I spent last weekend at my friend Gautam’s house because his wife was out of town. We had the house to ourselves, just like the good old days when we were teenagers. The only difference was that this time it was just Gautam and me. Yogi, Piyush, Mickey and the rest of the old gang, have shifted out of town or to the distant suburbs.
We were disappointed when none of them joined in. We knew it wasn’t the distance. They preferred to spend time with their wives and kids. Gautam and I cranked up the music, got out the beer bottles and fruit juices (I’m off drinks now.)
It felt nostalgic. I had spent most of my time with him as a teenager. Gautam’s parents lived in another house, a few blocks away. Back then, all our friends would come over and we would have a blast. The night would start with beer guzzling sessions and go on till the wee hours of the morning. We never felt the need to go out clubbing. Soft rock, hard rock, everything was available at the press of a button.We would start dancing when we felt like it.
When we were bored, we would head out for chai (the areas adjoining J J Hospital were famous for their all-night eateries and tea shops) in the middle of the night. Before calling it quits and returning home to catch-up on our sleep, we would hang out in the gully adjacent to our building.
This invited the wrath of the cops patrolling the area. But thanks to our college ID cards, we would be let off. After a while, they stopped questioning us because they had gotten to know us quite well.
Often, Gautam’s neighbours would complain to his parents about the racket we created. Then his mother would complain to my mother because I lived next door. It was curfew time for a while but things would settle down within three or four days.
The music became softer for a month. All of us rode our own bikes then. The Gateway of India was one of our favourite night hangouts. At times, Gautam’s uncle, Kishore, who was quite a stud, would join us. That was fun. He would give us valuable tips on dating.
After so many years, Gautam and I tried to recapture the old magic. But we were missing our old buddies. At around 2 a m, I opened the window for a breath of fresh air when I suddenly spotted one of our neighbours, Maradon, who was listening to music in his house. We called him over to join us. Now, he’s in his teens and was narrating some of his escapades with his friends to us.
That only added to the nostalgic feel. About an hour later, I was feeling very drowsy. I realised that I had to get back to work the next morning. My eyes shut as soon as my head touched the pillow. It was the best time I had in ages.
The next morning I woke up feeling groggy but dragged myself to work. On the way, I remembered how I needed just a couple of hours of sleep after a night of wild partying. Perhaps age had caught up with me or all the partying over the years had taken its toll.
I think I’m in a phase of my life where I can only reminisce about the good old days. And maybe feel happy just listening to teenagers like Maradon raving about their raunchy parties.