Another heady Friday night. It's almost 9:00 and I'm still in office. But, but, but, not for long.
Tonight's the night we relive our AIESEC days. Of course, we've all come a long way since the time we lived on cheap beer and no food. We can now afford to drink much more, to drink better stuff and to dance all night at a disco instead of to dancing to MTV in our own house. Best of all, we can now travel by cab instead of lying on Marine Drive, waiting for the first train in the morning to go back home.
So here's the scene. Before Malli leaves the city sometime next week, tonight, we will go to all our old haunts. Tonight, nobody is allowed to say, "But I'm working tomorrow."
First stop: Gokul's. The first time I went to Gokul's, I treated it as one of the hotspots of Bombay and wrote about it to everyone... till my brother wrote back saying it was a noted gay pick up joint... at which point, I quietly retracted all statements about going there regularly. Strategically placed next to Bade Miyan's, the freakiest roll shop outside of Calcutta, Gokul's is a place we could afford in d.a. (Days of AIESEC), and where we didn't much care about the seedy old men thronging the place.
In the Days of AIESEC, we used to occasionally (read: whenever we had money) go get smashed at Gokul's. Then we would roll out and across the road to Bade Miyan's, where we would sit on the curb(there were hardly ever any chairs available) and eat baida roti and sheekh kabab rolls. Immediately, our drunkenness would abate somewhat, at which point we could head back into Gokuls. (This would have been a wonderful infinite loop, return to step one types, had it not been for the fact that even Gokul had to close its doors for some hours. And, of course, the fact that we'd have already used up our meagre resources!)
By which time we would have missed the last train back, so we would spend the night on Marine Drive and make it back by the first train in the morning. (And for those uninitiated into the mysteries of those Mumbai transportational wonders - even that first train at 4:00 a.m. is crowded.)
So tonight's gonna be another of those nights... Thank god for small mercies... that even with progress (read: moolah), we can still go back to Gokul's, and enjoy the seedy atmosphere, the boiled eggs and tiny pieces of cheese cubes skewered on toothpicks that are Gokul's choice of "snakes". That we realise that enjoyment is in the soul, not in the surroundings, and that if Bade Miyan was a 5 star restaurant, it wouldn't be any more attractive than it is now... And, most of all, that we'll be able to take a cab back, and not have to spend the night on Marine Drive. Fun as some things are, they're SO much better in one's memory than when they're relived.