“Vivek ! Vivek! Evadey aa da thendi!” (Vivek! Vivek! You vagabond , where are you?!) Meera yelled through the phone. Its five p.m and I’m at my Panvel “room” passed out with my roomies , the expected outcome when four guys down a one litre Old Monk bottle. It was Onam and after finishing a scrumptious early meal from home I had got back to my rented flat to celebrate the true spirit of Onam like a hardcore malayali. Albeit most guys pursuing Architecture have celebrations that commence and close in bottles of Old Monk or London Pilsners. Now, we had begun our celebrations close to one p.m and the next thing I know that it is five p.m and Meera is yelling through the phone.
“Heyyyyyyyy…..” in a voice taken over by a nasty hangover , I asked the one question that you should never ask a pissed off woman expecting you..
“Sup??!! Amma has made the paaisam and saved some for you and your annoying room-mates and you’re asking me what’s up???”. That’s when I remember that while travelling from home to panvel , I had specifically asked poor Meera to save some of the Onam delicacy for me and had promised her that I will be showing up at her place and eating the onam delicacy that her mother had made for the day, “Right , Right , on my way..”
Now the accepted duration to rid the human body from the stench of rum is seven to eight to eight hundred hours of sleep , followed by a hot water bath and a king size breakfast accompanied by coffee or just exhaust a can of your room-mate’s deodorant. Ignoring the protocols , I wake up and take a glance around the room. Kabir had his gigantic hairy arms wrapped around Karan , both in deep slumber , while Kapil is fast asleep in the other room. Now Kapil is the virtuous one of the group , a pseudo-persona that he managed to create for the outside world. No alcohol, no fooling around with girls and only academics was his true love. Meera’s mom just loved the guy. He was the one who had threatened to disown me if I had failed to show up by noon with the rum. Whereas myself , Kabir and Karan where the ‘spoilt apples’ , the morons , the vagabonds , the trouble-makers ; a badge we proudly wore.
After thirty minutes of begging and pestering , I got them to tag along. Three drunk fools who weren’t in their senses and unaware that they were stinking of rum headed to the next building where the Onam paaisam awaited us. We reached the front door of Meera’s flat and just stood there staring at each other. PEAP! Those ancient times bell tone buzzed when I hit the bell switch. “Ayyyoooooo , forgot my phone da!” , Kabir declared and he bolted down the staircase , hardly managing his bulky frame. ”Abbey! I have Kabir’s phone!!”, Karan followed and there I was standing all by myself in front of Meera’s house.
Meera’s mom answered the door and while my brain was screaming like that angry bald guy in the Roadies auditions to turn and run for it , I instead found myself greeting aunty and entered the house. She offered me a seat and headed inside towards the kitchen. Meera had just got out of the shower , water was still dripping from her hair and GOD she looked like a dream and smelled like like spring. Myself covered in rum stench , smiled at her and the words I uttered were ” Meera… you’re pretty and I’m drunk.” Her eyes were wide with shock and her delicate palm was clasped onto her lips with horror. She began to seat me when her mom appeared with a bowl of the hot sweet dish.
“Kudichittundu allyey?” (you’re drunk,aren’t you?). I smiled like it was an achievement for which I was being complimented. She asked where her beloved Kapil was and I honestly replied that he was wasted and asleep half naked on his bed. The door to Meera’s house was open and with the brilliant acoustics of the building , sounds traveled far and wide. The three of us that is myself , Meera and her mom were seated in the living room when we heard laughing and giggling. Recognizing the grunts that we normally would hear in a pen full of pigs I knew it was Kabir and Karan. Hearing the giggles Meera’s mom burst out the door to trace its source. Now after escaping the culling pound , why did the two dogs chose to stick around the compound , I don’t know but they were caught and brought in for termination.
Senses had found me and I had realized that I had to get out with my boys before Armageddon but Meera’s mom had just begun grilling our drunk fannies and she wasn’t remotely done. I was struggling to keep up with aunty’s roast session when Meera interjected , “ Ma , enough.. let them be..” she handed me the steel container filled with the hot paaisam and I was trying hard to drag the two dim-wits out who were trying to explain the benefits of rum to Meera’s mom. While departing I look at Meera , with a disappointed look she asked me to not embarrass her anymore. Poor Meera had no clue that we were just getting started..