Week Four, Part-I….Vesper and Martini vibes…!!

….continued from Week Three, Part-II

“Hurry up..!!” was the order for the moment. Everyone was dying to cross the Campus boundaries and get a feel of the ‘Hyderabadi air.’ I, on the other hand, was not much concerned about the environmental issues, my attention was totally focussed on “running away from the things called career, academics, blah-blah.”

The destination was unknown, so the ‘info-services’ and ‘navigation systems’ were the sources relied upon. Search was on for a place to sit down and relax rather than hop around in the city. But, as it always happens in a group, there was a difference in opinion on this as well. Soon, people separated according to their preferences and I was lucky to get a good majority supporting me.

After a lot of travelling and navigation hiccups we finally found a place to hide ourselves from normal folks. Well, the “Confidentiality Norms” don’t allow me to explain much about the place but I was surely getting the ‘Casino Royale’ memories as I sat on to the cozy ‘lazy bag’, I could certainly feel the “Vesper and Martini vibes” in the atmosphere around me.

“Chilled..!!” was our order and it was very well obeyed. It’s not that I am not used to this kind of an atmosphere or it was something “alien” to me but it was all happening after a very long time. The pungent aroma of the “brew” and the strong bitter taste of the fresh “hopps” took me back to my days at the brewery. Though I may be sounding like a ‘drunkard lunatic’ here but I have the will and the courage to admit that I was really having a good time with my buddies,who were also having somewhat the same kind of experience.

The music was thumping faster than our heartbeats and on the giant screen ‘Rahul Dravid’ was busy saving India from a defeat against England at the first test of the series at Lords. Some people were trying their hand at ‘bowling’ with nobody getting a clear strike. Even the ‘pool’ and the ‘snooker’ tables didn’t have many champions around. We were busy, as we should have been, with one ‘cola’ and an ‘orange juice’ and some ‘ancillaries.’

The heat was on, so were the contests. “Nawaab” and myself decided to compete. There were two rounds, I was a clear winner by a huge margin in the second round and the winner of the first one is yet to be decided. The only statement that I am authorized to make is,”Pints are an easy affair…!!”

“Martini” or its modified version “Vesper” was what I was looking for.

“A dry martini in a deep champagne goblet with three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka and half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until its ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.” The phrase was echoing through my mind like a track playing in a loop.

“Gosh, that’s certainly a drink” but I guess I was being too ambitious as this was no “Ian Fleming” classic to fictionally produce anything out of the thin air. So, as the title suggests “vibes” was the only option.

Well, the alcohol mixed blood was now rushing through our veins at “Mach 5” and I was certainly feeling the “smooth punch.” It was a signal for us to leave for dinner and so we did being a “responsible lot.”

Pizza was the unilateral choice considering the proximity of the “kitchen”. But damn! Waiting there as well. The only thing that bothers me about these “famous eateries” is the waiting time, feels like a fool standing in the line just to have a bite. But, considering the gravity of the situation I kept my “Jat-bhaav” (“strong emotions of a person from Jat caste”) in control and kept sipping ice-cold water to calm my nerves.

Finally, we got a table or to say a round table with a “u-shaped” sofa enough to accommodate seven of us. “Mach 5” was really making a difference, all the “guilty ones” were unable to get a sense of the pitch of their voice. In simple words, we were shouting. The best part, none of us had any clue of our misbehaviour.

“Please Sir, other guests are getting disturbed! Can you talk a little slower?” The waiter requested us.

“What an idiot?” I said to myself. No, not because of his gesture, he was perfect with his concerns but the sentence concentration lacked the much required clarity of words. Of course, using “slower” for pitch of voice is absolutely wrong, it required an antonym of “loud” i.e. “soft” or even “gentle.” But he was a waiter and I believe I was again expecting a great deal out of him. Now, I am not trying to boast myself here but these were the actual thoughts that crossed my mind at that particular moment.

“We’re sorry!” I gently apologized. “Nawaab” was staring at me with his mouth wide open. Yes, the expression of amazement was an answer to my humble behaviour which was not going with the image that we ought to carry. But you can’t keep a sausage in a dog’s house for long, we were again “normal”, shouting the hell out of the other customers.

The dinner was awesome, “Thoda khao, thoda fenko”(“Eat some, throw some”) was our mantra. Indeed, this did not help much to improve our reputation in the restaurant which was already badly tarnished. Well, after having a nice and strong, lemon-flavoured ice tea I was in a mood to lie down there itself but my “management” didn’t provide me that luxury. As a result, we made our way back to the campus.

On way, in the auto-rickshaw I was getting cute slaps of cool air on my face. Nah, not everything is related to the aftermath of sipping “the holy water,” although I am not very much convinced with these so-called “preconceived notions.” Anyhow we reached our temporary home without much dramatics involved.

I am generally a little quick with my steps but tonight I was not getting my perfect speed. As per my estimates, I had to move a little faster but God only knows why I was way ahead of the folks accompanying me. “Jab jhel nahi sakte to kyu karte hain ye sab?”(“Why do they do all this if they aren’t capable to bear the consequences?”) I asked to myself presuming their faults and my wise thinking for the same. Well, after trying too hard I matched up to them, forever generous as I am.

