Wrote this post for Campughanta. Please click on the link to read it there: Surviving a Party
The speakers blared the latest Honey Singh hit, as I downed my 4th shot of Vodka. The DJ had played the song 8 times, since the jam session had started about an hour ago. I was beginning to hate that song now, more so since the constant hammering had engraved it in my head. I knew, I would be humming it on a loop the next morning, unless I did something to erase it. I stretched my hands to grab my 5th shot of Vodka………
Though, not really an asocial person, but I usually don’t prefer parties. The first and the foremost reason being, the loud cacophony that a DJ plays. I fail to fathom how people are supposed to interact in that. Unless and until, deep down, the Neanderthal being is still alive in us. For whom dancing to loud drum beats was a mating ritual. Yes, we really have come a long way, from the time when our ancestors still swung on trees and fought for a banana.
This was supposed to be a Birthday bash cum engagement party of a friend. And I was cursing myself for letting my parents talk me into attending it. There is a reason why I have not added half the people I had met today on my FB list. And not talked to them since the last 6 years. It does make for some rather awkward conversation that begins with a fake smile. If only the Oscar jury had seen me today.
Like it or hate it, but you can’t ignore it. Unless you are a social pariah, chances are you have been to a party at least once in your lifetime. And sometimes you get stuck in a party which is such a torture that, you would rather switch places with Prometheus. But for some reason or the other, you have to attend such functions. Call it a social obligation or torture, but the truth is you can’t escape forever.
I curse my bad habit of arriving on time. The invite had said 5 PM. The hosts came at 6 and the guests began trickling in at 7. Till then I had amused myself by helping with the decorations and the placement of chairs. Just in case anyone is interested, Sonu, the guy serving Gol Gappas had pissed in the water. I smirk as I see a group of pachyderms stuffing their mouth.
Somehow, every lady above the age of 40 is suddenly interested in my marriage plans. “So you are next, eh!” wink wink “Excited about your friend’s engagement?” My answer to all of them was a smile. “Blushing! Who is the girl? You won’t tell me?” “I am talking to her right now.” …wrong move, that didn’t shut them up, rather they became more annoying. I grabbed my 1st shot of Vodka.
Slowly, they began transforming into giant insects. The glittering clothes and the over dose of bling further aggravated my hallucinations. I quickly took my leave from that table, before they could stick their mandibles on me.
The 2nd shot of Vodka was kept in front of me, as I tried to create a tower out of the cutlery. A few waiters passed by. I waved at one, but was royally ignored. Maybe they still believed I was one of them, and was just shirking work. The hand slipped, as I was trying to balance the knife on the fork, bringing the whole structure down. You lose some, you lose some. The Turtle made of watermelon and pineapple seemed to laugh at me. I laughed back as a kid stuck a knife in it’s back and removed a huge chunk. The kid looked awkwardly at me as I French kissed the now empty glass.
I downed my 3rd shot of Vodka as the person sitting besides me gave me every minuscule detail of his relationship and how they spent their time during their last vacation in Europe. Courtesy sake, I listened to the details politely, nodding now and then. Asking a few question just to give him an impression that I was interested and was listening. He kept blabbering as I tried to stick a table spoon on my nose.
Alcohol has different effect on different people. An inebriated man danced to the tunes of “Do Ghunt Pila De” His moves serpetine. A few appreciated his attempt, while mocking him behind his back. The waiter serving snacks had skipped me, again. But then, I consoled myself with the thought, that maybe I was becoming invisible. But still, despite the loud music, I am sure the grumbling of my empty stomach was audible enough.
As I downed my 5th shot, a few pseudo intellectuals hounded me. Their clothes gave them away from afar. I should have made my escape then. Customary greetings later, we were discussing the plight of workers and why the government fails to check the rapidly increasing class divide. I am sorry, we were not discussing. One of them was speaking continuously and dismissing my attempts to pitch in with a few points, with his barrage of words. It is a thing most pseudo intellectuals have in common: A long kurta, beard and a contrarian attitude.
I grabbed a glass of whiskey and roamed towards the garden area. I had had enough Vodka for today. It was more peaceful out here. I sat on a bench. Far from the maddening crowd. An old friend saw me in my solitude and decided to join in.
“Do you need a hug?”
“Ehh…not really. Do you want to give one?”
“Is something troubling you?”
“Tell me. I am your friend and I promise to keep your secret with me”
“There is no need to worry. I am all right.”
“But your eyes are red. Were you crying?”
“Maybe, that is due to the 5 Vodka Shots I just had.”
“Ok seriously, nothing is wrong. I was getting bored and the loud music was getting on my nerves. So I just came here to enjoy some peace.”
“So you don’t want to tell me. Fine. I thought we were friends.”
“You know what! Fuck You! Fuck This Party! And Fuck this damn day!”
I walked towards the exit as the tiny pieces of the shattered Whiskey glass sparkled in the grass.