I want to go to Delhi again just to hear him live.


Nandi Hills: Part I.

Friday night, sometime in January, at Peco's.

22.00 hours. I am sitting with a bunch of my brother's friends - actually they're my friends now and I'm going to stop referring to them as my brother's, that's right, MY friends. Bwahaha.

Getting back to the point.

I am sitting with them drinking beer. But no one is mindbogglingly drunk on account of how we're not teenagers anymore.

(A/N: I started writing this before Friday night's disaster.)

But we're all pleasantly tipsy, pleasantly amused, pleasantly, er, pleasant. Anyway, at some point, someone has the bright idea of driving to Nandi Hills first thing in the morning to catch the sunrise.

"Nandi Hills!" Everyone roars in agreement as we stagger out of Peco's. Okay, fine, maybe we didn't roar in unison. But we could have.

00.00 hours. We go back to Leo's house and chill there. There is myself, there is Leo, there is Yamini - together they are Leo-Yamini - there is the Undoable One, there is Hitesh, there is Shloke, there is Shloke's friend Mickey - who is now our friend Mickey. Everyone is stoned.

2.00 hours. Hitesh goes home with Shloke and Mickey, promising valiantly to come with us to Nandi Hills though he has work the next day at noon. Shloke and Mickey make no promises. They have work - before noon - and intend to sleep.

2.15 hours. Leo, Yamini, U.O. and I keep smoking. Man, we keep smoking.

2.35 hours. We pass out. Just before passing out, I observe to U.O. that I highly doubt everyone's ability to wake up at 4 am and drive to Nandi Hills.

"I will go," proclaims U.O. "I've made up my mind and when I make up my mind, man, I make up my mind."

I don't bother replying. I give U.O. a Look (completely wasted on him) and go to sleep.

4.00 hours. U.O. is up and insists on waking the rest of us up particularly obnoxiously. This includes a constant, loud refrain of "Wake up, wake up, WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!" and an unnecessary banging of doors.

4.10 hours. U.O. and Leo have an intense discussion about their bikes. U.O. has no papers. Leo has no license. Leo has no papers either, come to think of it, but he has a photo of them on his phone.

"Do you think that will be enough?" Leo asks anxiously.

No, Leo, it probably won't.

Now the thing about Nandi Hills, according to U.O., is that it's shut between 6 am and 6 pm. And by six, you have cops and check posts and things. The reason for this is that it was a favourite place for couples to make love among the trees or bushes or whatever, and a lot of people objected to this. But we decide to drive there anyway and give it a shot (getting access to Nandi Hills, that is, not making spectacular love on a bed of grass).

4.30 hours. U.O. and I go back to his place to pick up some stuff. We agree to meet Leo and Yamini by the Domlur flyover. Hitesh will meet us there too.

4.45 hours. U.O. and I meet up with Hitesh. No sign of Leo and Yamini.

5.00 hours. Still no sign of Leo and Yamini.

5.10 hours. Still no sign of Leo and Yamini and no one has cigarettes. Tempers are getting frayed.

5.15 hours. A bike passes. Is it Leo and Yamini? No, it isn't.

5.30 hours. "I'm going," says U.O. "If they don't come, I'm going, I'm going alone." One expects to hear a lone wolf type howl, but sadly, one doesn't.

5.35 hours. Leo and Yamini! U.O. not required to travel alone like the lone wolf he sees himself as.

5.45 hours. And we're off! Yamini on the back of Leo's bike, myself riding pillion on U.O.'s and Hitesh flying solo, a free pigeon.

So the thing about U.O.'s bike - he has a bullet, like my brother - is that he has no goddamn backseat. Since it was going to be a long ride, we tied a little pillow over where the backseat was supposed to be and fastened it with rope. That is what I sat on - for two hours. Did I complain? No, I didn't.

And boy, did I have stuff to complain about.

It was cold, so cold, I didn't realize it would be so cold, and my ears were freezing. I borrowed a thin scarf off U.O., but it was woollen with big holes so that didn't really help. But you know, I was trying desperately to be cool and not-fussy, so I didn't complain. Just shivered. And to make matters worse, U.O. doesn't have indicators, so I was forced to be his indicator.

I have felt ridiculous many times in my life, but sitting on a pillow on the back of a bike, with a scarf wrapped around my head, sticking my arm out and waving it around when it instructed to, is definitely up there in the top ten twenty.

6.15 hours. We stop for tea and cigarettes. Yamini ties my scarf more securely around my head.

7.10 hours. We reach the road that leads to Nandi Hills. It's surrounded by vineyards. The sun is up, a very gentle, peaceful sort of sun, like all early morning suns are, and the road is ahead and I'm surrounded by green on either side and the air is fresh and cold and wonderful.

Also, U.O. is a very good rider. To be travelling on a bike at a very high speed, but at the same time feeling completely safe and secure, is a delicious feeling. I strongly recommend it.

