Oh, the memory of those drunken soirées. I sometimes feel that perhaps these didn’t happen. But then, these actually happened and – lo and behold – we survived.
I was posted at the Navy’s Leadership School named Agrani in Coimbatore. I had taken leadership role in many things: stage acting and heavy drinking being two of them.
Once, my friend and senior Amarjit Bajwa and I were sent to Cochin to take part in Southern Naval Command Annual Dramatic Competition. We won the Best Play ‘Hamara Drama’ that year and I won the Best Actor award.
We returned by Bajwa’s Bullet mobike. I must mention that Bajwa used to take Enfield’s nickname quite seriously and drove as if we were shot out from a gun.
On returning in the evening, celebrations started straightway. By 9 PM all friends left and we still had a lot of beer left. Call of duty has always inspired me (one of the reasons I joined the Navy). So, Bajwa and I decided not to let the beer ‘go waste‘.
By midnight, we were quite sozzled and hence in eminently ‘fit state‘ to go for a drive like ‘role models‘ Viru and Jai in Sholay.
We landed up at the Madhukarai firing range for ‘camp inspection‘. After successfully completing this ‘urgent inspection‘, we started back.
Only, since it was dirt road, Bajwa asked me to ride as pillion after a few metres when we would come out of the rough undulated portion. I walked up to there and Bajwa must have thought I had climbed on the seat behind him. So, he took off like a bullet.
I thought he was pulling a fast one and would stop for me after sometime. So I kept walking and he kept driving.
After Bajwa drove for about ten kilometers he realised that Ravi was being very silent; which was most unusual. So he stopped the mobike and turned around to ask me what was wrong. Lo and behold, Ravi was not there. It didn’t occur to him that I hadn’t climbed on my seat at all. He thought I must have fallen. So he started back slowly, looking for me in every ditch and pothole.
Meanwhile, after initially thinking that Bajwa was pulling fast one at me, when he didn’t turn back, I assumed that he had met with an accident. So I was looking for him in every ditch and pothole.
Within about two hours, in the wee hours of the morning, we found each other. What a joy to find each other alive.
We returned to his room in Agrani and celebrated our being alive by ‘doing justice‘ to some more beer that Bajwa discovered under his bed.
Moral of the Short Story: Always keep some beer handy for occasions that life throws at you suddenly.
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