The reason we screw up so often is because its so ridiculously easy!!
Please hold onto that thought while you read this post. And so yet another year has passed by and left too many memories behind. Some of them as always will fade into the distant by-lanes of memory to be invoked by sporadic bouts of nostalgia and then there are some that we will definitely remember vividly for quite sometime. Ones that we shall regale to our next generations at every dinner conversation in the future. On the personal front i’ll mark this year as when i moved to Bangalore and in the process made loads of new friends and explored a very exciting city. Also watched India’s truly biggest concert to date -the Iron Maiden gig. And lots of smaller materialistic things like buying a car at home and then some more personal ones.
But then, as always, around the 31st of December we wish to ring in the new year in loads of celebrations and in cheer. Most people go to parties, pubs and resorts and dance away but then what’s so special about doing something which everyone else does? And that is the question i’ve been trying to answer for the last 2 new years eves. It is in this very quest, this single minded pursuit, of a new year experience that i’ve managed to beat and surpass my wildest expectations year after year. Last year I planned to spend 31st night among the tigers(duh…not the beer) in Ranthambore but instead ended up at some god forsaken ‘Apani Dhani’ on the outskirts of Udaipur listening to some jackass singing god only knows what songs in chaste Rajasthani! If you are interested, the whole trip is well documented on Chandu’s blog. After that fiasco i was pretty sure that i would definitely do better this time but then i was in for a huge surprise this time around.
A few friends from college(jaya,nippo,tarun,malik,barbie,kaka) had decided the best way to ring in the new year was in Pondicherry and most likely in a lot of booze. So even though i had been there twice before off i set out to Pondi to spend an awesome new years eve. Now Pondi holds special memories for me because it was here about 2 years ago that i had actually tasted booze – an appreciable quantity – for the first time in my life. I had this stupid(in hindsight) rule of mine to only drink with my own money. So all through college i abstained because i somehow wasn’t comfortable with the idea of spending dad’s money on booze. But as soon as my paycheck landed in my account all the vices were conveniently embraced. We hired a cab and off we went to Pondi one fine day. We drank for lunch, drank during the evening, drank for dinner and then i don’t exactly remember how i got back to Chennai. I was told by Jaya and Utkarsh that i just slept blissfully while we cruised back on the East Coast Road(ECR).
So with such fine memories, i was sure that i wouldn’t be disappointed this time around. We started off for Pondi – about 300kms from Bangalore – on the 29th of December and after due dilly dallying we got there around 9pm. As expected/intended most of the time there was spent at the beaches or in drinking or in drinking at the beaches! We also managed to run into Arjun Singh – the HRD Minister at the Auro Beach. While most of us had a good mind to go thwack him for his largely controversial policies on reservations but then he looked so old and so near death that it would have been a wasted effort. We also managed to run into a large group of juniors(freaky,trappy etc) from IIIT which proves that either the world has become a small place or that Pondi is a really small place.
Let me cut a long story short and just get to the big occasion – the night of the 31st for which we had heaved ourselves all the way from Bangalore. We originally planned to hit some local pub/hotel where there was some new year party going on but then either they were too shady or too full. So we ended up checking out many parties without actually getting into any. Around 10:30, we had grown so frustrated that we had enough of doing nothing. We picked up booze and decided to eat somewhere and then just head back to the hotel. Jaya managed to find and get tickets to an amazing buffet where there was a ‘New Year Party’ going on. As we entered the place we were greeted by not the general carnal music but by carnatic music! Next surprise was that there was only vegetarian food on offer. Okay… i should have expected that given that they were playing carnatic music at a new year party. But to add insult to the flaming wound, i had to literally fight with the staff for the leftovers. Seems the awesome ‘New Year’ party was only till 11pm and the staff were allowed to raid the buffet at 10:45pm itself! By the time we were getting out there were the staff’s kids singing nursery rhymes on the microphone! And the whole place was completely empty by 11pm. Makes me wonder why they called it a new year party in the first place! Now that we had filled our stomachs, we had very little appetite for more disappointment or shocks.
But it seemed our titanic evening had only hit the tip of the iceberg of surprise. On the way back to the hotel, the driver managed to get us lost and somehow we ended up crossing into TamilNadu only to be randomly stopped by the Tamil police at the checkpost. Unfortunately we had a whole lot of booze in the car and that amounted to smuggling booze from Pondicherry into TamilNadu. At the maximum, we should have been just fined but the cops instead chose to relieve us of our booze and let us go. So there we were… on the eve of new years – deprived of all our booze and at a police station! And then while some of us went to pick up backup booze, the others had a puncture and also witnessed an accident as well. Didn’t i tell you that we would surpass all expectations?
In the very end we did manage to procure some booze in the city and also managed to retrieve a bottle from the police thanks to Jaya and Barbie’s senti. So it all worked out well in the end. The upside of it all is that we all have a great story to tell! Back in Bangalore, everyone i know was like ‘i went to this awesome beach party’ or ‘i went to this resort and danced the night away’ but the moment i say ‘i was at the police station on the eve of new years’… its no longer a contest.
pssst: i really don’t drink much but nevertheless my new year resolution is to drink less