“HAPPY” NEW YEAR
From my Creative Writing Archives:
Here is a story I wrote 8 years ago on New Year’s Eve – on 30 December 2006, to be precise.
I think it is worth a read before you head for your New Year’s Eve Party...
“HAPPY” NEW YEAR – a Story By Vikram Karve
She licked the salt from her hand and drank the shot, in one go, then had a long swallow of beer that met the tequila’s burn as it rose.
Everyone clapped and cheered.
With that one act she had crossed the barrier.
She was no longer the rustic girl from the mofussil.
Now, she was one of “them”.
No longer would she have to hear those derisive jeers and taunts which pierced her heart – dehati, behenji etc – for now she would “belong”.
“Hey, Mofussil Girl, that’s not the way to have a shot,” Cute Girl said.
“Please don’t call me Mofussil Girl,” she said.
Then Mofussil Girl looked at Cute Girl.
Cute Girl was one of those sophisticated synthetic urban beauties who looked real chic.
Cute Girl was Mofussil Girl’s role model.
“Then let me see you do a Los Tres Cuates,” Cute Girl said.
“What’s that?” Mofussil Girl asked.
“Come on Mofussil Girl, don’t you know what’s a Los Tres Cuates – ‘The Three Chums’ – The Tequila Slammer?” Cute Girl said.
“No,” Mofussil Girl said.
“It is the best way to drink Tequila. Look, I will show you how it is done,” Cute Girl said.
Cute Girl put some salt on her palm, licked it off, downed the neat tequila shot in one gulp down her throat, picked up a wedge of lime and pressed it between her teeth, biting hard into it.
“See – that is how you do a Los Tres Cuates – now you do it,” Cute Girl said.
Mofussil Girl sprinkled some salt on her left palm and picked up a tequila shot from the bar with her right hand.
“Be careful,” a voice said, “It’s her first time.”
“Oh, come on, Killjoy. She’s a tough girl. She’ll drink all of us under the table,” Cute Girl said.
It was now or never.
Mofussil Girl knew that once she proved her capacity to drink she would gain real respect and acceptance in this crowd and she would truly be one of them.
She downed the shot in one go.
As soon the tequila shot hit the pit of her stomach, a rash of gooseflesh raced up from her insides, tremors reverberated through her body up the back of her neck resonating into her brain and she felt her as if her brain might explode – like a terrible black orgasm.
And then she felt a high – a high like she had never felt before.
Everyone cheered Mofussil Girl.
Then a voice said, “Let’s drink to that,” and they all had a few shots of Tequila – in quick succession – one after another – one after another – shot after shot – till they were swinging high.
“Let’s hit the dance floor,” someone shouted, and propelled by unseen hands Mofussil Girl was in their midst swinging away on the dance floor to the rocking music.
The atmosphere in the disco was electric, fantastic, like she had seen in the movies.
Mofussil Girl felt wonderful, mesmerized, and with her inhibitions dissolved in the alcohol inside her, she let her hair down and danced so unabashedly and vigorously that soon she lost herself in the ultimate state of frenzied ecstasy she had never felt before.
This was the hep, hot and happening way to celebrate New Year’s Eve – not sitting with a pizza and ice cream watching the boring New Year’s Eve programme on TV like she had done for the past few years and like her roommate was doing right now.
Mofussil Girl danced continuously without break.
The dance-floor was packed with bodies, rubbing against each other.
Suddenly, the lights went off and it was pitch dark.
The DJ announced, “Ten seconds left for the New Year.”
And then he began counting: “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and suddenly all the lights came on and everyone seemed to have gone berserk.
Hooters, whistles, horns, drums, shouts – all had raised the noise level to a din.
Total strangers hugged and kissed Mofussil Girl wishing her a Happy New Year.
The reverberating music, the wildly passionate crowd, the dancing strobe lights, the intense smoke, the fantastic cacophony, her sheer excitement and the intoxicating alcohol inside her – it made Moffusil Girl’s head swim so much that she negotiated her way and swayed across to the nearest sofa and slumped down on it.
Moffusil Girl tried to focus on the dancing couples.
Everything was a bit hazy.
