I do not go to random parties any more. You know, the kind where you sort of know one person and this sort-of-known person invites you along to a party being hosted by a person sort of known to him/her at a location mostly unknown to everyone.
It used to be fun meeting new people. Although lots of the new people I have met recently have been, for the most part, uninteresting. True fact. Everyone seems to be so caught up in working on their outer trappings – what we look like, what we have, our next Facebook profile picture, what we are perceived as, climbing the professional and social ladder and so on. We seem to have forgotten just keeping it simple and keeping it real.
The upside of random parties is that it gives you anecdotes to narrate at other random parties or just a funny tale to narrate to the inner circle of buddies.
I am reminded of this party KO and I found ourselves at some time ago. As we walked in, we realized we were amongst the few Indians there. Everyone else was French. There was plenty of alcohol and not much food. This mad-hatter, we sort of knew, unwrapped what looked like a large mound of road kill and dumped it on the barbecue. He may have run over a cow on his way and robbed it of its entire rump. Or that could have been his missing roommate. Who knows? It just looked (and smelled) really dodgy. Nobody touched it. He ate most of it himself. The potted out French people spent hours examining and cooing over a dragonfly. I got into a contest of “who has the oldest friend?” with a couple of fetuses and won. The socially awkward host had a monosyllabic name that I cannot recall. The mad-hatter made the French people dance to traditional Indian folk tunes. The best part about that party was leaving it.
My first Spanish teacher’s Christmas party was another disaster. Bin, BC and I had high expectations, thinking this would be a really fun party with lots of new and interesting people. We drove around in circles looking for a “Basset Road” as my teacher had instructed. People gave us the strangest looks as we asked for directions to said Basset Road. When we finally reached, we learned why. It was “Basith Road”. There were just six or seven people at the party. Our fun gay Spanish classmate slipped out quickly and we were soon bored. There was a German Yoga teacher who bowed deeply each time she whispered. She only whispered. At some point in this group coma session, her cocky 19-year-old son trotted over to us and said, “You know, OUR parties are not like this.” I wanted to poke him in the head. My Spanish teacher insisted on collecting all our disposable plates before washing and scrubbing them. All the while she bellowed at her husband, “Jaaveed! Why you bought plastic plate? I hate eet! I HATE EET!” All of Basset Road must know that now.
At another party, hosted on the occasion of Diwali, the gates were flung wide open for anyone. Literally anyone walked in, off the street, for free food and booze. The terrace area was packed with energetic dancing people. Bin was doing the “looking-for-my-cockatoo” dance with random strangers. I found Krazy Frog welcoming people at the gate with hugs and handshakes –inviting people he didn’t know to a party he wasn’t hosting. In fact, he didn’t even know who the host was. Nobody did. The stuffed shirt we’d met an hour earlier got into a fight with a drunken stranger. There was a scuffle. Suddenly, everybody wanted to beat everybody up. In the midst of that row, the host’s father was beseeching people to eat biryani. We left. There was more action there than we could handle.
So yes, I think I am done with the random parties (for the most part). Random parties may make for amusing anecdotes, but time spent with my closer friends makes for lovely memories. That’s a deal clincher right there.