was kinda cute. He was a small guy with the cutest smile! Next thing I know, Ronnie called that guy and told him to dance with me! I was surprised, but totally game for it! So I asked him too. His smile at that point was to die for. He was clearly not one of the many shady men that you find in these places. After a lot of convincing, he and his manager thought that ten minutes would really not harm anybody. And so I danced an innocent dance with him. 🙂 Asif, from Hyderabad, asked me where I was from. Dilli just does not get you a flattering response from anyone outside of Dilli, I guess. But, whatever. He was too cute to really opine any nasty thought. He was polite and sweet, and went back to work in a few minutes. I went kinda berserk thinking about how I did something which was far, far, faaaar from the typical me. 😀
With the little money left, I bought a last drink (obvious Old Monk this time), danced to the last tracks of the night, let my self respect fight the fight in my head, and then sat quietly while people felt something to the effect of nostalgia and related stuff. I had only one thought in my mind, and it was far from pleasant. Don’t think I even felt the people sitting around me.
We had decided that we would not go back to campus at midnight, and had therefore booked a cab to be able to stay out on the road, in the city. We figured with time that we wanted to drive out towards Wai, a place I had thought of visiting some time last year. While we waited for the cab, Vrinda puked, Priyam talked some stupid stuff, Ruhi chatted up some weird pseudo-French guy who wanted to tag along with us, and I, well, I lost the fight. But as Ruhi confirmed that she did not intend to give the French gentleman any action, we decided to tell him that we were just going back home and not anywhere else. He gave everybody a peck on both cheeks, and decided that I interact with too many Europeans because I know how to do it well. I did not understand where the art in it lies, and he convinced us that he was the randomest thing of the night when he said ‘Switzerland’ to the question, ‘where in France are you from?’. And while we were dealing with him, we were also getting scared of the police vans which were ready to take us along because the city was apparently on high alert and we were not supposed to be out on the street waiting for our god-damned cab which had been two minutes away for the longest time.
We had thought that we would city at a Cafe Coffee Day for some time, and then take the highway because Wai is hardly a 90-minute drive away. But the cab driver convinced us that we would find some place to sit even on the highway, and the decision to believe him turned out to be a wrong one. We’ll see how.
The drive was super-smooth. Sitting in the back of the Tavera, I sang along every single song that played on the radio, and was it fun or what?! This time ‘dil hai ki maanta nahi’, and ‘kaise katega har pal‘ became the trip songs. I was happy we finally managed to drive out of the city after a night party – like I had been wanting to since the first semester. I realised it could really be the last of its kind. And I was glad that my monthly travel resolution for the year is going good so far.
We stopped at a dhaba at around 2:15 am. Managed hot rotis with bhurji, and chai & coffee too. We were only a couple of minutes away from Wai then. And all we had planned for that tiny, little place was a sunrise view anyway. So we decided to drive further down to Panchgani. It would have taken at least another hour. Mapro hoardings, Falero advertisements, and the feel of the entire road made everyone superbly excited. But we reached the Table Point of Panchgani at 3:45 am and then wondered what to do. There was no point driving up to Mahabaleshwar because that was also hardly 15 or so more minutes away. So we just locked the car, and sat. Vrinda was not well, so she went quiet. Robin got unbelievably sleepy and cranky, so he passed vitriolic sarcasm every time someone said something. Ruhi and I were tired too, so decided to stay quiet. But Priyam and Swetha were too uncomfortable in the backseat to be quiet. So they talked loudly, sang, and made lots of inappropriate jokes. After all, the sunrise was more than two hours away.
I was glad that Ridhima and Sahil were not around because they would so not have taken this shit! Sitting in pitch dark in a car, scared of an imaginary ‘hammer man’, listening to Marathi devotional songs was not really anybody’s idea of fun, but thankfully nobody was a spoilsport. Time passed slowly, but the crack of dawn was totally worth every single useless minute spent there. The chill in the air was too much to handle, but we stepped out nonetheless. Absorbing the sense of being there, making quiet small talk, and listening to the birds around was blissful. Robin did not let anybody use the wilderness for nature’s call in peace, because his, ‘aye ladki, kya kar rahi hai‘ from a distance in his mallu-mixed-with-gujju accent made us laugh too much to do anything else.
Right when we were about to move, we realised the rear left tyre had given up on our weight. But we got moving in a few minutes, drove through more scenic views, and reached Wai real quick. I was not dressed for a visit to a Ganpati temple on the new year, and therefore stayed in the car with Priyam while everyone else went in. I was glad we never did a Wai trip because there was absolutely nothing to do or even see there. Although according to Hindu mythology, five holy rivers – Koyna, Krishna, Savitri, Venna and Gayatri – meet there. But if you saw that place, you would know what I mean.
It was 10 am by the time we reached campus. The sense of still being jobless came rushing back, and I crashed for a couple of hours on my divine bed.