Play this while you're reading - tinyurl.com/agsa5dl
Its 3:00 in the morning and I’ve just returned after meeting up with a bestest friend of me whom I’ve known since the 7th standard of High School. I’ve known him for the last 12 years out of my 23 years of existence (citing the number of years feels more effective if you also take into account your age.)
For those of you who don’t know, I just finished my 2nd semester final exams and am here in Mumbai (India) for holidays and my childhood pal also happens to be working here. Both of us hale from Jaipur which is like a major major tourist destination. Why am I boring you?
Because I’m drunk on just 2 bottles of strong beer and I’m not ashamed to admit that and I HAVE AN AGENDA TO SHARE WITH YOU. I’ve never been this happy drunk or overwhelmed, in the last 1 year of college, even when I was high on an entire bottle of rum (3/4th neat, 1/4th also neat but after sleeping for half an hour) and what’s on my agenda?
To impress upon you - the reader, the importance of friendship, age and alcohol.
What do I remember from a facet of my childhood?
-Bunking my really important 10th standard mock examinations to catch the local city bus with 2 friends (one of whom I mentioned above) and reach the gaming café at sharp 10:00 in the morning and start playing CS1.6 and only those 2 golden maps – cs_16fighter and 32_aztecworld.
-Bunking the 12th standard classes because we were seniors.
-Being so obsessed with CS that I had nightmares about it.
-Being a disappointment to my parents then.
-Winning my first CS tournament.
-Not being able to buy a gaming mouse (because parents wouldn’t listen to me) and still growing in-game with the use of a small cheap mouse which had disco blue lights flashing on the base of its build.
-And friends and the places where we hungout. Moonlit nights spent drinking beer on the roof of a one storey under construction building in the middle of twenty other under construction sites, while the rest of the city celebrated the festival of Diwali by lighting up the night sky with fire crackers.
-Picking up small amounts of change lying randomly around the house and pooling it together so that we could buy three 300ml glass bottles of Thums Up and a pack of Lays chips.
-Not being able to play as many LAN hours of 1.6 as we wanted to because allocating pocket money to 15 year olds to play computer games wasn’t exactly the norm in our family. Our parents weren’t poor, it was a conscious decision on their part to not give us too much of money lest we fall to the evils of bad habits.
There was a beautiful struggle in itself to have ‘just enough’ so that we learned to appreciate the value of available resources.
I’m submerged right now almost on the edge of tears with all the beautiful memories I have of my childhood. I’ll just cut this short by answering 3 questions.
1. Why age?
Because it tells me what was and what is. Because it allows me to measure change by understanding how conditions were before and how they are now. When I was 18 years old I wasn’t allowed to go out after 9:00, wasn’t allowed to use the internet for more than an hour, was supposed to take a vintage bicycle to my tuitions and not a motorcycle like every other guy (we didn’t even have a motorbike). And yet the best part is that NOW I come home as late as the next morning, use the internet for 23hours out of the 24 and travel in a very reputable hatchback.
2. Why friends?
Because the essence of life is sharing its experiences with like-minded individuals who’ve been through the same situations in their own small ways. As children, in our own special ways encouraging each other to score better in exams, to perform better at sports, to be nicer to girls. To acknowledge that someone other than your family cares for you, worries for you and is hurt when you’re hurt.
3. Why alcohol? (according to how I perceive and use alcohol)
Because alcohol gets you high with an OVERWHELMING torrent of satisfaction and helps you in transcending your current fuck ups and think about all the good things that went by and how so many more will happen and the realization that you’re sharing this drink with someone who will be there no matter what, won’t judge you, will take a beating for you, will teach you, will hold you, will correct you, will celebrate life with you.
These set of photos show me 'transcending' after speaking to my childhood friend, being reminded of hope and life from the bright fluorescent street lights on an empty six lane road and the feeling of being blessed.tinyurl.com/byk5eg4tinyurl.com/b5xf26wtinyurl.com/bjjxdavtinyurl.com/b9dtsuftinyurl.com/ah6lud6tinyurl.com/alhxky2
Sujan ‘drunk optical mouse’ Deswal