Games People Play

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

In the last decade or so, I've learnt a few interesting things about myself. One of them concerns my co-curricular life, or time outside work. The only difference between having downtime and partying is who calls it what. All my parties are unconventionally wired, especially in context to the Delhi party circuit. Which is to say, no we don't swap babies/wives/boyfriends but we also don't gyrate to Wakhra Swag*. Your downtime is my wild party.
*Questionable example since in the last 100 days, I did actually attend a wild party and gyrate to Wakhra Swag with Mia Khalifa.

A couple of years ago, a friend extended the courtesy of inviting the little tartlet of my sibling to her party. Her reason? My sibling had played a track with us for a live recording at a TV studio. And so, she did show up and did nothing except to judge the fuck out of us all. A story, she narrates to everyone to this day, about how I'm a fossil, and friends with similar people.

The idea that we are all fossils and that our parties suck is extremely offensive to me. I, for one, love the parties we throw, and attend. Most of them include us sitting around with non-judgemental music (where one begins with Dizzy Gillespie and wrap the evening with Cat Stevens if we are an enthusiastic bunch) and drinking. It could be anywhere between a drink out of politeness to finishing two bottles of wine each, depending on the mood and the weather. If one is being completely wild, we'd go as far as attempting to dance to Bruno Mars (what?). Otherwise, there's karaoke or games, the kind where you indulge in harmless fun. Nobody gets topless, no snorting cocaine, no orgies that lead to HIV. Not to say that I haven't had my share of cuntliest parties (including slapping friends and coming back home with them, or gazing at stars while lying on the floor with a stranger).

But, at this point, I think I know what I prefer. A few hours of competitive Monopoly is better than reciting a star-crossed lovers tale of the boy who I can't be with because I refuse to not brush my teeth for a night (what?).

A few days ago, I was at a friend's Twenty Sex-th birthday and what an amazing day it was, all very well organised, managed. As fun parties go, there were bottles of champagne and other stuff which I skipped. The party had some party games as well. Party games are all fun and games until you get competitive. And boy, was that afternoon competitive. Think, an afternoon filled with polite conversation, a couple of rounds of Taboo, and lots of cake.

I was a part of the losing team, which should come as no surprise to anyone cause usually in my quest to being competitive, I make a colossal fool out of myself. In the list of top ten embarrassing moments, singing Dancing Queen by Abba to highlight Abba during my turn in Taboo is the latest qualifying entry.

However, nothing puts the fear of god in me than playing 'Never Have I Ever' in public.

Look, underneath this coating of snobbery lays a person ever so boring. I can be stimulated with a conversation about clean bedsheets, on hating Coldplay, as to why men won't ask for help to navigate and some such. I thrive when I'm amongst like-minded individuals. People who prefer to be observers than participants. Does that make me boring? Maybe. Do I mind it? Absolutely not.

Yet, it's only ever during parties that if someone initiates a game of 'Never Have I Ever', I go blank. I mean, the most exciting thing I did in college was to get 98.16 percent attendance in all three years.

That should tell you something about me.

I recall this same friend's party (which was judged and dismissed unfairly by the sibling) several years ago. We started a round or two of that- and thus came out material, as did the blush on my cheeks.

"Never have I ever pooped in the shower."

"Never have I ever sold crack, got caught by the cops, and lied my way out."

"Never have I ever slept with my best friend's boyfriend."

"Never have I ever have eaten my booger."

"Never have I ever urinated in public."

I have no recollection of what I said (and if at all I said). Although, I do remember a friend throwing up all over this host' lawn and I also remember crashing awfully early while everyone around me continued to chat.

All these years, I waited for an opportunity to say something. You know, something salacious. Something ludicrous. And I did get an entry to make, after all.

Around two years ago, this friend's friend feigned some interest in me (what?). Let's call him Abéy. Our boy Abéy was quite charming; if I had to review him he'd be a straight 7.25. We did the usual- talked till we exhausted all possible talking heads, went out and saw some sights (a very interesting Zomato review followed- hit me up you're interested to read), wasted each other's time until we got bored. It fizzled just as how it started, for no rhyme or reason.

Six months later, I'm sitting in the living room. Watching TV and drinking beer, or something equally mind-numbing (when I should have been writing my thesis). I get a call from the mutual friend and she says,

"Abéy has been jailed. It's all over the news."

I tuned to news, nothing. They were highlighting how drinking gau mutra clears pimples on your face.

Preliminary Google search later, it was confirmed. Abéy did actually land up in jail. His name and face splashed across most TV media channels, newspapers, websites etc. Turns out, he got into a bit of an altercation with a high profile political buffoon.

Most of Abéy's friends and well-wishers were all for, 'Fuck yeah Abéy, great going!'. Except, if you do actually look up his name, it tells you all about the time he was in jail. A move, I thought at the time, could be a disaster for someone's career prospects.

Last I heard, Abéy's doing pretty well for himself professionally. He also had Divyanshu Dutta Roy's attention at a party when our friend walked up to me and asked,

"Listen, isn't he the same guy who went to jail? Can you introduce me to him? You guys are friends right?"

(I did no such thing if you're wondering.)

Thanks to Abéy, if I'll ever get down to playing, "Never Have I Ever", I can confidently say, "Dated a man who went to jail" and lock a few jaw drops. Until then, I'll reserve my idea of partying to listening to Kendrick Lamar at best.


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