Turning 25 and a half is a bitch – II

This is, apparently, the second part to what looks like a series. Totally unplanned. Like the first hangover movie. They didn’t know then that they were going to make a sequel. So they couldn’t name it Hangover – 1. But two just happened. This is my second hangover. In two days.

We lost two in one week. One to a surprise engagement in Kolhapur and another, to a pre-engagement announcement. We paid our respects in the city of Gaavran chicken and the Mahalakshmi Temple and then road-tripped to Vegas (Hotel in Mahabaleshwar) and gambled and drank our small moneys away. That relief, however, was only temporary as we came to a realisation during the car journey back.

We realised that we are in the stag-est phase of our lives. Complete nadness for us 25 and a half-ers. Us constitutes two other friends of mine who were born just a month either side of October – my birth month.

We are like our birthdays. We are almost exactly the same. Indifferent, lethargic homeboys of average smarts who seem contented after having reached the heights of mediocrity. We are far away from mainstream. One is waiting for Ms Right because she’s wrong in so many ways; the second in rehabilitation from a success of 20-day relationships; and the third is in mourning. We are still living in the now, while we see all the women around us scouting for future potential.  Yes, we’ll chat a girl up every now and then, feed them some bullshit and they’ll bite. But sooner or later they’ll realise we’re just beetle juice and spit us right out. We are on either sides of the commitment fence and ridiculously unattractive to the fairer sex at this moment. Even more than before. One look at us and the women are hitched, bored or extremely ambitious. Thus leaving us tweeners out in the grey. 

Our lives are completely colourless. Drab and undecorated like a bachelor pad. We’ve stopped watching movies in theatres because guys just don’t do that with other guys. We’re on a steep cultural decline. We have money but no inclination. Also most times, we are swatted away by popular bars for the embarrassing shortage of women folk. So we drown our sorrows in cheap alcohol served by the shady bars that have ‘Family sections’. Another realisation that I came across while swatting mosquitoes and sipping beer at Radha – a trucker’s bar on the highway off Balewadi. Every night is a boy’s night out.

But the boys are slowly dwindling. They’re biting the dust one by one. We lost two in one week and we’re down to three. It’s time to rev up the engine. Pull up our socks. Get unstuck and start making our way towards the bus. Or… just write more blogs.  

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It’s time to get rich

 

 

 

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The bald brothers were down for the night. On attempts of revival, the younger one came to. But on me – there was a look of tired resignation. I was beyond resumption.  

All it took was a couple of LIT’s – no, LIIT’s my brother kept correcting me throughout the party. Is the ‘Island’ a hyphenated part of the L or does it merit a separate I? That’s one of the many non life-altering debates we had. And then I paired up with an old football friend and subjected some very unfortunate people to the most disgustingly hilarious joke. I sang a Honey Singh song to a girl, then told her I was a pilot. I even made a recreational footballer famous. The point is – a couple of LIT’s is all it took to get from zero to plastered. Maybe 2 beers and 2 and a half portions of what was in the flipped cup. But still. That’s not much. At least, not as much as it used to be.

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Above: Me and the Recreational Footballer who I made famous

My body was so hospitable to spirits diverse. Beer was a constant tenant. Rum had a flat booked in the belly. Tequila was a regular weekend visitor. Toxins and healthy stuffs lived in perfect harmony. Not today. Today was war. The night was a blur. I passed out flat on the grass next to my younger brother who had to carry me home.

That night was meant to be redemption, reassurance that I hadn’t in fact lost it. That I was not ‘old’. You see, these three months have been life-changing. I have had to raise a dog baby. Teach him right from wrong – (stuff he is and isn’t allowed to chew on). Pill swallowing. Potty training. Learning to be one with dog poo. Play dates with other puppies. Play sessions. Discussing doggie-eccentricities/arguing competitively with fellow soccer moms. Evenings spent taking care of the baby while rejecting invitations of friends who were drinking on a Saturday night or playing football or worse yet – both. I sacrificed football for the baby. That’s how committed I was and am. You can imagine the pent-up frustration. Alcohol guzzling was supposed to be my answer. But it turned out to be harsh realisation.   

As my sleep was rudely thwarted, the next morning, by the blood-curdling scream of my mother who was irritated by the sight and smell of dog faeces, I woke up, mechanically leashed the baby and took him out. He led me to a snaking walk of shame. I could not stand straight. The light was drilling a slow hole into my head. I pleaded with Kyro to finish his business fast so that I could be horizontal again. He very kindly obliged. He squatted to shit while I was puking away what was left of my youth.

The shift back home from Delhi was the transition, I think. Delhi was rebellion. I was playing the field while all around me were tying the knot. There were no moral boundaries in Delhi. No filter. Animal freedom. So much to write about. So much written. So carelessly. But now I have become cautious of my words, my actions and my drunken escapades. I have become responsible. I have a routine. Get up – feed kyro – take kyro down – work – feed kyro – take kyro down – eat – work – feed kyro – take kyro down – play football – work – feed kyro – take kyro down – watch tv – sleep.

Taking care of the little one has its own rewards. The stereotypical ‘new pet’ kind of rewards that I won’t ramble on about. So I’m not complaining. I couldn’t, actually, even if I wanted to. I was going to feel old whether I liked it or not.

The hair-line is receding by the hour. Everyone else is growing up too fast. 25-year-old boys feel ready for marriage. 15-year-old girls now frequent bars. Clothes are getting scantier. Facebook vanity is increasing exponentially. The shorts are getting shorter. The hash tags are getting longer. The generation shift is taking place. The ship is slowly sailing.

The time has come to accept my fate. I’ve already shaved my head – prepared for the inevitable. It’s time to get rich.