This post seems more like a continuation to my previous post. Somehow, we animals always manage to get out of the ruckus unharmed and unscathed. This is one of our specialties. We know how to make the best out of worst. I think that's what FRIENDSHIP is all about.
I know most of you, if not all, planned your New Year Bash in advance. But, this does not happen with the Animal Kingdom. We believe in making plans at the last possible moment. This reminds me of Naveen's famous dialogue during his engg. college days and it continued even till our Goa trip... "I am Man of the Moment." I think that this should be the punch line of the Animal Kingdom.
Anyways, without wandering any further let me come to the point. This time we decided to plan out our New Year Bash a week in advance. And the people chosen for this Nek Kaam were Atul and Kandu. As I was engrossed in my work, I did not get to interact with these guys.
Finally the D-Day arrived. Everyone was excited to know about the plan. Especially, I was the most excited after spending my last New Year in Goa. Even this time I wanted it to be happening like last time. I know Goa is in a different league and Naveen and Tarun will agree with me.
I did not have to wait for long. Rehan called me early in the morning and said that Atul, Kandu and he had decided that we would be hanging out in Marine Drive. They had planned a dinner at Bade Miyan. Hmmmm!!!! My mouth just waters thinking of the mouth watering Seekh Kebabs they offer. After the dinner, we planned to catch the last train to Thane and spend the night at Kandu's place. His parents are in US and we surely know how to make the best use of an empty house. So, the plan was fixed and everyone agreed except for a couple of guys. This was nothing new for us. We are used to this. Last moment Tang.
Only Anna's case was genuine. He had a shift late in the evening and could join us only after 5:00 in the morning. Poor Anna!! When everyone would be celebrating the New Year, he would still be slogging hard. He was supposed to join us later in the morning. We knew that nobody is gonna sleep. I too had a shift that day and was supposed to join the rest of the gang somewhere in Churchgate.
Finally, I thought that this is so unlike of us. We never plan out things and here everything is in place. All I have to do is just get out this office and join the pack. I thought that nothing could ever wrong with this plan. It was foolproof. But Kandu had some other plans stored for us. It was to be revealed later in the afternoon. And he did not waste much time in revealing his blockbuster plan of the evening.
The plan was to spend the night out in Essel World where we just had to pay an entry fee and there would be all the rides and music on the floor. I agreed to the plan. But, suddenly, I started getting calls from the rest of the gang saying that this is the most ridiculous plan they had ever heard. I then reverted back to Kandu and Rehan. But they convinced me that we would have a blast at Essel World. I agreed to their plan and managed to convinced others too.
So, the guys who were supposed to welcome the New Year were Rehan, Kandu, Atul, Ali, Naveen (confirmed his presence at the last moment - lived to his reputation of Man of the Moment), Amit (Bawa), Prashant, myself and guess who??? Parag - the man himself. Even I could not beleive my eyes. Maybe, Reliance decided that their boy should bring in the New Year with his useless friends. I wonder there is no political motive behind this. ;)
The venue decided was the Borivili station and we had to meet at 7:00 p.m. Being a veteran at such meets, I knew that nobody is gonna turn up even by 8:00. But some novices like Bawa came running it at 7:10 thinking that he was late by 10 minutes. Hahahaha!!! Now, he has learnt his lesson. Naveen and myself were the last ones to arrive. We arrived at 9:30 sharp. Maine mere dost Tarun ki parampara nibhayee.
Even after arriving there, there were discussions being held as to which will be the best place to welcome 2006. Ali and Parag were of the opinion that Essel World was the worst place to enjoy while Rehan and Kandu thought otherwise. The rest of us were just mute spectators to the Lok Sabha assembly. Rehan was the Loudspeaker for this session. And finally when Rehan was frustrated, he asked his trade mark question, "Kaun Kaun Aa raha hai?" And that marked the end of the discussion. Everyone just caught a rickshaw and went to the place where we could catch a ferry to Essel World.
As soon as we got down from the rickshaw we were in for a shock. There was a serpentine queue for the ferry service. The last serpentine queue I ever stood in was for the re-evaluation form submission in the Mumbai University campus 4 years back. This time we were in no mood to stand in such a long queue. It would have taken us approximately 90 minutes to reach the ferry. Then the ride and then the Essel World passes queue again. So, we had to drop this idea of going to Essel World. I never saw Ali so happy in his life.
Then we were back to the square one. No back up plans. We were still wondering what to do. Then we did what we were good at. Man of the Moment decisions. We took an auto back to Borivili station. Almost 11:00 in the night we reached the ST Stand. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be standing at the ST on the New Year's Eve. But, thats what our plans are all about. Unpredictable like us.
We had just one scary thought bothering us. We should not be stuck in this damn ST at 12:00. Now, everything seemed Ok to us except spending the New Year in this damn bus. This time God was with us. Even the thick traffic could not stop us from reaching Dara's Dhaba. But, the place was so crowded that I was left wondering, "Are they distributing free food here?" Dejected we left for the adjacent Hotel Western. The scene was no different here. I could now see everyone catching a glimpse of their watches to check out the time. Upon enquiring, the waiter told us that we would only be getting the tables early next year.
We had no other option but to wait there. But as usual we guys are used to such kind of popatgiri. And there always seems to be fun associated with such popatgiri. And this is what we all enjoy. At around 11:45 we got a big table and finally we welcomed 2006 in great style. We all stood up and sang...Happy New Year to Us... And we clapped, we cheered, we jeered, we hugged and we wished each other... 2006 WAS IN and WE WERE OUT enjoying ourselves.
After the arrival of the New Year it was time for us to depart to some place where we could stay. And what better place than Hotel Kandu International. But there was one more hurdle. It was almost 1:00 in the night and the last bus left just under our nose. That was it. We were left with no option other than hitching a ride. It was me who started first by waving my thumb, then my hand, then both the hands. But, nobody took pity. Whoever did, was going the other way to Gujarat. Finally, we managed to convince an auto driver. And he turned out to be the First Good Samaritan of 2006 for us. He managed to cram in 7 guys along with himself. Just imagine 8 guys in one auto and that too - only for 150 bucks. Thanks to Prashant's bike, he and Naveen left on the bike.The auto driver also posed for a group photo with all his passengers.
Somehow, we all manged to reach in one piece. From there on, the REAL PARTY started. The same Masti, the same Keedas. Nobody slept till 6:30. And then Anna, made his grand entry. Anna is a store house of all the Keedas and its contagious. We managed to click some brilliant photos. All those who slept were the worst sufferers. Naveen was the first. We put a towel garland around his neck, a bottle on his chest, some flowers by his side and lit a candle. That was an awesome shot.... "Naveen in the Coffin". The same trick was repeated for Prashant as well. This time a helmet was also added in the frame.
All the photos were clicked using Rehan's Nokia 3230. Isn't the picture clarity and our photography amazing? If you are impressed, you can give us the contract for birthday parties and weddings. But we are funeral specialists.
And after a total entertaining and enjoyable time spent together we left for our homes... We had to catch some sleep...Though we enjoyed ourselves to the max, we missed the other species of Animal Kingdom who missed out...
Tarun - must have enjoyed in San Diego
Manprit - Slip Disk Error. We missed his Siddhu laughter tracks. He is the original.
Sanjeet - Some inevitable problem
Thakur - In New York studying HARD
Cedric - Problem
Pritam - Working hard
Nirav - In Gujarat
Hey Guys... all this while I just forgot one thing... Belated HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ;D