Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's

What were you doing when the new year broke? Here is a short selective history of my eves. The New Year kind.

2009. This year, it was a comparatively quieter affair at the Draughthouse Pub followed by some samosas at Ken's. It was good fun nevertheless with friends old and new.

2000. The last new year's eve of the previous millennium was a sodden affair at San Francisco, with hundreds of thousands of revelers. Not much to write home about though, could have been just about any other night at the pub.

2001. The millennial start! The hype led me and a friend to New York, where we stood in below-freezing temperatures for the better part of an evening and night, and watched, with dumb anticipation, the ball, only a ball really, drop. This was clearly one of those moments that you presently can't dig but talk about endlessly in future. One for posterity, nothing more.

2005. The most surreal one. And perhaps, for ironical reasons, the most memorable one. Subbu, Ramdas and I had gone to Big Bend for a multi-day backpacking hike. We had planned to continue the tradition of a wet new year's, but what happened out there was an altogether different experience. At 4.30pm on the 31st, we came across a nice campsite, primitive though it was, it was still a campsite. Feeling cocky however, probably through inexperience, we decided to move on to find the next campsite. Darkness fell at 6pm, and we could barely hike through the trail at this point. Desperation led us to search for anything that might work as a camping spot, and this thing turned out to be a stony ledge, slightly slanting downward and enough for maybe 2 dwarves to sleep comfortably. So here we were, 3 grown men, lying on that sloping stone, sleepless in mild fear of snakes, scorpions, and nameless fiends, and just counting all the stars all through the dawn of 2005. A memory keeper.

1999. Another memorable one. In Madras this time, a few quick ones and then a ride to the Elliots Beach. The beach where tens of thousands of inebriated men (men alone) were waiting like a cinderbox for an explosion of excitement. Any girls foolhardy enough to venture into the beach got earfuls of tips on improving their personas, and a
few frank verbal appraisals of their bodies, which in some cases, turned physical. The large posse of uniformed, good-humored and indulgent coppers however seemed to draw a hard line at the physical bit. Out came the lathis, and a lathicharge perhaps not unlike the freedom movement days, ensued. All the freedom-loving patriots ran for cover, many into the cool water and I got hit smack on my elbow for the sole impropriety of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Nevertheless, a badge of honor that I now share with a few luminaries of this world.

2002. At home in Bombay, wandered around late-night with a bunch of newly made acquaintances, bestowing visits to a seedy "beer bar" and a late night roadside eatery making "fry ry". Got back home at an unearthly hour and woke up next morning to smells that reminded one of past misdeeds!

2006. A tradition of
bring-your-own-scotch-but-drink-all instituted. There may have been some dabbanguthu involved, but that was a fairly regular occurrence back then.

2007. A tradition of bring-your-own-scotch-but-drink-all continued. New Year's Eve spent with friends and their families in a downtown club.

1997. A Goan binge to forget, and promptly forgotten. A few fennys (the local drink then available for 3 rupees or 10 cents a pop), some wholesome seafood and some contributions to increasing the noise levels later, we went to sleep. If there are any allegations about my indulgences that night, I meet them stoically with stout denial.

2008. First Night Austin. Music, love and fireworks.

Happy New Year!


Sharanya said...

LOVE in 2008??? Details, pls!! :p

gk said...

Yes.Details pliss. :P

murali said...

Its too recent a past to reveal details comfortably :)

Ramdas said...

hilarious! somehow i remember the cocky ones didnt include us. but memory keepers they are...and oh yeah, i was one of those countless men in 1999, but sans the "badge of honor" :)