Tuesday, September 6, 2011


"Umm, dude, we all would like to take you out for lunch..."

It's a weekend, so lunch is actually an amalgamation of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Generally speaking. I'm surprised... and being treated to "lunch" by flat-mates on your birthday is a nice surprise.

We pile into the car, and head off. Our crazy humor kicks off. One wants wine. Specifically white wine. Sweet, white wine. Fresh, sweet, white wine. Cold, fresh, sweet, white wine. We stop before someone punches us.

Someone orders steak. It comes with leaves and twigs. I order rabbit. It too comes with leaves and twigs. These guys hunted the animals down as they were lunching (the animals, not the guys). The rabbit was probably holding on to the tree really tight. They couldn't separate him from his food. I'm told to drink more wine. I protest saying the rabbit in my stomach will feel suffocated. I'm told that he can't complain, cos he has no face or mouth to protest with.

The waitress asks if we would like anything else. I'm almost forced to ask for a phone number for the dessert. Almost...

"Let's go have a drink at Wayne's... It's on us."  Damn, these guys wanna get me drunk. "Nah, I'm too full to drink." Eventually I get a drink. The bar has posters. Movies, bands. There's The Beatles right next to our table.

Something clicks in someone's head and they begin singing "We all live with the orange mandarin... orange mandarin"...

Heading back on the highway... most of us almost dozing off. We reach home. Park the car. The trash is full, I get it out. There's our lizard, Toby, on the can. I start putting the cover on my motorcycle. One calls out, "Hey look here, this is just amazing." I suspect Toby is up to something, but he (she?) was in the other direction. I amble up, see a balloon on a tree, a step ahead and 20 people shout out, "Surrrprriiiseee! Happpy --hoooot wooooot --- birthday to you...Joyeux anniversaire.... ... "

I see someone filming. 20 people staring at me, smiling, singing, I'm self conscious. I don't recognize a few. Oh, must be couchsurfers... I'm given more wine. The glass gets refilled quickly too. Hugs, bisous fly around. Flatmates magically arrange pizzas for the guests. The look on my face is -- whendidyouguysarrangeallthiswithoutmeknowningit?

Someone puts on "Aaj kal tere mere". I'm the only Indian in the group. Huh!

Some time later, we head to the beach. I've been handed a strange mixture of whiskey + red bull. I'm already reeling. A friend plays the guitar. He plays "Aicha"... halfway to the end, he switches it with my name and some impromptu lyrics. Then he starts playing "Tujhe dekha". Plays this song from Chahat (a movie I'd forgotten about.. and probably never seen). To repeat, I'm the only Indian... rather, Asian there.

Head back to the house. There's a cake. People sing Happy Birthday in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and then German.  They ask me for the Hindi version. I say there isn't. The ask me how to say it in Hindi. They learn the phrase in a few seconds and sing it to tune.

People make sure I get more wine. They see to it I will wake up with a headache at least.

I couldn't have asked for anything better. Thanks guys. :)
Psst: I'm getting a Kindle with what you all gave me. :)

1 comment:

  1. This sounds lovely! I'm glad you have such wonderful friends there! Joyeux anniversaire! - g