It’s time to get rich






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.


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.      




The Invite

It’s that time of the year again. Time to celebrate. Like all good celebrations, this one will begin with a tequila shot right at the door to Flat no 3, Dream Residency. That’s your entry, with cover.

You’ll probably be a little wobbly. You might slur a bit earlier than you expected. Even find yourself a little out of character. But you’ll fit right in. No one leaves the way they came in. You’ll have your first drink poured for you by The Big Man.

ImageHe’s big. Physically and emotionally. He’s a 6 foot 4 120-odd kg tub of love. And he’s responsible too. Even while puking. He will drink his vodka quarter in a record 8 and a half minutes, wolf down his biryani and then puke it all out in the commode. Not a drop outside. He will then clean the commode with Harpic. In between all this, he will never shirk his responsibility of getting others in the party intoxicated. A real reliable chap. Quite unlike GP.

GP always goes back on her word. She started out a sober one-drink girl. Then she came to the party, was introduced to the thrill of intoxication and literally started rolling on the floor laughing. Not one of those ROFL metaphors. Four full turns after a lame joke I narrated. Then out of embarrassment, she promised not to drink at the next party. At the next party – she downed 13 jellow shots, took my strawberry lip balm (yes strawberry, because I like the taste), went inside the God-closet, puckered her lips, smudged the balm all over her face and then pressed her lips together, thinking she had so gracefully applied lipstick. She isn’t the only one, however, that’s been corrupted by me and my parties. The biggest victim is M. Image

M,to begin with, was a sober Shetty – the rarest of rare. His preferred drink was Thums Up. That’s when I took it upon myself to aid him through his graduation to some port wine. Now, this lover of Shahrukh Khan and all things Bollywood, poisons himself with Gin, and dances like Hritik. Those same moves that he practices sober in front of the mirror at home. We often perform a number together and then he starts kissing things. He kisses me, kisses the air but mostly kisses the cheek of his girlfriend K.

K is one of my oldest friends. She is a tall slender beauty. Not a hair out of place. When she moves, when she talks, she is a picture of grace. She is elegant in her demeanour. Except when she is drunk. She strarts suttering. She loses her centre of gravity. And she keeps falling all over the place. Then she laughs at her own self. All her hair is out of place.

But we are not all boozards here at the party. Khajur is a tee totaller who will, at most, swallow half a tiny glass of wine only if he wants to impress a pretty girl or a not-so pretty girl. Otherwise, you can’t even force alcohol down his throat (We tried once, but in vain). The only entertainment he will engage is poking fun at the aforementioned specimens. Other than that, he is notorious for his serious ‘life’ talks. And I’m his favourite victim. I always get sucked in. We go off on topics like ‘the youth of today’, ‘business schools’, ‘marketing and sales’ and other such. That’s when The Wife comes in and joins our discussion.

ImageThe Wife stands there with folded arms and the most sincere look on his face. And then he pinches Khajur’s left nipple. Thus ends the boredom. The wife then goes on a nipple pinching spree. P hates it the most. Every time his nipple is pinched, he lets out a light screech and jumps like he has just been given a minor electrocution. He feels violated, humiliated even. Much like the humiliation he loves to subject Govardhan to. He loves taking Govardhan’s case – whether it is making fun of his English, repeatedly narrating his hilarious incidents or pulling his cheeks.

But Govardhan doesn’t care. He is a party animal who gets in the zone every time drink is involved. His zones are cute. He once got so smashed that he was about to pass out. His last words to the wife, who was holding him up, were “So mere saath”. (“Sleep with me”). His zones can be dangerous too, however. Once, when he was singing and shouting randomly, he ran into the balcony and shouted out to a police-van that had passed by the house. The van screeched to a halt, reversed, and parked outside the house. Everyone (the girls first) ran inside the room. Everyone except The Brother.

The Brother is the handler and more often than not the fixer of situations. He is the one who rejects the Rs 230 bribe that The Big Man offers, who slips the cops a slightly bigger amount, sometimes a bottle, and sends them away without creating too much of a situation. He faked a situation once when he told the girls in hiding that the cops had asked for their address and their parents’ phone numbers. One of the girls started crying initially and then she drank six more beers in relief.

ImageWe’ll have single women who will have been hit on at least once by me. You’ll then see me professing my love for Isabella. We will have discussions of opening a Hair-NGO, where the educated ‘Hair-stylists’ will organise an event to showcase free cutting techniques to the barbers to improve their skill. You’ll have old quarrels being solved through apologetic shoulder kisses on the steps. A whole lot of craziness.

So no more talk of quarter-life crisis and all. Come on Saturday for my 25th.

(Note: Isabella was created by Tanmayee Jhankar – one sweetest people and most accomplished young artists I know. And yes, she’ll also be there at the party)

Me and Isabella

Me and Isabella