Aryaman complained about feeling dizzy and cursed us for the ‘green’ company we had put him into. For Nidhi, it was the first time she had seen it. She was about to have some major wisdom and firsthand insight. Priti couldn’t stop laughing and giggling whereas I had gone totally mute. Nidhi tells me later that I was unusually quiet and didn’t speak much. Oh and she was locked out of her room because Garima went to sleep and had bolted from inside.
The night just didn’t seem to end. The city folks had bought a hookah. Somehow I found myself sitting with the rest of the interns surrounding it, along with a shallow-bearded handsome young guy from CCC. The green hookah glistened in the lamp-lit hallway with white clouds stuffed inside. It reminded me of Aladdin. We were playing cards when I started doing something stupid. I guess I played the wrong card constantly. Malvika giggled at my mistakes and kept saying, “Na na, tu sahi khel rahi hai (No no, you are playing just fine!)”. 😛
Shallow-bearded handsome guy was playing some strange music on Deep’s bluetooth music player. The music seemed like Shiva dancing to its tunes (And no, it’s not because I was a twinkle twinkle little star!). I remember the music thumping in my ears and seeping in like was some dark fluid. I could feel it melt, slowly travel through the innards of my skin, crawl through the side of my neck and spread all over my shoulders. At some point my jaw starting radiating the music too. It started spreading from thereon to my chest and spread all over the front. I could feel the music crawling all over my body. My mind kept repeating the beats in my head and it felt like I was stuck on the same note forever. It just kept coming back to me. It seemed likes ages had passed and I was still listening to it. I remember making a mental note to ask shallow-bearded handsome guy to lend me the song. For a moment I thought what if these guys were playing an entirely different song whereas the Shiva dance was playing only in my head. ‘Love’ gives you some kind of liberty. Your mind wanders to various places you never knew were there right in your head. For several moments the song played in loop and then changed into another. All of these beats seemed the same to me yet the song was different from the previous one. I may not be making much sense right now but trust me, it felt really good.
It didn’t last long though. Soon, the thought of danger and harm dawned on me. I was sitting with strangers, all out of my wits and was slowly losing control over myself. It started to grow in me; the feeling of fear. My rose tinted glasses were turning a morose blue. My head felt like a dispersed polychrome palette. It started creating a series of technicolor terrors and made me defensive. I sat with my knees folded up, put my arms around and held them close to my heart. Bundling up made me feel secure. People sitting around me were all in a mist. I was quiet, except for a few words. What if I uttered or did something that I would certainly regret later on? I was among strangers, people I have known for just a week except for one! I had laid all my faith on her. I was determined to follow her if things go wrong or not. Whether she sits there with the others or decides to go back in the room, I wouldn’t leave her side. I would follow the sight of her hands and keep walking behind her and know for sure that I’ll be safe.
Time was rushing by when a tall and pretty girl descended from upstairs. Fair and dark hair with kohl-lined eyes set on her attractive face. Wearing a blue crop top and pink skirt with something crisscross around the waist, Raveena was beautiful. When she stepped down, it seemed like the moment in movies when a very important and beautiful person is shown entering the screen. She announced, “Hey, it’s my birthday!” Now we knew whom the mango went to.
After a short interval spent in our room, Priti and I returned to sanity. As we made our way back to the open party space, I was about to witness what went down in MICA history as Banno! Aryaman had shot a video of a certain frolicking being who earlier didn’t seem like she had it in her. She gave ‘letting your hair down’ an entirely new meaning. The music had changed to a Deepika Padukone number that got our frolicking being on her toes. Her light-headed self felt like dancing. She got hold of the curly haired blood-shot eyed angel. Though a little apprehensive, he joined her and danced in a way that looked like an inebriated penguin flapping its wings. Not being able to keep up with Frolic, he stepped away while she continued. In an attempt to garner a partner, she pulled and literally dragged Malvika. What took over her the next moment was inexplicable. To the music, Frolic demonstrated the ‘step of the year’! She swung her arms above her head, brought them down from across her nape up to her front and then again swung them across her waist to lovingly scoop her ass in a fleeting embrace! Illustrious, isn’t it? 😀
It doesn’t end here. She went on to pump her fist in the air while hopping around Malvika and then went dashing towards our cameraman Aryaman. She shot back in the opposite direction and dived onto the floor, falling down. Malvika and Nidhi rushed to her help. Back on her feet, Frolic hung on to shallow bearded handsome guy and waltzed; well they tried to. Stumbling upon each other they managed a few steps with her slipping here and there and him trying to keep her steady. It went on for long. Shallow beard had an I-did-not-sign-up-for-this expression. Nevertheless he let her hung on to him. It was very sweet. Most people would back off, especially when you have met for the first time, but he didn’t. He danced with her and entertained her. Finally when slumber approached, shallow bearded handsome guy picked her up and carried her upto the room. He laid her down on the bed and tucked her in while securing from all sides with pillows. Frolic goes on to be smitten by this gesture. Her dance moves made history that night but what he did became an indelible memory that she would be echoing forever!
Broken glasses, bleeding palms, soiled towels, defensive conscience, green education and much more happened that night. It was what brought us closer. It marked the end of ‘strangers at MICA’.