This actually happened with me a month or so back and the only word that I can equate it to is Utopia for there is nothing else that a man can ask for between his wants and desires. My shift is from 5:30 pm till 2:30 am since we cater to the Eastern Time Zone and when I want to unwind after a hard day then we go to a hotel called Park Plaza, in the vicinity for booze and revelry at Melange which is their bar. Names and referral points are being changed but this is based on a true story.
Vincent is a former colleague with whom I no longer talk because of what transpired but we used to hit it like a house on fire since we shared similar tastes in sports, movies, booze and brotherhood. We were on a hiatus and hadn’t been talking when he gave me a buzz and said,”lets catch up.” My obvious reply was to go for it even though I was selling myself short in terms of the work hours but since Vincent was coming from the other side of town, I gave it a miss to the last couple of hours on a Wednesday. We met in the car park when he told me that he thought that he owed me a session with booze in tow considering he had got back to drinking after ages albeit for a short while. So off we went to Melange in the vicinity to get tipsy or tend to tipsy. Started with our pints and lit our smokes when a guy who had been drinking for a while from the looks of it called out to Vincent to exchange pleasantries. Vincent being the “sport” that he is went along and before I knew it, the two of them were jostling for a game of one-upmanship which is typical of Delhi lads where putting down the other person overrides the premise of a conversation. Later did I get to know that Vincent was talking to a certain Saket Jha who was a Bihari(one of the backward states in India but can’t say it for Saket. More on that later). The conversation veered towards girls and sluts in particular with Saket boasting and Vincent giving him just the right kind of encouragement while Saket was slurring and swaying. We were joined by another gentleman who was a British Airways cabin crew from whom there was a ready supply of apparently Brit cigarettes JPS. Eduardo also joined in considering we were the only blokes around and it was a favour to the waiters on call since now the waiters only had to serve one table. Eduardo had the audacity of proclaiming in the middle of the conversation in the midst of Indians in the middle of India that the only reason why Indians were good in English was because we had been colonized by the British which was ironic considering it came from a Swiss bloke.
We had spent a good couple of hours by now, enjoying the Champions League semi final between Liverpool and Barcelona even though we are Man United supporters. There was a steady stream of alcohol which was inadvertently sponsored by Saket who kept boasting about his lineage and his spending power. I met Vincent in the loo to ask him because I was surprised that he was trying to enjoy a conversation with a perfect stranger and he was till trying to put him down even though he was sponsoring the drinks to which Vincent replied that for him it was always about taking someone’s case especially if he was asking for it which made me a silent spectator and a happy free loader. By this time, Chris and Lilly also came by to give us company after finishing work at the office and it was around four am. The conversation veered towards the unpredictable when suddenly, Vincent refused to keep shut and Saket got really annoyed and Saket removed his shoe to come across to Vincent to hit him with it. I thought it was a bit too far fetched and wouldn’t materialize when Chris butted in saying that Saket couldn’t do it or he wouldn’t let him do it since Vincent was like an elder brother to Chris. Saket walked up to Vincent across the table with his shoe in his right hand to strike Vincent with Chris about to intervene and Saket bends down and kisses Vincent on his lips! I almost puked being homophobic by nature and unfortunately I was the only one watching which was a cross between a snog and a depiction of appreciation. I thought this night couldn’t get any worse being in a sausage fest with only Lilly for a chick when Saket rattled off about carrying plenty of cash. Vincent encouraged him by questioning how much did he have and would he put it on the table.
Saket in his stupor puts USD 1500 on the table and Vincent picks it up to admire or count it which is when Saket says, “keep it” to Vincent. Vincent offered to return it to him a couple of times and Saket refused. Vincent nonchalantly walks away with the cash and Saket calls his chauffeur which I realized later because he left in an Audi A6 five minutes after that. Vincent, Chris and Lilly partied their guts out at another location while I was still taken aback with what had happened and I left for my place.
The next day brought its own trials and tribulations with Vincent jogging his memory and trying to find out Saket which was the right thing to do so he asked me for a favour if I could check again at Melange for him. The next night after office i warned the Manager at the bar to notify me if he sees Saket again because he had left a wad of notes with a person who was drinking with me. Chris also joins in later and there is a group of four women and a guy drinking at the next table, who we later realized were the British Airways Cabin Crew including the pilot and we drank our share. The bar was about to close so the women wanted to go out for a smoke and one of them walks by looking at us and she has a tattoo on her thigh and I say, “Nice tattoo” while Chris says simultaneously, ” Nice tat”. I followed up and asked for a cigarette when she invited us outside while Chris was busy taking her snapshots of the two thighs with her tattoos on it. We continued the conversation outside and I declared at the outset that I had a wife and kid to go home to and I wouldn’t bother them too much. Ronnie offered the smokes and started chatting like there’s no tomorrow. She offered us the role of guides for them as tourists to find out the “real India” even though the others were skeptical and refused but Chris wanted to be a part of it and I said no. Ronnie talked about her difficult childhood and the sacrifices her father in particular had made to bring her up while Chris asked me in Hindi if he should bang her tonight. In the middle of the conversation, seeing Ronnie getting sentimental, I started singing “Wonderwall” by Oasis and the three of us started singing. The others had left by this time and she also talked about her favourite Welsh band Stereophonics. All said and done, she invited me for drinks in her room and I politely refused. The next day, Chris thanked me and acknowledged my contribution by stating that if it wasn’t for me, Ronnie was impressed by my mannerisms and communication skills, he wouldn’t have slept with her later. I replied,”Anytime, every time”