Kasturba and that hangover-ed night
Her body was aching. She couldn’t even stand straight. She tumbled to the door on her tip-toe, her heels in her hands and peeked out of it. Her “friends” were sleeping – two on each couch and two on the floor. She looked at them for sometime. Where was she? It was not really a question to self. It was just an expression. She knew where she was but definitely didn’t know why.
She just wanted to go back home. Talk to nobody. Meet nobody. Start her day, afresh. She didn’t even want to think what happened last night. But she did. She felt miserable and unusually tired. Regret? Yes. Regret! Not because something happened – that’s a part of life. But because she lost control, she took more vodka than water. She talked about things that she didn’t give a shit about and all of it, made her very angry. On self.
As she sat in the bar 2 years later with her colleagues, denying every drink they offered, the memory of the night came swooshing past her (And with that effect too – cos the music was loud and – trance). She remembered herself looking into the mirror, week on her knees and almost crying. She was glad – so glad that she went. If she hadn’t, she would have never known how beautiful her life is and how hollow that kind of living is. It did not astonish her why people do that all the time. Why do they meet random strangers, call boozing a party and say its called ‘opening up’ when your anything but being yourself.
You are a wannabe version of your unreal self. Somebody you hate to be. I hated it. That person inside me – was a pretentious stupid bitch – and I hated her.
Why? Because this is no US. No English or French land. This is India. And Indian men can never be what you fantasize about in your petty romance novels. It is a matter of pride for them to woo a sexy girl but in the morning, its all about getting over it and starting fresh. Indian men have an unalterable mentality. They might stand with you and shout slogans of stopping rapes but deep inside they wonder what she was doing with the guy so late in the night. They might say women reservation bills are needed while they “know” that women can never be a part of sensible decision making. They just can’t stand a female doing better than them – they just can’t take it. But that would be all men, right? No? I don’t know. I know about my country though.
She knew that she was safe. Even two years back, she was. But right now – the only thing that mattered was to stay sober. It took her a year to finally get out of it – the alcohol. She was no alcoholic. But she definitely had developed a hate-love relationship with it. And that – was dangerous.
After a year of learning to enjoy with family, friends and loneliness with an amazing movie playing on a big screen, she was over it. Over that night when she repeatedly shouted how high she was like it was something cool. Over that night when he grabbed her from her waist, slipped his hands into her dress and kissed her while she could hardly stop him, with all the ‘highness’ around.
I am not them. I will never again be them. She didn’t know about others. She didn’t even care about them. All she knew was that – this kind of life was anything but cool – for her.