A Night to Remember

May 14, 2015 § 2 Comments

“We’ll paint the town red! Party all night baby! Lets give him a night he’ll never forget! Last night as a bachelor!” said the fellow, rather enthusiastically. Enthusiasm that came from not knowing ground realities, one might add.

I just shook my head rather wistfully. Seasoned as I was in failed attempts to paint the town(s) red, or any other colour for that matter, I knew this was not going to end satisfactorily. At least not in the sense satisfaction was intended for the evening.

We were in Hyderabad. We were 4 guys. Wanting to party. Which in Hyderabad is quite the normal thing, what with the lack of ‘hariyali’. But anybody who has lived in Hyderabad knows that the place shuts down by 11. Party arenas are far too few. And too ‘exclusive’. Knowing all this, I suggested what all engineers are ready to do in a heartbeat – a booze in. Basically buy liquor and consume it in the hotel room itself. But that was vetoed. So, we trudged off on the lookout for a suitable place to party. There was only one. And stags are not really welcome. And we weren’t conforming to their dress code either. So we were left with only one option – buy booze and consume in the quietude of our room. Which was easier said than done. Since all the wine shops also close by 10-11 in Hyderabad.

There was one we spotted which was half open. Dispensing elixir from within half shuttered confines. We approached it stealthily and just as we were going to get our fill, a police van approached. Everyone scattered. So did we.

We were left high and dry, in a manner of speaking.

Just then, the rickshawala spoke up. “Sir, daaru hona? Mein dilaata na. Ek jagah maloom mujhe. Masab Tank mein hai.” And thus the plan was made. The groom and I decided to make the journey with the rickshawala. The destination was across the city. It was an area I should have been familiar with, since I lived there for 3 odd years. He took us into the bylanes of Chintal Basti – which incidentally was the place where we’d come to get our Gas Cylinders refilled; who knew bootleggers operated from there as well? As I exclaimed in surprise at the familiarity of the place, a sense of dread filled me. Here I was in a not so nice part of the city, with a decent amount of money and was looking to purchase bootleg liquor with a fellow who was going to get married in 5 hours. Not exactly the most decent thing to do.

There were many stragglers present around the place. Just like in the zombie movies, bodies moving around in search of something. They would converge at a common point and then disperse. I found it amusing. Just as we got out of the rickshaw, the driver said in a panicky voice for us to get back in. I noticed the stragglers also had quickened up and left the place. We got in. And just then a police van came, lights flashing. The rickshaw guy started the rickshaw, did some real NFS stuff  and took us into a maze of bylanes and then parked at a dead end. For 5 minutes we held our breath, waiting to be discovered by the Police. The thought going through my mind was simple, “If this guy gets arrested today, who is going to get married tomorrow?” “Who can we call to bail us out?” “Do they serve breakfast in the lockup?”

The police van went past our bylane. Our rickshawala (who seemed like a pro at this) smiled and led us back to the bootlegger. We quickly purchased some stuff for double the usual amount and returned. I thanked all the Gods I could remember, all while holding a bottle of liquor. The rickshawala also did his duty and ripped us off on the fare, which to any Mumbaikar travelling outside the city feels like being beaten and molested the same time. But we were relieved at the end of it.

We drank to his last day as a bachelor, many stories were exchanged and many were not. At 2.30 in the night, we realised that his rituals start at 3.30, so he should get going. A quick mouthwash later, he was ready to leave. We dropped him off at his hotel at 3 AM. He had half an hour of sleep before what would be one of the most important days of his life and was boozed up for good measure – all thanks to us. but then, that is what friends are for.

At least he didn’t get arrested. Thank God for that. Then it would have been a night to never forget 😛




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