"So Neil, what big plans for New Years (eve)?". I was rapidly getting sick and tired of the blasted question as the new year approached. Everyone was either heading out of town, arranging small get-togethers for their family or going out with the better halves. The problem with not making plans in advance is that you suddenly reach that day (usually halfway between Christmas & Jan 1st) where everyone has made plans without you and you don’t want to shamelessly invite yourself and spoil their plans.
The highlight of this as yet unnamed day is that for all the days prior to that, just about everyone would be in a constant state of confusion - 'I’ve not made plans, have you? Let me know if something comes up' etc: And then out of the blue everyone assumed you would be making plans with your other friends and you are left high and dry.
Well not having company (unless I wanted to sit at home with a bunch of guys and watch yet another mindless fashion show on TV that treats women like commodities) was not the end of the world and I decided to do my bit to push the Indian economy and splurge a little by attending some party at a good place. After getting ready and dressing up (a not too frequent occurrence) I made my way to a fancy joint where I was told in no uncertain terms that stags were not allowed. I argued that I had seen the advertisement for the party in the papers only yesterday & that they were selling passes for stags at a not altogether reasonable rate. The rather stupid reply which I got was that stags were allowed entry only if they were in a group that included women. Flabbergasted for the first time.
Not one to waste time trying to understand the lack of logic of their reply I decided to make my way to a nearby pub that was renowned for the rock music it played. My friends and I occasionally visit the place and bringing in the new year in the company of AC/DC, Led Zep and Collective Soul among others seemed to be a good bet. Outside the pub, the otherwise friendly bouncer and manager suddenly seemed to have developed a serious case of amnesia. The pub is full, there no place to stand, its really crowded were the standard excuses that they bandied about. I explained to them that I don’t drink & that if they were worried I would create trouble in my drunken stupor they were sadly mistaken. Pat came the reply "But if you don’t drink, why do you want to enter a pub after paying the cover charge?". If they had any sense they would have realised that they would have made maximum profit on a person like me who wouldn’t drink & use up the cover charges but I decided against explaining it to them. Flabbergasted for the second time.
Checking my watch I realised that if I rushed home I could still catch the end of the mindless aimless pointless fashion show with half clothed (sounds so much better than half naked) women walking around. 200 meters away from the pub I had to stop because the police had setup a roadblock and were checking everyone with breath analyzers. 2 policemen came rushing to me only to be disappointed by the zero reading on the machine.
Meanwhile a large queue of vehicles had formed behind me and the cars that had pulled over and people were impatiently honking. As I got dressed (fear not, dressed involved zipping back my jacket, putting on my helmet and strapping on my gloves, activities that take a combined 3 minutes 15 seconds) the cops came back angrily asking me "Where do you think you are going?" (at least that’s what I think they asked me seeing as I don’t speak Kannada). "But the reading showed zero" I said in all innocence. "License, registration, pollution under control certificate and all other papers". Meanwhile the honking was getting louder as the line had grown longer. "Aren’t you guys checking only for drunken driving? Here are all my papers, can I go now?" I asked. "Sir, 100 rupees" said the junior cop. I gave him a blank look. "Sir after all its the new year and you ride a nice bike and can afford to pay us this small amount .....". Flabbergasted for the third time.
Tired and annoyed I landed at home just before 12 and switched on the tele to catch the end of Victoria's Secret Fashion show which featured some very attractive women (with the collective IQ of my 5 year old nephew) walking down the ramp. Who is Victoria? What is her secret? Why does it involve half clothed women? Why in the world are Akon & Katy Perry performing on the same show? Mercifully sleep overtook me before I could get flabbergasted for the 4th time.
Ive learnt my lesson the hard way. I have resolved to start making plans for Dec 31st starting now itself. If you have something interesting lined up let me know. We will plan early and finalize. At least that way I will have an answer whenever someone asks me "So Neil, what big plans for New Years (eve)?"