Date: Aug 26, 2007 Venue: Chez Haji [my place] Time: 1500 hrs onwards [as per invite] Personalitiespresent: Shro, Thirtha, Laura [being old school/college friends] Others [being ex-office-mates]: Chris, Jude, Nandos, Ruth, Dr Iqbal And assorted family [being one brother]: Ozz Food items: Chip and dip, cheese crackers, doughnuts, spinach croissants, mushroom croissants, samosas, pastries [assorted], ice cream [untouched] Beverages: Hard hitting drinks, chai Pics: Here
Shro, Laura, Thirtha and Self had a friend's engagement lunch the very same day revelries were planned at my place, and the idea was to rush back from said formal occasion and play it cool. We were all thoroughly overdressed for a simple friends' get-together and were jointly worried about what the world would think of us if we couldn't get back and change in the nick of time. Laura, being a smarty-pants, made us take a quick detour on the way back to my house - we stopped at her digs and she changed into regular jeans and whatnots. We reached my place just before 1500 [stipulated time given in invite to feel free to enter my house] after another pit stop at Sweet Chariot, Koramangala, for essential bakeries and not-so-essential bakeries. I needn't have worried about being late because except for Iqbal, no one was on time. And that gave me enough leeway to order the friends about the house, making them clean my digs for me. Also, Self and Shro changed into comfy home clothes leaving only Thirtha in her fancy-shmancy outfit to face the ridicule of the impending company. Unfortunately, this never happened. Sir Iqbal arrived in first place, followed shortly by Ruth who took the silver. In third place and sharing the bronze were Charlies' Angels - Chris, Jude and Nandos. Once all guests were packed in like sardines in the living room, preliminary hard drinks were served. Tropicana's Strawberry Twirl, Sprite and Coke were big hits apart from aqua minerale. The main theme of the jamboree was to play Cranium. And so it started. Team 1: Old School+ Ozz, Team 2: Charlies' Angels, Team 3: The Intelligentsia - Doc Iqbal, Ruth and Self. Tension ran high, tempers flared as did nostrils, and various cuss words were thrown about the room, albeit in hushed tones and under breaths. [Except Ozz who let slip a loud one, much to his consternation.] The spirit of competition was intense and cruel. It would be a survival of the fittest. All the above is bullshit. The game started and ended on rather giggly notes, with everyone being everyone else's best friend, making cracks and in general displaying none of the spirit of do-or-die that is so essential in situations of friends getting together to play board games and hopefully see some killing and bloodshed. The game had its high points as each team tried to outdo the other with brilliant displays of thespianism, artistry, musical ability, cunning, intelligence and plain ol' Lady Luck. Memorable Highlights: 1. Doc guessing 'Jetpack' from the vantage point of Jude's posterior, while her teammates couldn't from a forward perspective. 2. Team 1 unable to get to Start for the longest time. 3. Team 2 and 3 flinging mud at each other on the way to Cranium Point 1, and also thereafter. 4. Ozz letting out a shocking cuss word, followed by blushes and embarrassment but only on his part. Everyone else found it hilarious. 5. Soulful rendition of 'London Bridge' by Laura. There were other fine moments but I forget them.
[It must be mentioned that during all of this, the Turkish GP began and we watched on mute even as the game continued. This could account for a lapse of concentration on the part of some players.]
Charlies' Angels couldn't face the thought of the impending defeat that was being meted out to the by the Intelligentsia, and so they suddenly decided to up and leave. A quick photo shoot was held in the hall and Skinny friends left in a haze of tears and dust.
The game was called off and instead, chai was called for by the remaining revellers. Laura actually called for coffee. And Ruth had plain ol' black tea with no sugar or cream. Egads. The rest of us enjoyed hard-boiled, milky-yet-strong sugary chai asis available in roadside dhabas.
A session of chatting and much laughter followed. Laura was in fine form and, as is her wont, giggled more than she spoke. She acted out various scenes for our benefit [we were playing the role of her rapt audience], most notably her father's drunken dance at sister's wedding. Well done! In time, even the Old School decided to leave and Ruth departed along with them. [Sir Iqbal took down various email IDs before their departure and promptly forgot them later.] He stayed on to watch the end of the race, had serious heartrending conversation with the Self on the nasty state of affairs worldwide, and bonded with Ozz on the subject of Ferrari.
We couldn't allow him to leave without a proper din-din, and on arrival of sister, Domino's pizzas were called for [the delivery was late so we got a heavy discount - yay!] and an enjoyable meal was had.
Sabbah Haji is Director of Haji Public School in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir. She spends most of her time on the Twitters as @imsabbah, writes occasionally, and is understood to support ADOPT-A-STRAY and Muddy Pawz. Like everyone else, she likes food, animals, books, movies, music and whatnot. Lots of whatnot.