Back on the third floor corridor I could still feel the “aroma” observed earlier. Speed was alright now. We went to our rooms, changed and were ready to create some well-needed havoc.

“Nawaab” and myself were giggling with joy.“Hahaha! Pass na hone ke bhi apne faayde hain”(“Not clearing the exams also has its benefits.”) We shared these similar thoughts and were looking at the positive side of life that is so difficult for many. To be positive and happy is no rocket-science and I believe we ourselves avoid these “positive vibes” just to pretend in front of the world that we are helpless or as we say in Hindi,“Bechaara haalaat ka maara”(“Helpless poor being”). By the way, I suddenly experienced those “Vesper and Martini vibes” again, no wonder Star Movies was showing ‘Casino Royale’ that day.

We walked in and around the corridors kicking the doors of all the “early to bed, early to rise” participants and disturbed them with an intent to get bored with their “intellectual discussions” and get a reason to sleep. Some people locked their doors, some ignored our presence and some even pretended to be fast asleep but we succeeded in our mission to get our “eyes heavy.”

Sunday it was, and what a disaster of a morning. I was up early if you compare with our regular standards but it was horrible with no water to drink and anything to eat. Fortunately, one of the rooms was open and I found some water in one of the jugs. I went back to sleep again and was awakened with a ring on the intercom. My table-tennis champion friend was on the other end, he requested me to come for breakfast to which I immediately agreed.

Breakfast was awesome, “khaakra” with “ghee” was a superb combination though I was having this dish for the first time, thanks to our “Dabangg” friend from Indore. Finally, it was decided to keep some of her ration in my room itself as a gift from her to successfully conduct our “formal meetings.”

“Nawaab” and my roommate had already left for some place with others and I along with my table-tennis champion friend, “Dabangg”, high-power spectacles friend and a girl from Indore decided to visit a nearby shopping mall. The girl from Indore was almost a complete stranger to me till now and I feel a bit awkward to move with a stranger, but she came along as a very nice person and we were soon talking which comforted me a lot in the group.

We reached the mall, straightaway went to the food-court and ordered a lot of burgers, fries and cold  drinks. After eating well or I should say too well, none of the guys were in a position to move from their seats. But, we were forced to move around in the shops by the kind ladies which we of course couldn’t deny. Typical man psyche, falls for anything that the opposite gender demands. Yes indeed this is a very grave problem but the solution is still unavailable and it’s not helping the “human cause” much.

We wandered around in the mall. I was recommended to buy a certain brand of perfume and I was busy searching that. Meanwhile, my table-tennis champion friend bought a pair of converse and the girls were, as always, taking their own time. Well, we decided to split as me and my table-tennis champion friend were looking for some apparel now.

“What a deal?” was our reaction, two t-shirts for Rs.350 only. The best part, we realized that there was a double-discount scheme only after we paid the bill. My t-shirt says “Hey Ho, Lets Go” and it still reminds me of our days at COE.

We couldn’t find the perfume but the “super-bargain” t-shirts made our day. It was already evening and we decided to head back to our “own world.” On getting back we straightaway went to the canteen and had tea. Even our very own Canteen Man,“Anna” as we used to call him, couldn’t believe the amazing offer that we had availed on the brand new t-shirts. Owing to my generous nature, I offered him the same at double the price without mentioning about the offer, but he somehow found out the bill and my business deal was cancelled.

Back into my room, I had my roommate waiting with a display of clothes that he had purchased today. “Some solid shopping, huh..” I asked him. He smiled and started showing his purchases one by one to me. “Boka,” as we used to call him, was a very religious person but very lively and stylish. He always preferred bright colours which was evident in this purchase as well. In my opinion, both “Nawaab” and “Boka” would stand a very close competition in terms of “tapori dressing.”Not to forget that I tried hard to dress like them but always failed.

Slowly, I realized that a majority of people did their shopping that day and everybody was very excited to display their newly acquired belongings. Well, after a much hyped display of things, we decided to play some table-tennis and have some fun. We also had some carrom matches before I was called for the regular and very popular yet very secret “formal meeting.”

‘Fabulous evening’ is the only expression that I can think of. Nobody was concerned as to what was going to happen the next moment. I am not sure whether this type of atmosphere would ever appear again around any of us and that makes me even more determined to create a situation where we all can come and meet again with the same zeal and excitement.

Our dinner started with a quarrel with one of the guards. He switched off the mess-lights while we were still eating. This was not tolerable at all, and after the “formal meeting” it was a “ringing knell” for the guilty one. “Nawaab” and myself were exasperated and were just going to lose our cool, suddenly “Dabangg” appeared and handled the situation. Anyways, we were able to eat now and I swear to God the rice tasted awesome that night. I enjoyed my meal without any “unnecessary vibes” bothering me and with the weekdays starting from next morning the much talked about “Vesper and Martini vibes” were a strict no-no for a good time now.

It was Monday morning and we were introduced to the most “Glamorous personality” I’ve ever met. I called him, ‘Rangeela Insaan.’

to be continued to Week Four, Part-II………..