College is a perfect place to try out new things. Its the time when nerds try to become jocks and vice versa. People whose milk teeth havent gone down make cigarettes their staple diet. People who earlier had known only two samples of female species-mothers and sisters talk of girlfriends and sex with such conviction that it puts the 'experienced' ones to shame. I was my Mama's boy, you know, the ones who jump directly from their mother's aanchal to their wife's pallu without any transition state. So, when my best friend Sameer suggested that we should go drinking that night, I indeed wanted to kiss him.
I was really excited that day. You know, the excitement of taking a risk. The excitement while riding a roller-coaster, the excitement while copying during exams and the excitement while you pee in public. I had always been laughed at by my friends for not having touched a girl at the...ahem ..proper places. Perhaps, I wanted to prove that I was no less than that monstrous Rajeev who took a bottle of beer and a porn book even to the classroom. He was a God for mortals like us. And perhaps I thought that like the holy Ganga's water, a drink or two could alleviate the sins (my friends still preferred to call them sins) I had commited like not having a girlfriend.
So, in the evening, we went to the Tripti (yeah the owner named it so)restaurant, which stands out among the horde of other PETA sponsored restaurants where stray dogs and customers dine from the same plate. Sameer suggested that Chicken Tikka and Whiskey go well together. To be frank, this "going well together" business always goes out of my head. When people were busy discussing whether Abhisek and Aishwarya go well together, (like their child would decide the future of India) I avoided these as I assumed it was some sort of rocket science.
Finally,the coveted drink arrived. I gulped a peg. Yiieee...it tasted like cold urine...Still I didnt show the dissapointment on my face...After two or three pegs, the world seemed to be floating around me...or was I floating around the world...Whatever...I didnt know...And I dont remember much what happened after that. So I pass the baton to my best friend..
I knew this pig would do it. Just look at his eyes, dancing to some unknown tune. I had always heard that getting drunk was an art. Now I see that this pig excelled in it.In the first stage, he became the wisest man ever, knowing of everything on this planet and elsewhere.Next, he started fantasizing that every woman swooned over him.
"Look, how that girl at the next table is smiling at me",he whispered.
I glanced in the direction he pointed and saw a frail old lady grinning sheepishly.
"Lets go. His boyfriend is looking angrily at you.", I whispered back.
He took a gulp and shouted angrily," What do you think I am? Cant I fight that old man for that beautiful lady?"
He had certainly reached the third stage. It was when one thinks he neednt fear anyone bacause he could beat anyone black-and-blue. It also made me think if only girls looked younger to him now.
Now before he reached the final stage(when one thinks himself to be invisible and does umm...embarassing things), I paid the waiter and with his help, took a taxi to our hostel.
We were nearing the college gate when he asked,"Driver, where are you going?"
"To the hostel saab"
"Do you also stay at the hostel?",he asked innocently.
Just then the guard stopped us. No taxis were allowed inside that night. We had to walk our way to the hostel, through the professors' quarters.
I put his one hand over my shoulder and was literally carrying him, when at a distance, I saw someone. No, it cant be... Oh no, it was my worst dream come true.
It was the 'Terrorist'. Now, the 'Terrorist' was one of our professor who threw at us jets of spit and monotonous drones all through the class while we stared at him open mouthed(and close eyed). He never seemed to understand that the guys could never stay awake at 7 in the morning when they had slept just an hour earlier. Legend was there that students jumped from the classroom window and died unable to hear his lectures. His name struck terror in the minds of the students and hence it was no misnomer.
He came from the opposite end.
"Hey, what happened to him?". He seemed to have recognised me as one of his victims.
"Umm..Nothing sir, just an epilepsy attack.", I managed to mumble.
"Well...then how will he attend the class tomorrow?".
I cursed him under my breath.He didnt make anything of my silence.
"Well...my brother is at home now. He is a doctor. Probably he can see him. Come to my house"
Now, his brother was a doctor? Now had being a doctor become this easy? The Terrorist's brother! They must have had different fathers, I reasoned.
I had heard that the Terrorist had a lovely daughter. As if reading my thoughts, he grunted, "Nobody's at home tonight. You can stay there for the night."
The Terrorist's brother was a tall and huge man, with a hearty laugh. His face seemed very lively compared to the apatheic face of the Terrorist. He bent over Sunil(who had woken up after all this commotion and was probably asking himself,"Main kahan hoon?"), smelled his mouth and said, "Serious epilepsy, indeed!"
Now, I was convinced that he belonged to the same family as the Terrorist indeed. He was by far a quack who called a drowsy alcoholic stupor an epilepsy. I didnt know whether to laugh or cry.
The Terrorist said disinterestedly, "Let him sleep here tonight."
To my relief, his brother poked in, " No, it wont do him any good. My driver will go and leave them at the hostel. What do you say, son?"
I just nodded my head, still unsure if all this happening was real.
The doctor came and helped me to get Sunil into his car. While his driver started the car, he winked at me giving his same hearty laugh with his paunch nodding at his every movement.
I was thinking to myself that this pig would surely remember his first drink for his entire lifetime. Just then Sunil said, "Driver, Where are you going?"
"To the hostel, sir"
"Do you also stay at the hostel?", he asked with the same innocence.
I asked the driver if he had some cotton with him.