Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bombay ki Hawa 6

I remember the first time I experienced a sense of high. It was on my 22nd birthday and I had just had my first drink .And my companions were two new found friends I had met in a flight three months ago.

I remember that evening so well. I left hostel around 5 pm , walked up to Mahalakshmi temple and watched the waves for a long time. Long after the Aarti was over, I let the wave of loneliness overpower me. I wanted to spend some moments with people I could call friends.

I had been in Bombay for over 6 months and yet in that large metropolis barring a few classmates, I had no close friends. The only ones I could relate to were two men I had met a couple of months ago.

I had met A&S on the flight from Madras, hitched a ride with them and then lost touch with them . But a month later, the blackboard near the hostel phone announced that I had missed a call from A . I was excited and irritated - I hadnt taken his number and he has called back after a month and not left a number either. But common sense told me that if he had called once, he will call again. So I waited and the call came.

We three became good friends later on - well, if friendship meant enjoying each other's company, having a comfort factor, cracking up a bit here and there and not getting into personal lives ,then we were all friends then . And so, on my 22nd birthday, I reached out to the pay phone and asked my only friends to come over for a coffee to Marine Drive.

It didnt take them long to figure out and we realized that we were all January born and were Capricornians, except for A who was a cusp. And it was his brilliant idea that we celebrate and lo we were in Marine Drive having a beer each. The conversations poured in and so did the beer. I started protesting but A& S would have none of it. The Cindrella hour for the hostel was getting closer, and A poured more beer into my mug. Soon the tensions eased as I let my loneliness be lost amidst the laughter.

It was a new high. My first drink and I was out in a new city celebrating my birthday being treated by two men who were virtually strangers .The taste of beer mingled with the new found freedom, as I was enjoying the company of two people who until a couple of months ago I had not even met. And yet, in that strange bond that we were building without our own knowledge, a 22 year old was born . I felt light, my head began to swim and the reflexes relaxed. It was probably amidst all the dizzying effect of the spirit, I experienced a momentary moment of loneliness being quelled by unknown love and yet , at that moment all that I was probably thinking of was Sister Rosa and the witching hour.

A's wicked grin at seeing me high and talking gibberish still remains with me as I write this piece today. They told me later they were amused at my panic for I was apparently very high . A kept recounting later that I tripped, but I dont believe him. S was always the nice guy . He kept reassuring me as he flagged a cab and helped me into it. A deliberately took his time, munching the sandwiches, enjoying the last sip while I was half mad at him, almost in the midst of throwing the cutlery at him .I felt giddy as the cab left and drifted off to sleep for some brief moments while cursing them for getting me high . But somewhere in that sleep, I found a sense of what one would describe as happiness.

I did return late to the hostel all flushed and high as the taxi raced from marine drive to breach candy . My friends later say that when sister Rosa opened the door, I looked at her and said "The bus crashed." A cake was cut later at midnight , but all I remembered were the cheers from the evening !

Many birthdays have come and gone and I have been high on life as always, but A & S - I wonder where they are ! Well, I did manage to trace S, but A ...

9 comments:

Arun Nair said...

Ahh the first time I got piss drunk was also in South Bombay :), and we drank, sang and scared the dogs all night!

Aaarti said...

Sweet memories.... :)

sneha said...

lovely...!!! :)

Arun said...

:)

Arun said...

:)

American Girl said...

I had a blast when I visited Bombay. I love India.

For sightseeing, Delhi and its environs can't be beat for the Mughal monuments, etc. We also ate in an amazing tandoor restaurant called Bokhara, I don't know if it's still open. But Delhi seemed a little philistine, with lots of bureaucrats. Bombay didn't have as much sightseeing but was a lot more cosmopolitan. We stayed with members of the Parsee community, who are amazing. Definitely look into the Parsee sights there.

I didn't go to the south, but would love to in the future.

Judith said...

Hi...new to blogging and blog surfing. Stumbled on yours and enjoyed. Will visit again. Maybe you would like mine.....visit if you have time...if not that's OK.
bBlogs are:
sevenweeksinnepal.blogspot.com
and
arthurstace.blogspot.com
Thanks again...enjoyed

lookingwithin said...

Hi! I was away from the blogging scene for some time now...Iguess I came in time to read this one...loved it..very nice..some memories not only stay with us forever but we live them more than once...in our minds and hearts and souls...and people whom we share those memories with always have a special place in our hearts...

Ironheart said...

There is promise in your writing. Just wanted you to know that.
Stay on top!
Have a good lyfe!