There’s a party on in campus right now. One of those where the drinks are free. And I’ve taken a conscious decision not to drink tonight. Not even taken my bandana along. Guzzled some 10 cups of tea. And just watched. Just stood in a corner, headbanged a little, and watched the people. Watched them get drunk, dance, fall all over each other, and tell stories.
I see the pillar just below the basketball board. Brings to memory that January night… when I decided to get drunk but not lose control. There had been no communication from her for a long time, and I was quite depressed. And I kept hugging the pillar assuming it was her.
The music changes… Fanaa starts playing… Used to be my favorite party song in 1st year. And I had dedicated it to MotherJ a couple of times. And watched her dance, and remember Kareena Kapoor in the original video. I had once even pulled her to the floor when this song played.
Today she is also doing what I am doing, standing by and watching. I continue headbanging and remember the original video. The carefree expression on Kareena’s face. And I suddenly remember that it’s been a long time I’ve felt “Fanaa”. Almost a year since I last felt that feeling of extreme liberation.
I go on one of my “random walks”. Just go all round the dance floor and say hello to a few people. Everyone seems drunk anyway, I seem to be the only sober guy around! I am amazed that I’m not able to “sink in” into the party. Typically all it took was a couple of headbangs to get in. Don’t know what’s happened to me. Maybe I’ve once again started thinking too much.
As the sounds of Rahman’s “Chaiya Chaiya” fill the air, I remember October 31 1998. The day I think I became a kind of hero in NPS. It was our school picnic. A friend and I get on top of the bus and start dancing. I remember a few girls presenting us bottles of Pepsi as a congratulatory gift the next day!
I soon run into Beedi. He seems totally drunk. His argument is that IIMB doesn’t give drunkards the respect they deserve. He goes on to say that when people get drunk and do some stupid things in the process, people make caricatures out of you and make sure you are embarrassed. Like yesterday there was this buzz here that “SKimpy proposed to four girls in A block” or “SKimpy puked all over J Block”. Being on the wrong end of this treatment a couple of times, I must agree with him.
Shilpa also raised this issue when I was talking to her a couple of days back. She said that if people took advantage of the fact that I was drunk and made me do stupid things, they must be really mean guys. Somehow defended these guys yesterday (or maybe I changed the topic), but now I seem to be in agreement.
Coming back to the party, my inability to “settle in” reminds me of those numerous parties when I’ve felt totally out of place. Everyone else is familiar but still in some sense so unfamiliar! So unfamiliar you don’t feel like letting go. You get that horrible feeling that you don’t belong. That there’s something wrong with you. That you should have gotten drunk.
After about an hour and a half of just loitering around the place, I decide to head back. Do one last random walk, and then head straight back. And get down to writing this bullcrap.
I feel i’m growing older
And the songs that I have sung echo in the distance…