Friday, 25 March 2011

Lest We Forget Goa

Like most self-respecting Maddus, I don't dance - at least when I'm not inebriated, I don't. However, that's where my similarities with the stereotype end, for I don't sing either - not for the public at least. So, when the lady at the bar asked me to sing karaoke, it was only obvious that I'd decline.

We had come to Goa for a whole lot of things - bikes, beer, babes, beaches... Karaoke, however, began with a 'K'. So, the bearded one just said "One Budweiser, please" before the blonde waitress bothered us any further. And thus began our story at the second bar of my first ever pub-crawl.

Rounds of vodka, rum, gin and fenny can do weird things to your head. All the same, yours truly was clever, as he had switched off his mobile phone and taken out the battery, lest he should fool around with it and end up as a fool the next morning. A few more beers were thrown in by the courteous waitress, about whom someone commented - "These foreigners are so pleasant, man! Why can't Indians be like them?"

I cannot vividly recall all the happenings of that night - but I certainly remember poring through a song catalogue, complaining about the randomness of the list and Pink Floyd's conspicuous absence. The senti one, who was thoroughly hammered by now, suggested that he's return to Goa in December if they promised to get new songs. Drunk people are particular when it comes to such matters, but they're not finicky. So we sang.

My cacophonous rendition of 'Hey Jude' quickly put Jetty's utterly horrendous 'Yesterday' (which sounded more like Bieber's 'Baby, baby, baby') to shame. The lady was there to rub it in: "You told me you wouldn't sing!" she said. "Well, I wasn't drinking then, was I?" was my deft reply.

Jetty continued to hog the title of 'worst singer ever' with consummate ease, even as the bearded fellow sank into a conversation with the waitress.

"What's your name?" he asked.
"Zena," she replied.
"Like the Warrior princess?" he ventured.
"No. With a 'Z'," she smiled.

Sadly, their romantic chat was shredded apart by Jetty's 'Yellow Submarine'. The chorus was insane, with Jetty convincing the rest of us with irrefutable logic that we all do, indeed, live in a Yellow submarine.

Soon, it was time to leave, so we could reach the next shack. The bill came and we paid. As we left, the waitress ran after us a hundred yards just to say goodbye. After all, I've never tipped like that in my life!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Off My Bucket List

Some of my fondest moments in Watch Out News Agency, and thus on campus, involve staring at the old tree which the wise old dog speaks about so highly. I’m sure most people who have stared in wonderment at the old tree’s majestic upper-branches will empathize with me when I say that the profoundest of thoughts jump out of its withering bark.

I’m quite certain campus Wi-Fi jumped out of it while it was a few rings younger and maybe co-ed hostels will emerge one fine day, as most of us fancifully dream. But usually, staring results in – The E&C Tower. What to do with the E&C tower? How to blow it up? How to throw oneself to the Gaon using the mighty concrete tower as a giant trebuchet? And so on…

While the greatest ‘Rank’ I’ve written would involve ways of getting oneself into SB and staying there undetected, all other spots in my top ten list would have something to do with the mysterious phallic structure. Fucchas, year after year, are bedazzled by the brilliant Main Building and baffled by the weird tower mastering the slope. And seniors leaving the institute inevitably harbour one unfulfilled dream – “Damn, I never scaled it!” Well, I did. (Albeit with a few score others)

Having gone four dry years, I’ve scaled it twice in two days now: courtesy Cognizance 2011. The fifteen story climb is an arduous one – but like in all great treks and pilgrimages – totally worth the effort! The summit has something for everyone: While flying paper planes off the top never occurred to us when we stared at the tree, the bearded one’s ‘Dragon’ demonstrated what fine aerodynamics must consist of. Gelf’s own multiethnic jackass spotted Kerala on the horizon and the Shutterbug was busy capturing anything and everything under the sun (including the sun itself, which, he very intelligently realized, was a few feet closer).

For me, it was about what R has always been about.

WondeRland lies in full brilliance in front of my eyes in uncorrupted pristine splendour. I watch the people, who have meant so much to me, scamper about like tiny ants disappearing into the trees. The sun drowns us in radiant ochre. And I understand why I’ll never stop loving this place.