The trip started with some shopping plan. Wanted to buy a pair of shorts because I and Sanjukta wanted to cycle around the city but when I saw myself in a short, I thought I might as well, stick to jeans lest they stop me from entering a pub in Pondi because I was looking like a school girl in that silly shorts. Never the less bought a red duffel bag.
After a lot of planning, 12 of us gathered at Vinayak’s pad, well, apart from being a group administrator he also had to attend to our occasional tantrums. A nice cozy house, where we all ate fried rice and Manchurian, and I tried to feed wasabi to many people but only Sunil liked it and found it sweet.
As usual I allocated jobs to various people. Vishal was the official accountant, Sunil was our official showman, Sukumar was the assistant accountant, I wanted to be the official bar tender but my talent was never really appreciated, Sanju was the official real time message twitterer which I was finding very bugging and Sukumar concluded my thoughts by saying, “Twittering is online littering.”
2 cars, 13 people…but we all were eyeing Lola. In case you do not know who Lola is, lemme take this opportunity to tell you that Lola is our administrator, Mr. Das’s girl friend, a red Honda City. He is head over heels in love with Lola. Vinayak, me, Sunil, Vinu, Srividya hopped on to Lola and the rest went in Qualis. Before that we all had paid 1000 each to our finance head Vishal.
Srividya whispered to almost everyone, “Tomorrow is Anupama’s birthday.” And I whispered back, “Yes, and we all stop at 12 midnight to celebrate her birthday.” Everyone agreed. Usually, people do not disagree with me.
We bought a cake from a cake shop near Ulsoor lake and then rolled. All through the way, Sunil was being bugged by me, as I kept pestering him to play different songs. I kept screaming, “Volume, Volume” and Sunil looked bewildered and was continuously giving blank looks to Vinayak, who was at the steering.
At the back seat Vinu got beaten up by me and Srividya for no apparent reason. At 12 we stopped and waited for the Qualis to reach. In the meantime, we decorated the cake with jeera (yes you read it right “jeera” means cumin seeds) which Vinu had got. As soon as the Qualis arrived I ran towards it and told Vishal and Danny to carry Anupama to the cake which they were too scared to do.
After the cake cutting ceremony and usual photos I smeared cake all over Anupama and got the taste of my own medicine from her. The ha-ha hee hee continued for 20 minutes then we started again. We heard, the Qualis guys had beer also (Sanju will talk about it later) and we, the Lola gang, had jelly beans again thanks to Vinu.
The blaring music continued and it started raining all of a sudden when I asked Sunil to pull over. We all stood in the rain for 10 minutes and I and Vinayak ran in the rain. After sometime, we had tea at a local road side dhaba. In the mean time we received a call from the Qualis guys that their tyre is punctured and that we need to wait. My reaction was, “Stepny nahi hai kya? Stepni lagao aur chal pado, ismei tension karne ka kya hai.”
Morning we reached ECR beach to catch the sunrise while the Qualis guys were far behind us and they had to be far behind us after all we were at 150 to 160 km/hour. 5 of us started walking towards the beach and saw how it is to be a part of community beach side potty collective. Ok, lemme put it straight, people and
potty, that’s all we could see for some time then we kept walking towards the other end of the beach till we found a clean stretch.
Sunil had gone missing with his machine and Srividya was taking care of our belongings while, Vinayak, Vinu and I were playing in the sea like some 5 year old. Before all this I had become a little philosophical at the sight of sun rise.
By the time we were done, hunger pangs had already started to knock on our stomach lining and we were frantically searching for food but in vain. Saw the Qualis arriving, and found all sleepy heads coming out of the Qualis one by one.
After a lil chitchat we started again and stopped at a small time eating place, had idlis, sambhar, poori, chutney and suddenly I saw a bullock cart, I had to run towards it, as if the bulls were calling me so that I could hop on to them. I just had to do it. Took a small ride on that bullock cart and again started for Youth Hostel of Pondicherry.
The Qualis guys had already reached the dormitory and were relaxing. After a shower we decided to have breakfast and I went outside the hostel and stumbled upon a small tea shop who had a hotelier friend who could understand Hindi. So the process was, the chai wala calls the hotel wala, the hotel wala then call the PCO number which the chai wala has and then I place my order in hindi. Ok Process complete, results awaited. 30 minutes after, parantha and sambhar gets delivered for the hungry souls and before that I carry 12 cups of tea on an aluminum tray which almost burnt my fingers.
After all khana shana, I had to return the tray to the chai wala as he had kept 51 bucks as security for it. Confusion begins:- We all want to do different things. Sanju and I stare at “ground zero” read Ayan, who was blabbering something. We wanted to cycle, some wanted to take pictures, we also wanted to party. Vinayak was given the task to find out about a place where we could party whole night. Seeing all this chaos, 2 strange looking men arrive in on their bikes as God’s messenger to our call, with an invitation to some party which had all that we needed plus French girls. Ok now, this looked like a shady party to me and I was not really interested in going to a party where I will be hooked up with a French girl. After lot of brain storming in the hot humid sun, we started moving here and there. Finally, like an oasis in the desert, spotted Promenade, a restro bar, to our rescue.
