Junior College –
I must be 18; its New Years Eve may 1990.
My friend Prem has invited me to his house party with his fellow friends. Prem lives in Jogeshwari just behind Ismail Yusuf College; he has rowdy friends. Rowdy is an understatement, one of the guys in the party is a tadi-paar gangster, he has several murder cases on him.
This kind of party is unique to me, before this, I must have spent most of my NYE party at home with family.
There is endless booze, every kind of alcoholic drinks are available. We are all sitting in Prem’s small living room with about 25 young guys who want to boast about their drinking prowess and their Bhai Giri status and which girl they are pursuing or harassing. I feel like not part of the crowd, but the crowd is happy to indulge me, I feel I am being forgiven and accepted for not being like them, they appreciate my courage of being there as Prem’s college friend.
The tadi paar gangster a thin guy (most popular guy in the party), sweet talks non-challantly about his nefarious activities. The bunch were too rowdy for me, my ego is hurt, because I am overwhelmed, and there is nothing I could do to impress these guys. So I shut my mouth and keep drinking the rum or vodka so that I could gather maybe a fraction of their badassery. I miserably fail, I cannot even say “madar.. behen..” I am so fuck*ing pious.
I keep drinking, and just resolve to be a good listener. I am dead drunk and don’t know what happened next and how I reached home.
Engineering College –
New Years Eve – 1993 –
I am invited to a New Years Eve with my engineering college friends, they are badass but in a studios way, they drink, they are smokers, but they don’t do drugs. I again don’t feel part of them; I am just not good at my studies like them. They all think I am a zombie, but they put up with me, I don’t have any emotional connect with them, other than Vaibhav, who I lend money for his bus tickets on and off.
Again, I have nothing to say here, that makes me frustrated, they are all competing on finishing that dreaded whisky called “green label”. I too join the game, I know, my body doesn’t puke till five pegs.
It is about 3 am, everyone has started vomiting except me, the entire apartment is full of vomit, the basins are choked up, I know, I can’t go home, everyone has puked up, and gone to sleep by 4 am, I trying to sleep in whatever dry area is there.
A trip to Ratnagiri with a friend.
Maybe 1993/94 –
Nikhil has an immense passion for life, he has so many dreams, on the contrary for me, I didnt know what the fuck I am doing in this world. Nikhil was a complete antithesis of my personality. Nikhil was aggressive, passionate and immensely curious about all the right things in life including booze.
He enthusiastically joins me on one of my trips to my parent’s house in Ratnagiri. I am quite happy, as I just don’t relate to any of the people of my age in Ratnagiri. Nikhil is somehow able to communicate with me, and we sync. He is not judgemental and doesn’t think of me as a Zombie (like others do), I feel accepted, and I am ready to accept him as a friend.
On our last day before leaving back to mumbai, we make up a last minute plan to drink ourselves to our brain. I am driving, we pick up booze, and head out to the most scenic place in Ratnagiri which is a cliff, we park our car and watch the ocean. It must be around 4 pm. By the time it is 6, we realise we are out of booze. I mean about six strong beers and a couple of small bottles of whisky were not enough for us youngsters.
We drive down back to the wine shop, and buy more booze, we drive up to the hill and drink the rest of the stuff. I am wondering if I can drive back home, about three km away, without an accident. But I don’t have much of choice, I cannot leave the car, and we won’t get a bus to get back home, I manage the drive back home without killing anyone.
p dir=”ltr”>We reach home and are both taking turns vomiting our gut out; we are in no mood to have dinner. But Dad insists saying mum, would feel hurt if we don’t have dinner. We force the dinner down our throats; dad drives us to the bus stand, and we set out to Mumbai.
We puke more in the bus, and reach Mumbai, still dazed and not sober.