Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Weekend With My Friends

Very often, the build up to an event is the best part of it. The anticipation, the countdown, often bloats up the real thing so much so that when it actually happens, it doesn't turn out to be as grand or as amazing or as memorable as we thought it would be. Last weekend, however, was not one of those occasions.

From O'Hare Airport to the Greyhound bus stop, we spent the better part of the ride trying to figure out when was the last time we had met. Was it at her cousin's marriage in Delhi in 2003-04 sometime. Was it during one of her trips to Bokaro. In the end, none of us could remember and we settled for 'a long time'. For about two hours we chatted non stop. About what we have been upto. Parents, people we are in touch with, people who have somehow got lost, complications - everything. Then they arrived. Husband and wife. He cracked his usual silly jokes and she told us about the baked chicken and banana cake she had brought.

After roaming around downtown for a while, we headed to a Chinese restaurant. She placed the orders and the rest of us mostly approved of whatever fancy dishes she wanted us to try. The talk mostly revolved around marriage, family, responsibilites and how things change after marriage. Husband and wife were all mature and talking eloquently about family, acceptance, and adjustment. She made her point about settling outside India and the new equation it brings forth. She was more passionate about all of it. She had all the whys. I just listened and concentrated on my Samuel Adams except for my occasional one liner which at times seemed profound. At least to me.

After a brief stop at Melting Pot for a Yin & Yang chocolate fondue, we decided to head home. I kept shouting for alcohol but the shops had already closed.

Saturday, and Chicago came up with a bright, sunny, 47 deg F weather. Cheesy, touristy snaps around the Bean, pizza at Giordano's, hanging around Navy Pier, a 'free hug', an impulsive decision to go for a $5 '4-of-us-together-sketch' - the day went by like a dream.
We went back home to recharge ourselves for the evening and finally managed to buy alcohol. At home, I made the drinks while the others busied themselves getting high and dancing. I took the opportunity to make videos of my friends singing and dancing. Hardly have I seen people sing so out of tune as these guys did - karaoking to Socha Hai from Rock On!
Anyway, high on vodka and very happy, we left for dinner. The sushi was good and I did a decent job of eating with chop sticks. By around 11, we were inside a club. In context, it wasn't the best part of the day. But although I never really like hip-hop music, the tequila shots and random gossip with my friends made up for that. We stayed there for a couple of hours. By that time I was quite drunk and so managed to climb up an escalator which was coming down thus fulfilling one of my long standing desires!

We were meeting after years. 3/4 years in some cases. And yet, there wasn't an awkward moment. No silences. No uneasy pauses. We never ran out of things to talk about. And at the same time we didnt have to make small talk. It was amazing in every way you look at it. She was turning out to be the best host ever. It was the kind of reunion where you didnt have to think before talking. You could say anything you felt like saying. You could even go ahead and talk about things you didn't like about someone without being misunderstood. You could laugh on the silliest of jokes and the next instant talk about 'important' things.

Sunday was always going to be laid back and lazy after the Saturday we had had. And so it was. It was a Bangalore like morning. The sun rays streamed down the open blinds as I lay on the bed. Tea was served and I slowly woke up - letting last night's hangover to leave me. We went out, had brunch and met the guy who's car my friend was planning to buy. Most of the talk was about when we would meet next and since I was the only one staying in India, all attention turned towards me. It felt good to be wanted. It felt good when they said the next meeting the 3 of them would have in a couple of weeks time wouldn't be the same without me. I don't remember the number of times she asked me 'next kab aa rahe ho' to which I never had any answer. We left them at around 5 as they were about to board their bus. The two of us decided to take a walk and then watch a movie. The movie was rather long and not as good as we had expected. We came out of the hall and walked for a bit before going to a Japanese restaurant. I guess it was beginners luck because I did worse with the chop sticks this time around. Or probably it was the sake. We had sushi once again.

By the time we came out, the streets were quite deserted. She said that I hadn't clicked a single photograph throughout the day. So we took turns posing and taking snaps before deciding that it was time we head home.

I think we were mostly quiet during the ride back to home. It was perhaps the realization that two wonderful days had gone by and next morning we would return to our lives. We talked about the two who had left us in the evening, about a few other friends and about ourselves. She booked a cab for 6:15, I packed my luggage and then went to sleep.

The ride in the morning was lonely. I had been thinking about this for months and now that it was over, I couldn't help but get a little sentimental. All of us have vastly different lives. We work in different industries, have different tastes and live in different places. I dont know when we will meet next and if it would be as special as this one was. But for what it's worth - this one was magical.


Rohan Rai said...

abey she, he, they, them, us, we....abey kissi ka koi naam nahin hai kya

Pi said...

//to climb up an escalator which was coming down thus fulfilling one of my long standing desires!

Always been wanting to do this!! Never could and sadly for me, I am a teetotaller :p

The post is very nice!


Atish said...

@rohan: it's a style of writing yaar ! :P
@Pi: right...might be a little difficult to do without being high :)

Pi said...

Finally the makeover happened, eh?:-)Cool..How was this weekend?

Atish said...

@Pi: unique, interesting - not blog-able at the same time :D

Rohan Rai said...

Suggestion although..the theme looks unique...looks good...but there seems to be some problem...either with my browser or something...or either the fonts...with the background...and the font color and size...I really have to strain my eyes to read I would be nice if u can look at it ...

Atish said...

@Rohan: now?

Wanderer said...

looking good, sir

Wanderer said...

something wrong with the comment you have left on my blog


Unknown said...