Moffusil Girl’s head began to swim even more and she felt thirsty and reached out for the glass of water across the table.
As she stretched across the table she swayed and rolled back uncontrollably into her chair.
Her stomach seemed to be full of mercury, ice-cold and enormously heavy.
Her face felt hot and beads of perspiration began to appear on her forehead.
She pushed herself forward again, trying to reach the glass, and knocked it across the table.
Her brain began to fade, and she leaned her elbows helplessly on the glass edge of the table and felt her head fall on her wrists.
“You’re okay?” Cute Girl asked.
“I don’t know,” Mofussil Girl said.
“Come,” Cute Girl said holding out her hand, “Let’s get some fresh air.”
Mofussil Girl took Cute Girl’s hand and followed her like a zombie into the dark.
Outside it was cold, and in her drunken haze Moffusil Girl could barely sense the maze of hands groping her, supporting her unsteady body and propelling her towards the car park.
Mofussil Girl felt there were two persons within her as result of the baleful double personality that comes into being through drunkenness – the first acted as if without any brain at all, in a mechanical, vacant manner – and the second observed the first quite lucidly, but seemed entirely powerless to do anything.
“Shove her in the backseat,” a male voice said.
“And you come in front,” the man in the driver’s seat said to Cute Girl.
The car drove off into the darkness.
Hearing a shuffling noise on the rear seat, the driver asked, “Hey, what are you guys up to?”
“Giving her a drink,” a male voice said.
“Be careful, she’s already had too much to drink,” Cute Girl said.
“Just priming her up!”
“It may be her first time.”
“Really? Then she’ll need more priming. I’ll give her one more swig.”
And then the man roughly forced the bottle into Moffusil Girl’s mouth.
“Shall we do it here?”
“No. Not in the car. We’ll go to our usual place.”
“Shit! Bloody Shit!”
“She is filthy drunk! She is vomiting all over me. Stop the car before the whole place is covered in puke.”
They stopped the car.
“She’s badly sick,” Cute Girl said, “It was her first time and she’d had too many shots. I told you not to force booze down her throat.”
“What do we do?”
“Let’s clean her up and go ahead.”
“Shit! She’s still puking. She is vomiting all over the place. It’s bloody nauseating. I have lost it.”
“Disgusting! Let’s dump her here.”
“Here? No. Let’s drop her back,” Cute Girl said.
“Drop her back? Are you crazy? And ruin our New Year’s fun?”
“We’ll get into trouble.”
“She’s so drunk that she won’t remember a thing when she wakes up in the morning.”
So they dumped Mofussil Girl in a desolate spot and drove away to enjoy the New Year.
Wallowing in her stinking vomit and shivering uncomfortably, Mofussil Girl stared vacantly into the dark sky, never so frightened, never so alone.
She wanted to cry – but tears refused to well in her eyes and her throat felt dry.
Her recollections and images of the terrible night were just vivid flashes in a void.
Her head throbbed with pain and her body ached as she retched again and again – puking again and again – till there was no vomit left inside her.
Feeling totally shattered and enveloped by unimaginable agony she lapsed into a zombie-like state of suspended vacuum.
The urbanization of Mofussil Girl was complete.
And at exactly the same moment, Moffusil Girl’s roommate was drifting off to sleep tucked in her comfortable warm bed, after watching the boring New Year’s Eve Programme on TV.
Moffusil Girl’s roommate was full of envy as she imagined her friend Mofussil Girl having a great time at the New Year’s Eve Party.
She wished she had accompanied Mofussil Girl to the grand New Year’s Eve Bash.
Wondering with envy how Moffusil Girl was enjoying her New Year Party, the curious roommate dialled Moffusil Girl’s cell phone number to wish her a Happy New Year.
The mobile phone kept ringing in Moffusil Girl’s puke-drenched purse.
But Mofussil Girl did not answer the phone.
Mofussil Girl did not answer the mobile phone because she was in a drunken stupor, totally inebriated, dead drunk, passed out stone-cold, in a state of unconsciousness, oblivious to her surroundings.
So Moffusil Girl’s roommate sent Mofussil Girl an SMS: “Happy New Year”.
Copyright © Vikram Karve
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This story is 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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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.