Went inside but again the chaos continued, “to be or not to be, that is the question.” Meanwhile, our super enthusiastic man, Sunil Kumar wanted to check out this funky place, but was a little skeptical in expressing himself amidst all the chaos. So I see him, coming and leaning over and asking me, “lets check the lounge.” And like partners in crime, the 2 of us sneaked out, leaving all the chaos behind at the mercy of the Moderators, Sanjukta and Vinayak.
Upon entering the lounge, I induced greed in Sunil’s mind, “Sunil yaar ek ek beer maarke ke chalet hai.” And like I had mentioned before, people usually do not disagree with me, so we rest ourselves on the bar stools and decided to have Vodka instead. We had just placed our order and I see Mr. Das entering the scene with a hopeful look in his eyes, as if he has seen God.
The cocktails went on for sometime, and Sanjukta felt all dejected and left in lurch by her school time buddy that’s me. She took charge and managed with the rest of the gang. The sinners along with Vinu and Lavanya had our lunch at Rendezvous while the non-sinners ate at Madame Shanty. Then we went to Auroville, which was already closed, after that to a beach again, photographers took a lot of pictures, Sanju twittered, I again went in water with Sukumar, Vishal.
Later we decided to sin more, so all sinners, read, me, Vinayak, Sanju, Sunil, Danny , Ayan hopped on to Lola while the non-sinners were sent in Qualis to look for a restaurant where we could have dinner. We sinned (censored) laughed like crazy and had dinner till late night. Later that night, Ayan, me, Vinayak, Sanju, we all sat on the terrace of the Hostel and talked, giggled while a song from the film Guide kept playing in the back ground.
Next day, the photographers were missing when I woke up. They had gone for sunrise. So Vishal, Sukumar, Sanju, Vinayak and me, we lazed around, fought with pillows. Before that Vinayak and I went to that chai shop had cake and chai. The breakfast was at Promenade with rounds of cocktails. Later, we danced inside the restaurant and were called “Polar Beer” by Ayan.
Evening we went to see a Jetty, and on returning I saw an old uncle on a lady’s cycle, so I had to run after him. There is this freak side of me which may shock many. So I ran after him, “Uncle, Uncle Uncle…..(he stopped) huff!! Huff!!, Uncle I want your cycle.”
Uncle replies, ‘But I can not work without my cycle.”
Ok now this was an insult. Uncle thought that I probably will take his cycle never to come back to him again. But then I explained that I wanted to cycle but could not find any cycle so I wanted his cycle to cycle. Sanjukta also joined hands with me. I went to a point and she rode back. Since I was cycling after more than 15 years, I forgot to put the breaks and I thought what if I keep going on, it would have looked like a Priyadarshan film. Me on a cycle, Sanju running after me, Vinayak with lady’s
purse in his hands running after Sanju and that Uncle running after Vinayak for his bi-cycle. But that plan did not work, you see I am too humble a soul to do that.
Evening we started for or return journey, Lola had her admirers all over over. But the chosen ones got to sit inside. Sunil, Vinayak, me, Sanju and Sukumar. Stopped at a place for dinner, had boiled eggs from a road side vendor. In the meantime, Sanju lost her cell phone, (it was a pseudo loss actually) and had gone berserk, seeing all this Sunil and Vinayak got scaredand stopped talking, while Sukumar was bearing the brunt of Sanju’s constant cribbing. I was acting like this kewl chick who has seen it all, have done it all..Sanju kept crying, “Waaaa…waaa..waaaa” and I was laughing at her and interrupted, “lets have beer”. “Hum jaise dost ho to dushman ki kya zarurat hai.” After 30 minutes of holding everyone by the noose, she says, “guys, I just remember that I had kept my phone in my camera pouch. I have not lost it.” after that, rest is history, she got beaten up by me.
The guys had bullet beer and Sanju played the DJ, while I, Sukumar, Vinayak danced like crazy. I screamed at every 5 minutes, “Volume, Volume, Volume” Sunil drove at 150 km/ hour. We all behaved like hooligans, lost our way somewhere in Chennai. Found our way back. Stopped at a road side joint again, had goat brain, beer and tea made from cow milk, freshly milked from a sleepy cow.
Later I felt asleep in the car, while the rest of the gang kept singing, screaming, shouting..we reached at 6:30 am and crashed at Vinayak’s place. The Qualis gang had reached way before us. I went back to sleep, woke at 8, and left for my home.
This was the story from my side. I am sure each one of you would have a different version. Letsgo and BWS trip to Pondi has been like merger of the equals. Would like to listen to each one of you about your experience.
And lastly thanks to Sunil, Anupama, Srividya, Vinayak, Danny, Ayan, Vinu, Lavanya, Tanmay, Vishal, Sukumar for bearing with our hooliganism, tantrums and eccentricity. Believe me, I have found some really great friends in you people.
Ok lemme stop now, am getting all senti