Word count: 1125 | Estimated time to read blog: 11 minutes
Note: I am planning to start a new thread on my life at boarding school. This is the first one in this thread.
7 hours! Yes, that’s how long I stayed at the party, not including the travel time (+ 1 hour) taken to reach a remote farmhouse on the far side of Electronics City. But considering it was 9 years since I last met my good friends from Sri Ramakrishna Vidyashala, (a residential boys’ school, owned and maintained by Ramakrishna Mission), I must agree it was great fun and a wonderful reunion.
Now, for the seasoned pub crawler, 7 hours might seem paltry but considering my own previous record of 5 minutes (yes 5 minutes!), this certainly is a huge leap. Of course, dear friend Beebo 😉 pointed out that I had stayed for nearly 2 hours at the TAPMI Alumni Home Coming 07 but then, that’s an institutionalized party; so I wouldn’t agree with her.
Well, my reasons for abstaining from parties are several. For one, I am a very indoor guy – I love my space and my peace. As if this ain’t enough, I detest smoking, drinking and mindless dancing and I certainly don’t go all that far to ogle at women who are half-naked in their party dresses. 😉 (Psst – I like that indoors as well 😉 )
So when the Facebook event invitation read 8 pm to 4 am in a farmhouse that the host, The Great Babs, himself wasn’t quite aware of, I had my doubts. And the fact that we were an all-boys school took away whatever little incentive there could have possibly been otherwise. But what the hell, I thought. Some of the guys in the list were very good friends, not to mention the host himself and I thought I’d rather attend.
On arriving at the venue, a 30-acre farmhouse, we settled down in groups to catch up on old times – boarding school life, the discipline, teachers, Swamijis, old incidents, batch mates in touch or otherwise, scandals, punishments, pranks and a lot many other things including girls we used to eye (from other schools, of course) on the rare occasions when we were let out, were all elaborately discussed over perpetually lit cigarettes and never emptying glasses of alcohol.
Since I was the only non-smoker/teetotaler, many found themselves being overly generous both with advice as well as with their cigarettes/alcohol to get me to start. The argument was that if I ‘have never tried ‘em, how do I know them aint good for me, bro!’ Whoa! Vispatra, but then, have you ever tried beheading a man yet?! 😉
11 pm. By this time, I had met all the guys and I felt there was nothing more to do. So I cooked up a reason of meeting my aunt early the next day but nothing convinced the folks. And Hemu almost threatened me with dire consequences because if I didn’t stay till the very end, I couldn’t possibly have a blog entry on the party and if there was no blog entry on the party, what the hell would he do in office!
I stayed on. A lot of things happened after that. The owner of the farm house had a parallel party going on and his invitees were alien to us. But then, ‘one married friend’ of mine decided to end this alienation by trying to get friendly with the girls and used me as a shield to eye one of them. I pretended I am helping him but was secretly eying another one in a purple spaghetti top, that he perhaps hadn’t noticed! She was nice! 😉
It started to rain and inevitably, the power went off. All the threads of conversation were suddenly audible because the music ceased. I moved between various groups to glean what was going on and I noticed that one group was having ‘serious talks’ on marrying American women, yet another group of 7 decided to go for a walk and by the time they reached the gate, only 2 were left. Two others were sitting on a mat on the floor, both heavily drunk. One kept asking the other which company he worked for, every 5 minutes, forgetting that he had already asked that question and the other kept on replying promptly, forgetting that he had already answered that question. There were profound declamations on how the curriculum of the school produces only followers, not leaders and “following” ones free will was strongly advocated!
I decided to explore the kitchen and got myself a plate of biryani, a meaty leg of chicken and with great difficulty, a bottle of unadulterated Sprite from the plethora of Vodkas, Tequilas and other bottled spirits. I barely got a glassful and went out to join another group when someone disturbed the glass of Sprite, emptying it on Puth’s butt. He was upset but I was furious – there was no more Sprite left but he still had his butt left, at least. 😉
It was then time for a photo shoot. The grand denouement came when B Banerjee dropped the last remaining glass of alcohol inadvertently, sending a roar of laughter and disgust from the gathering. After that, there wasn’t much to do and conversation seemed stuck. People got over their intoxication and started leaving. And I got home at 4 am.
If I now reminisce on the whole 2 years I spent in Vidyashala, I must admit, despite everything, I had a fantastic time – the uniforms, the discipline, the classes, the upma on Monday mornings (yuck!), the compulsory swimming on Wednesdays, the cancellation of one of the 2 monthly outings if you get less than 60% in math (did anyone experiment by getting less than 30% ??), the toilet-cleaning, the surprise dorm and classroom cleanliness checks, Chemistry lab, lunches and dinners served but consumption strictly forbidden unless after the Bhagvad Gita chanting, the endless repetitions to get the Veda mantra incantations right, the prescribed haircuts, the hurried wearing of dhoti and uttareeya on Ekadashi days, the group talks in the dorm, the honey cakes, the basketball matches with rival schools, the Wednesday afternoon oratory practice (sleeping practice for some), the hockey induced injuries (some self-induced to bunk classes), the double-movie-and-heavy-lunch packed outings, the drama practice and culturals, School day, Hindi class (that dragged on at “tortoise” pace!)….. whew!
This, in my opinion, is the longest I have ever stayed at a ‘party’ – 2 years! (Ahem! Do you guys agree?) 😛
PS: Thanks Babs, for getting us all together and for the party. Thanks also to all those who took time to attend; and how can I forget, the owner of the farmhouse for being the great host he was…. and inviting his friends, of course! 😉
@Hemu– Sorry for posting this entry a week late. Wonder what you did in office for one full week! 😛