Thursday morning, and the usual avalanche of SMS’s fall on me as the gals plan Friday night’s jam session. I am caught in the middle of a crossfire of SMS’s going back and forth for a good one and a half hour.
1. silverine’s place, we can have a barbecue
2. No! 2 far + pesky brother how about N’s place?
3. No, pesky brother there too, how about S’s place?
4. No, her mom will close us by 10
6. Pesky younger sister
7. Ok then it is silverine’s place then
It’s a wonder we get any work done at all on a Thursday.
Next round of SMS’ starts post lunch.
1. Bacardi Breezer for me
2. Rum, OM
3. KF Beer
5. Blue Riband
6. somebody please get the softdrinks too
7. I hate Smirnoff , make it Absolut
8. I hate KF Beer, get me UB
9. Grovers White Wine
10. Who will buy?
11. Silverine and Nisha
12. Why us?????
Friday evening me and Nisha set off for Sunday to Monday (S2M). Nisha grumbles that it took her a good half an hour to write down the booze list from her mobile while I look around furtively to see if any relation/friend of the family is around. I will never bump into a relation/friend of the family when I am shopping for groceries, but the moment I pick up a bottle of booze they appear miraculously from nowhere.*sigh*
The coast was clear. S2M was thinly populated with housewives and snotty hyperactive kids. We take our trolley and with the air of experienced boozards begin filling up the trolley. Pretty soon it is evident that we will need another trolley (because we had to keep the bottles horizontal in single file to avoid breakage). I walk across with an air of great interest to the Masala section, see an abandoned trolley and quickly grab it and we begin filling it up. After some time it becomes evident that something was horribly wrong with our booze shopping list because we are in need of a third trolley!!!!!
Time for SMS’s again.
1. Ok, tell us exactly how much booze you all want!
2. I want 3 breezers, orange flavor
3. 3 UB beers, pint
4. One wine, very chilled ok?
5. Smirnoff, 250 ml yaar
6. one 500 ml coke, sprite, fanta
7. if they don’t have OM get Celebration Rum,
8. They don’t have quarter? How dumb!
9. Ok then get me a 500 ml
10. Sausages over at Foodworld, can you get it instead?
11. Hey I am Veg remember?
12. Yeah, and I am Miss India
And so on and so forth. Pretty soon we are cursing and swearing and jotting down the ‘orders’. Now we know why waiters give us the cruel eye when we get into a debate on the merits and demerits of various brands of alcohol while he is waiting, pencil poised to take our orders.
After filling up for the second time, we go to the billing area near the exit. I see my Uncle John, my Dad’s drinking buddy coming straight at us. I duck behind the plastic wares shelf leaving a flustered Nisha with two trolleys laden with booze. Uncle John takes his time at the toiletry section and Nisha manages to push both the trolley amidst curses to 8 generations of my ancestors to the billing area. We are 5th in the queue consisting of a beautiful grey haired grandmom buying cheese and sugarless cookies, an old couple buying papadams, a mom buying half the store, and two guys buying Maggi Noodles and Sprite ( guess they were eating in style that day).
And as is wont for people waiting in the queue, everyone is casually looking around at the people coming in and the people waiting with them and at the …..trolleys. Our trolley looks like a bootleggers tempo and bottles stick out like fluorescent sore thumbs. The elderly gentleman standing in front of us with namam on forehead looks disapprovingly at us. He whispers something to his wife. She looks at our trolley pointedly, then stares at us coldly making both of us squirm like two worms on a hot plate. Then mom decides to look around. Her eyes freeze as she spots our trolley, widens in disbelief and she looks away disapprovingly. Then one of the not-so-merry bachelors standing behind the Grandmom espies our trolley. He nudges his friend and both giggle like two school girls who have just seen a packet of condoms. I suggest to Nisha that we give a swig of the wine to these people and both of us collapse into giggles at the very thought. (More disapproving stares)
Our turn comes at last and the cashier starts removing the bottles one by one painstakingly scanning the barcode one by one blessed bottle at a time. We ignore the stares and smirks of the growing queue and finally manage to leave the place after what seemed an eternity.
As we were walking out cursing and grumbling and groaning at the weight of the bottles and the ‘narrow minded” people, we heard a voice calling out - “Girls!” We look around and see that it was the white haired Grandma who was ahead of the sober bachelors in the line. She waves, smiles and then winks and says. “Have a blast, girls. And have a large one for me.”
We smile right back absolutely bowled over by the spunky lady.
At last!!! Someone who understands us. Someone who is our age !! (at least at heart.)
As we walk away I catch myself singing "Forever young, I want to be forever young"