I receive my first glimpse of Nandi Hills. U.O. has already described it for me, but - ohmygod.

Imagine a road curving lazily at the feet of hills. Imagine that on your left, you see a sea of green, interrupted by clusters of huts, people starting their day, lazy cows, frolicking goats, and - for some inexplicable reason - grapes being sold every ten feet.

Oh right, that would be because of the vineyards.

But to your right now, imagine seeing a mass of hill rising, clothed in thick green foliage, with a vast wall of mist - as thick as cloud - guarding it. It's the sort of scene that can't have changed much over the years, the decades, the centuries. You feel that that mountain was always there, the wall-mist was always there, it was all, all, all, always there.

7.45 hours. We start making our way up the hill. The check post is unattended. We encounter morning walkers, morning joggers, and morning selfie-takers as we move up. There are quite a lot of people around. We reach the summit where we park the bikes, and then we do what will be documented in Part 2.

A Lesson in Self Improvement.

One of the things I appreciate about my brother - although I may not always like it - is his ability to set me straight. He doesn't mince words, he can be quite brutal sometimes, but because I know he is correct (unfortunately he's almost always correct when it comes to me), I listen.

The other day, I was talking to him on the phone, and he said he wanted to "have a word with me" the next time I went over. I swear I am not exaggerating when I say my blood ran cold. Because every time my brother wants to have a word with me, it's to point out a huge personality or behavioural flaw I have, and because he is telling the truth, it means I pretty much loathe myself during the days that follow.

Friday night was the Undoable One's birthday and everyone's intent (including mine) was to get completely smashed.

But as my brother succinctly put it, "Trisha, you're a very, very bad drunk."

And then he outlined exactly what I get up to when I'm drunk, and the points are as follows:

1. Become emotional
2. End up sharing a little too much information about my family history. ("No, it's not amusing, Trisha. It's stupid.")
3. Make wild gestures while talking and knock things over. (Although to be fair, I do this quite often when sober.)
4. Become arrogant and overbearing.
5. Become nasty and obnoxious.

I won't lie, I was pretty horrified. I have two problems when I drink excessively: the first is that I genuinely believe I'm more or less sober even when I'm drunk out of my mind, and the second is my memory blacks out so I can't recall my behaviour from the previous night which means I don't always realize just what an ass I make of myself.

I could make a blanket statement here and say I will never get smashed again. But that's stupid and unproductive. What I will do is set myself a limit. Three drinks, slowly. If I'm okay, a fourth. If I want another, a fifth.

But that's it. After the fifth, I'm moving to water.

No one wants to be the person who's always drunk, and whom everyone always laughs at (or is pissed off with) the next day. I definitely don't. Besides, I'm all cool and badass now that I've got a piercing on account of how piercings change your personality around. And being a drunk fool just doesn't cut it.

(I'm joking about the piercing. Which, by the way, hurts like a **** and I don't know why the hell I got it done - oh right, I was being stupid.)

But I digress.

Where was I? Oh yeah, being a drunk fool just doesn't cut it.

My New Year's Resolution was to find a cure for hangovers. But I think I'm going to amend it slightly - the aim will be not to drink so much that I do get a hangover.

And to comfort myself - because I'm still feeling quite shitty, I always do when I've been foolish - I will consider myself a Work In Progress. And one day I will emerge, the way a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, and I will be the sort of human being people build statues of. That is the goal. Statues of Trisha commemorating her non-drunken foolishness, her wisdom, her charm, and the great deeds she has performed due to aforementioned wisdom and charm.

Okay then.

P.S. I will occasionally amend this principle I've set for myself only when I'm around people who love me unconditionally. This includes Mawii, Pill, the Servaias, MWF and Sharma (who, let's face it, is always drunker than me anyway.)

P.P.S For people suffering a similar problem: http://gizmodo.com/5962095/how-to-increase-your-drinking-tolerance-so-you-dont-make-an-ass-of-yourself-at-a-holiday-party


The Beauty of the Stupid.

I had a really bad week. And then I emerged from it feeling wild and reckless and determined to do something stupid. A haircut wouldn't cut it (haha - did you see what I did there?). Besides, I have no hair left to cut.

So what stupid thing could I do? And mind you, I wanted to embrace deliberate stupidness, I wanted to be impulsive, I wanted to be ridiculous, I wanted to be all those things. Because I think it's important sometimes to do something meaningless, to do something that makes most people go, "why the hell did you do that?", because it also helps you to not give a shit about what people think and to go with your own gut instinct. To never explain. (Even though I'm totally explaining right now, what a hypocrite I am, haha.)

And I decided what I wanted to do.

I consulted many people within the space of a couple of hours. My father was dead against it - that made me pause for a second. My father's never told me not to do something. When I hung up, I nearly decided not to do it. I knew I'd probably regret it, but that just added to the thrill.

So I did what I wanted to do.

And it was stupid, and a lot of people don't like it, and it means I can't drink this weekend, but  to hell with all that.