Dec 31, 2003.
New Year's Eve.
I have been reading in the papers that the cops plan to come down hard on the hard-partying weave-driving junta. No tension. Why should there be? I don't drink. I don't drive either.
I hardly ever go out, actually. Last new year was spent with the TV.
Phone Call. Email. Friend coming down from Jaipur. So New Year is happening after all.
And tension is happening at home. "Other people drink. Other people drive... What if they drink and drive?"
What if they spill my guts over a road-divider?
What if the cops give chase?
What if they do, I said.
4 pm. Linking Road.
The shops are stuffy. Women are scrambling over each other's heads and there's a long queue outside trial rooms. Less is... well, very definitely, less. I am squirming at the idea of this appalling lack of fabric in the 'clothes' here today. It is winter, you know!
Friend from Jaipur reminds me of my own fabric-challenged wardrobe. But still... standing on Linking Road, looking at these flittery little scraps on hangers, I baulk.
5 pm. Still at Linking Road.
Friend can't find the right size. She says Bombay girls are skinny. They are, I agree. We rummage some more. Go to more shops. Then, when the size is right, the stole doesn't match. More rummaging. I don't like shopping. Sigh!
Mad rush to the bath. No time for full-scale bath. Scrub-scrub face. Spray-spray pits.
No.... wait! Rub-rub; push up; pull down. Damn! The skirt is too short after all. And I don't have the legs for it.
Never mind - my friend consoles me - you're not quite a bomb, but you make it to the sparkler category. I smile and pick up a smoke-grey eye-pencil. There was a time when this same friend used to watch me all dressed up, and whistle. "Hai, main mar javaa.n cyanide khaake!'
8.30 pm. On the road.
We're going out with friend's younger brothers... shessh! Pathetic!
And my head hurts. Too much walking around in the sun, I suppose. But this is new year's eve, for god's sake. And i havent had a drop to drink! I don't deserve a headache.
Friend pulls over at a chemists'. I swallow two disprins with two glugs of cola. Multinational trash; pesticides... I remind myself. I drink it anyway.
Later I have multinational chips. And more multinational cola.
9.40 pm. Famous studio.
We're early. There's already a crowd outside. All the better, says friend's cousin. We need parking space when it still exists.
We stand under the shade of the trees and check the babes out. The baba-log arent worth checking out. 90 percent of them are from junior college. It's an awkward age, and they insist on wearing silk-cotton-mix black blazers. Gel, black jackets, black pants is the norm.
They women wear little. Plenty of back, plenty of leg. Not so much navel, this year. No cleavage. They're all too skinny for cleavage.
The plump ones seem preoccupied with hiding their... assets. Pity!
10.30 pm. Still outside.
The organisers haven't opened up the venue yet. We're hungry. We're restive. We've checked out enough babes. And it annoys me that the guys are so... so.... so ordinary.
I'm stamping my foot with impatience. We've had more multinational chips and multinational cola. The guilt....uff! the guilt!
11 pm. Inside Famous Studio.
We're inside! It's smoky. The music is warming up already. The food is piping hot. One dance and then, fooood!
Dancing. dancing. dancing. tired.
dancing. hugging strangers. strangers hugging me...
An uncle-ji (at least 50 years old... what the hell is he doing at this 'young' do?) has been creeping closer all the time. I whisper to friend's brothers. They disappear for a minute and uncle-ji comes up. Totally 'tunn'! I escape to another corner of the floor.
Break to drink water and go to the loo. The loo is a portable yellow affair.
Cousin says he just saw a girl butt-naked! The child was so drunk that she thought the outside of the loo was the inside of the loo....
Oh dear! What do I say?
I see three girls in three corners, throwing up. One boy is sprawled on the stairs, his friend patting his head. Vomit lines the floors. I hit the floor again.
Dancing. Dancing. dancing. dancing. Water!
I am looking for friend. She's disappeared.
I step out and watch girls being carried out like corpses, dead to the world.
The watchmen look grim.
Dancing. Someone calls me 'pocket-size'. For the rest of the evening (morning?), the name sticks. Someone else calls me 'item'. That sticks too.
More passing out. Fewer people seem to be standing on their feet than I last remembered.
Dancing still. I dont care who's passing out anymore.
Friend's brother tells me he's 15 pegs down. He has a glass in one hand and a bottle in the other. It's ok, he says. I can drive. I think of the cops. And the breathanalyser.
My high heels are killing me. But there are smashed bottles all around. Kicking off the shoes isn't a smart idea. I'm still dancing. Item numbers galore.
Cousin has already had three shots at eating food. His brother says - it happens; alcohol affects different people differently.
I ask him if he's going to be able to drive. Of course, he says.
He's behaving alright though he must be at least 20 pegs down.
Dancing and dead, but walking out slowly. Friend's brother smuggles out two bottles of vodka, stuffed inside my handbag. The bag breaks. But the bottles are safe.
No issues - the bag came off Linking Road anyway. Low damages.
At churchgate station... bun-maska, chai.
Sleepy drive begins. I stay awake. No cops. No breathanalyser. Cousin is sleeping. Friend is sleeping. Friend's brother is driving.
Is he sleeping? I call out to check. He says he's awake. But he drives straight into a mini-crater on the road. (Ward K, Andheri-marol! Will you never change?)
We all sit up very straight and very awake.
6.30 am. In bed.
Don't bother to remove the make-up.
Phone rings. Damn!
Awake but can't bear to wake the others up, yet. So, I lie awake and resolve to not drink more than 5 cups of chai a day. Resolutions, resolutions!
Chai again. Breakfast at 4.30 pm, again in Bandra.
It feels like morning.
I throw up. I didn't drink a drop. I don't deserve to throw up!
Sigh! Happy new year. Whatever!