I am writing this post so that many years later, if the five of us kind of lose touch with one another, I can come back to read this and sigh, "Those were the days, huh?" Or some day when we have a fight and don't want to talk to one another ever, this would help us say, "Naah, this is worth saving."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The five of us. Now we're not the five people you will meet in heaven. Actually, we're more likely to be the five people you'll meet in 7-11. But heaven? Hell, no! I mean hell yes, heaven no.
And this post is about five things that tie us. After extensive research on our idiosyncracies, common interests and other things you think about when you're in a long bus journey, here are the shorlisted five things that brought us together and keep us together.
Viv was the first of the five I met. Though he doesn't have a blog (that we know of), he does play a crucial role in my blog, other than living vicariously through it. Actually he does get some credit here because if not for him, the bar probably wouldn't be the bar. In 2005, I started blogging because everyone around me was, and I was feeling left out. And most of my initial posts were in the same vein as the first: "I have finally created my blog. Yeay! :D" I swear. That was my first blog post. If you don't believe me, click here. It was then that Viv gifted me this book called 'Best of blogs' which was basically a compilation of blogs from all over the world. I read that book cover to cover and went, "Whoa." There was some seriously good stuff there. And I felt inspired to do something better with my blog than just proclaim that I had created it. I started posting very regularly and became more and more unafraid of speaking out my mind and making friends with complete strangers. And that's how the blog became a bar.
Then I met Shub. Through the blog again. I was lamenting the shutdown of the paratha place at Jade in one of my posts and she left a comment offering to take me to the famous Dover paratha place. We met and clicked like long-lost sisters over the parathas. Subsequently I met Pizzadude (also a bewda at the bar) through her. He duly moved to Singapore (I swear I had nothing to do with that, even though it's true that I make people move eastward. More on that later.) and we met up. Subsequently, Shub met Sumanth and we met him.
And that's how the paanch bewdas got together.
Everyone knows of my obsession for Bollywood and all its genres. So imagine my delight when I was introduced to Sumanth, one of the very few people in the world who would actually want to sit down and watch a black and white Gurudutt movie. There is no one whom I connect more with when these words are uttered, "Yeh sab kya ho raha hai beta Duryodhan?" or Asit Sen's "Bhaaaaaaaago! Building mein aag lag gayi hai!" or more recently, "Miyan biwi raazi toh kya karega aadiwasi?"
If I were to pick someone to watch a movie from the 90s with, I would pick Pizzadude without a moment's hesitation. He is someone whose tolerance level for movies of that genre is exactly the same. Of course we're the kind who would roll our eyes when Bhagyashree, when asked about her age in MPK, bats her eyelids and says, "Athaarah!" but the rolling of the eyes has no genuine scorn unlike some of the people I have attempted to watch these movies with.
Shub also has a reasonable interest in Bollywood, and even Viv does a decent job at pretending to be interested.
3. Bus no. 48
Anyone who lives in the east would jump at the mention of bus no. 48. For many people, it's their lifeline to the city. For others like me, it's the reason why my friends moved from the west to the east in spite of working in the west. (What? You thought they moved east to live close to me? Bah!) When I first introduced the idea of living in the east to Shub and Pizzadude, I had no idea it would actually happen. Daily commuting to work was, of course, the biggest concern. But then we chanced upon the awesomest bus of all - the 48. It takes the expressway and gets you straight from the east to the city in 20 minutes flat. From there there are buses and trains galore to take to any part of Singapore. And then it happened - these guys moved in and now we're all neighbours. I am officially offended that their reason to move was a hollow metal cuboid on wheels and not my DEEP LOU for them, but what the heck - they moved and that's what matters.
4. The garland
Regulars at the bar have read and seen enough of The Garland. It all started when we decided to receive Pizzadude at the airport using what I call SMART - Shub's Mindblowing Airport Reception Technique. Read Shub's side of things here and Pizzadude's version here. SMART was subsequently repeated for Shub and Sumanth as they came back from their wedding. More recently, we did it to Clueless too. Now visitors to Singapore have stopped telling us their flight timings and shiver at the idea of us receiving them at the airport. The posters were different, the 'victims' were different, but it was the same damn garland we recycled every single time.
5. Typewriter slap
Now this one has a long history. We had planned to go to the beach on 24th May 2008, also known as 'Family Day', and I had written to everyone to express how great it was that we would all be together on Family Day. "Awww group hug group hug!" I wrote. Subsequently, Shub cracked a really really bad PJ in the same thread, and I wrote back, "Group slap group slap!" And that's how the typewriter slap was born. It was of course, Viv, who coined the term and choreographed the concept. You know how when you're typing on a typewriter and after typing one line you have to move the bar to get to the next line? (If you're reading this with a blank look on your face, you are too young to be in the bar - get out now!) Well, the typewriter slap works in a similar way. When a bunch of people want to slap one particular person, they stand in a line and each person slaps the er.. 'slapee' till the slapee reaches the end of the line, upon which the last person slaps really hard, but in the opposite direction, making the slapee reach the beginning of the line again. Repeat as many times as necessary. Depending on the number of people involved, there are also self-explanatory variations of the typewriter slap: many-to-one, one-to-many, one-to-one and many-to-many.
I cannot count the numbers of times we have administered, albeit virtually, the typewriter slap to one another. The typewriter slap remains one of the five great things that bind us together.