Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PICNIC PARTY

PICNIC PARTY
Fiction Short Story
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


Many years ago – I got a phone call on in office on a Saturday morning inviting us for a party in the evening.

I did not want to go.

I was in no mood for a party after a tiring week at work (those days we worked 6 days a week).

In fact  I was planning to have a quiet Saturday evening – a long evening walk, early dinner, and then do some reading in bed before sleeping.

There was one more reason I did not want to attend the party.

The party was being given by one of my wife’s relatives – and I really did not fit in their crowd.

So – I politely declined the invitation.

My wife’s folks managed to speak to my wife on the neighbour’s phone.

Believe it or not – those days – more than 30 years ago – only senior officers got residential landline phones – and – of course – mobile phones did not exist.

My wife was furious that I had declined the invitation – and she said angrily, “What is wrong with you? Don’t you have any social graces? Everyone will be there – and it will look so bad if we do not attend the party.

So – much against my wishes – I did not listen to my inner voice – and – for the sake of marital harmony  I agreed to go for the party.

Since I was not in the mood for partying – I had a miserable time.

I cannot fake my emotions – so my inner feelings must have been visible on my face.

S– it was evident to all that I was not enjoying myself.

The party went on till late – I was regretting coming to the party – as I did not gel with the crowd – so I felt like the odd man out”.

In fact – I was imagining myself at home in my warm bed with that book I had planned to read.

As I said – I cannot fake my emotions – so everyone knew I was not enjoying the party.

The hosts felt bad – some others thought that I was an “eccentric” – my wife was furious at my anti-social behaviour – and – I was feeling miserable.

I wished I had listened to my inner voice.

I learnt my lesson from the episode.

Nowadays – that is what I do – I try to follow my inner voice rather than worry about social graces. 

If I do not feel like attending an event – I try my best to avoid going there – rather than put in an appearance for the sake of forced courtesy.

I have stopped bothering about “Log Kya Kahenga” (What will people say?)

I told you about the party to which I had been invited.

A few years later – I was faced with an exactly opposite situation.

I was organizing a picnic party – and I did not want to invite a certain person to that picnic – so I did not invite him for the picnic.

This decision of mine – not to invite an individual and his family for the office picnic party – shocked my boss – who thought I had gone crazy.

Read on – what happened...


PICNIC PARTY – A Story by Vikram Karve

I once knew an officer who used to get very nasty and quarrelsome after a few drinks.

Of course  I am not going to tell you his real name.

So let’s call him “John”.

Our newly arrived Boss wanted to have a picnic with all officers and families.

So – we decided to have a beach picnic on a Sunday  and I was told to organize the picnic.

I intentionally saw to it that John was not invited to the picnic.

A day before the picnic I briefed the boss regarding the arrangements – transportation, recreation, music, dance, party games, tombola, watersports, fun for children, restrooms and shacks for ladies and gents, bar and food arrangements, seaside barbeque, gifts and presents, everything...

It was going to be a very enjoyable picnic  and we all were going to have a fabulous time.

The boss seemed quite happy.

Then he saw the guest list.

“I don’t see John’s name here,” the boss remarked, “I want all officers and families to attend the picnic – why is John and his family not coming?”

“He has not been invited,” I said.

“John has not been invited? Why? Who took this decision?” my boss asked me.

“I took the decision not to invite John for the picnic, Sir. I feel it is best not to call John for the picnic,” I said.

“You took a decision not to call John for the picnic? Are you crazy? I can’t believe that you could do such a stupid thing. Who the hell do you think you are? What’s wrong with you?” the boss said, looking annoyed.

“I feel it would be best if John did not come for the picnic,” I said.

For a moment – my boss looked at me in disbelief.

Then he asked me, “May I know the reason why you don’t want John and his family to come for the picnic?”

“He cannot hold his drinks, Sir.”

“What do you mean?”

“Sir  there is going to be a lot of beer and alcoholic punches and drinks at the picnic. John invariably gets drunk on such occasions  and when he is drunk he gets very nasty and belligerent. He is sure to misbehave and pick up a fight with someone. Things will become very unpleasant – John will spoil the whole atmosphere  and the picnic will get ruined...” I said.

My boss was furious and he admonished me, “Stop giving me bullshit. I have specially planned this picnic. All officers and their families are attending. How can you exclude John just because of your whims and fancies? Do you have any bloody social graces or not?”

“Sir  please listen …” I tried to plead.

“You – shut up and listen to me. You will make sure that John and his family are present for the picnic. You will personally give him the invitation right now. Is that clear? Do you understand?” my boss commanded me.

“Aye Aye, Sir,” I said, sheepishly.

The beach picnic started on a bright note. 

Everyone – the men, the women, the children, were thoroughly enjoying themselves – dancing, singing, playing, romping on the sands, frolicking on the beach, swimming the blue waters of the sea.

Then  things began to happen exactly as I had anticipated.

Around 11 in the morning – we opened the bar – and started enjoying our drinks – and I could see that John was drinking away and enjoying himself.

Just after noon  around 12:30 in the afternoon – John got drunk and nasty.

First – he picked up a fight with an officer over some trivial issue. 

Then  he got abusive over not being served snacks properly. 

John was staggering unsteadily on his feet  and shouting incoherently.

Seeing that John was visibly drunk and that he was making a fool of himself  his embarrassed wife tried to restrain him from drinking more beer.

She pleaded with him to stop drinking.

She told him that he had drunk too much alcohol already  and he was misbehaving

But this enraged John even further  and he abused and slapped his wife in full public view.

Our Boss tried to reason with John and calm him down. 

But John got belligerent and abusive with the Boss too  and threatened to hit him  and we had to rescue our Boss before John thrashed him.   

The ladies and children were terrified.

John’s wife and children were in tears.

We were all disgusted  and there was an air of unpleasantness.

Then John picked up a bottle of Rum  and he walked to a secluded place on the beach.

John kept drinking  till he drank himself into a stupor.

In the evening  we had to carry a dead-drunk John into the boat. 

John was in a terribly intoxicated state  in a semi-conscious inebriated condition  and beads of sweat formed over his face as he lay sprawled in the boat.

As the boat started sailing over the sea  rolling and pitching  John got violently sick  and he vomited all over the boat.

The disgusting stench of his vomit  and the sight of his vile hideous puke  made everyone sickeningly nauseous.

Everyone was disgusted.

The picnic was a disaster.

Next morning  I went to my boss to show him the picnic accounts.

For some time  we looked at each other in silence.

Then  my boss said to me, “You were right about John. It would have been better if we had avoided calling him for the picnic. He ruined everything by his disgusting behaviour. I feel sorry for his wife and kids  they must be feeling so embarrassed.”

“Sir  I was going to tell you something more that day  but you asked me to shut up…” I said.

“What? You were going to tell me something more that day? What was it? Speak up. Tell me now,” my boss said.

“Sir  it was John’s wife who told me not to invite them for the picnic,” I said.

“What nonsense are you talking? Why should John’s wife not want to come for the picnic?” my boss said.

I looked at my boss and I said:

John’s wife told me that she did not want to come for the picnic  especially with John  as she knew  that after a few drinks  John would misbehave, get nasty, indulge in outrageous antics and spoil the atmosphere  and this would be embarrassing for everyone – and very painful for her and her daughter.”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2.  All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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