I lied -- about the sitting home and sulking on New Years Eve. True that as of 6 pm the other day, there was no plan. I was at work, as was my ever-resourceful friend and colleague Apple Bottoms (AB) who had carried with her a bottle of white wine, which is the flavour we stuck to for the rest of the evening.
The drinking started in office, in coffee mugs, on empty stomachs and not entirely surreptitiously. Moods changed, as they often do when you’re pumping yourself with the good stuff and there's not a morsel of food in sight. Enter the giggles and the restlessness, followed by the beep of a text message.
What’s the plan?
Erm, well, now that you’re asking…
There was mention of a terrace garden and the possibility of a small fire. Small fires lead to cosy gatherings. Throw in two more bottles of wine -- both white, one whiskey, nice whiskey glasses, doritos, sour cream, Chinese take away, galauti kababs, those deep fried sweet paranthas the name of which dodges my mind, freshly baked dark chocolate cookies, and there we go -- just the degree of social that was acceptable to me, and just the sort of new years eve I was game for.
People in attendance: five – AB, with husband, Rosy Cheeks (RC), my (boy)friend the pianist – it was his terrace garden, my gay BFF, who deserves a more becoming epithet than gay BFF and says about which most blithely, "Let's face it, who else is competition?", and well, I.
- The killer doctor dad in the news -- about whom the CBI-covering journo, RC had some inside news
- How to start a fire without blowing ash in people’s faces -- the deft pianist
- The clingy gay dermatologist who sent gay BFF a follow up text to a skin care routine he recommended that, read Are You Shining?
- The envious friend of AB who said ‘I thought my life would be like yours’
- And about four rubbish hypothesis and male female perspectives on the acceptable degrees of infidelity. Like I said, four rubbish hypothesis
The fire was started with the help of broken wooden chairs that our workplace had dispensed with and hence lugged up by AB. Like I said, resourceful. What better utilisation of redundant office seating anyway than to see it turn black, red, nails and all, and finally go up in smoke, just like, oh do let me say it, the decade soon to be kissed bu bye?
Now all we needed is a little focus and some ambition sung to the tune of Ha ha said the clown. Sincerity can't harm either. And if along the way, maybe in the course of this year, if an interest/ passion ambles along, I won't be a cocky good for nothing.
And with my feet up, shamelessly encased in toe separator socks, being warmed and pressed by the fire in the tasla -- thank you, piano man, I did NOT know that's what the non-cauldron was called -- I sipped away at my wine, in the company of my conversant yet tee-hee-getting-there homies.
I loved that I didn’t have to wash my hair or bother about my clothes. I didn’t mind, in my depressive colours, being called the shadow of death because with the people I was around -- these four tee hee dements -- I didn’t care. My icing was that when I finally stumbled home, I didn’t have to hunt for cotton balls and cleansing milk to remove from my eyes smears of clogged mascara. Sure the lenses had to come off and be put to bed in their circular coffins, but the minimal effort needed to hit the pillow was the cherry. We even had a fantastic view of a 10-minutes-long fireworks show for free, kind courtesy a sardar down the road who seemed to have a few lakhs in black money to light up the neighbourhood skies with. As far as I was concerned, this was the party. I might even have been happy.
I know I sounded it when at 3.30 my friend in Toulouse, the good doctor dement, who was spending new years with red heads in a French villa, woke me up to share some truly awful jokes. I don't remember the conversation, but 18 minutes and 52 seconds, as my call log tells me, is a long, expensive time to be cracking up over inane yet specialised figures of speech we create by blending German accents with Punjabi intonations. Really, we must acquire a taste for more refined amusement. Next year maybe. To quote him though, "bwahahaha, issogood isss leg-en-dary!"
As for New Years Day, do you imagine it would be fun to carry a paper cut out of a monkey and take pictures of it with recognisably Delhi/ India sites in the background for a little niece of your alleged other half? Yea, well. As far as novelty went, click the gorilla didn’t seem like a bad idea. Besides, it had to be done. Little niece, you see, is in school somewhere in the States and she was given 'travelling with a gorilla' as a project, the deadline of which was close and boyfriend had promised to deliver.
So armed with his Nikon, pianist boy, Koko the Gorilla (irately also known as 'the damn ape'), and I set out to get this photo shoot done with backgrounds as attractive as possible so little niece could be graded an A. Lets avoid the discovery channel brand of tourism India, we thought -- the garbage and the homeless kids. Even yankee toddlers, cocooned as we take them to be, in their own world, are probably sick of imagining India as the centre for flies and feces.
Remember George Clooney in Up in The Air? On his trips across the States to sack people, he had to carry with him a cardboard cut out of a couple (his niece and her fiancee?) and take photos of the cut out so the couple in recession could’ve been to all those states on honeymoon without actually having busted savings for plane tickets to those places. This was like that. we were being George.
And so we went, us two ambassadors of project show the chimp a good time, to hunt for typical India minus the filth.
Qutub Minar would've been nice but crowded. Also, it's out of the way. Metro station that says New Delhi? Possibly -- an indication of developing India and all that. But then we decided to sham a little, and just drove past Teen Murti, clicked that, on to the president's house, down Rajpath and finally, India Gate.
Koko looked happy. Onlookers were curious. Two cops laughed. But the work got done. Promise was kept. Photos were sent. Karma is in place. All that's left is for little niece to give a kickass commentary of the well travelled monkey. Unless that needs to be outsourced to someone who would be happy to oblige, say, for example, this Indian blogger chick I know who writes nothing about woodchucks.