Apart from his statement when he reportedly turned down the lead role in Casablanca saying he did not want to play opposite "some unknown Swedish broad", Hell’s Kitchen tough guy was also known to have said, “Part of the $10 million I spent on gambling, part on booze and part on women. The rest I spent foolishly.” At our own Hell’s Kitchen, minus half a dozen zeroes, life is not much different. The philosophy followed is the same as tat of the man who did get the lead opposite Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, when he says, “The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.”
The budget for each institute party is around fifty thousand, with faculty not invited only for the fear that they may witness just how good attendance levels can consistently be. After a Hard Week’s Night, all of us come together with united purpose – to let our harrowed hair down. After six days of rubbing our noses to the grind and banging heads in the books, we indulge in a different form of head banging. Come every alternate Saturday night, and even the library and computer centre lose some of its permanent fixtures to the touted axiom “We work until beer ‘o’ clock”
Ah, but we must bring in some analysis of the behaviour patterns here, not because it is demanded, bt because if makes such interesting material. The party is more like a social gathering where people with different backgrounds, personalities and attitudes come together to be the part of leaderless, and yet highly motivated groups. Group formation breaks the shackles of normal group dynamics as people move straight to the performing stage, skipping all the other stages.
As the alcohol intakes increase and inhibition shed, the reality of individual perception takes on new meaning. Sometimes, booze is like a mental microfiche reader and to which the more you add, the more the magnification increases. The more alcohol that goes down the hatch, the surer one feels of oneself. Some say, “Alcohol takes a lot out of you”. That’s why every time you booze; you should try to take more out of alcohol than alcohol takes out of you.
Our contention then, in our own experiments (though nothing like The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests) is that alcohol doesn’t console, it doesn’t fill up any psychological gaps. All it does is that it replaces the lack of God. It doesn’t comfort man. On the contrary, it encourages us in our folly; it transports us to the supreme region where we are the masters of our own destiny. And that is a temporary glimpse of true ‘self-actualisation’ when you feel that nothing controls you and you are in control of everything.
Arguably, the doors of perception are better opened by other soft drugs that are consumed less ostentatiously and by a small handful behind closed doors of deception. Even among many of the alcohol abusers, other natural intoxicants are viewed with a bemused wonder uncharacteristic to similar educational institutes across the world. Social perceptions have much to do with this, as they have much to do with all else, and for those not behind closed doors, no one bothers to debate how “legal and illegal are political, and often arbitrary, categorizations; use and abuse are medical, or clinical, distinctions." But of course, further debate would require at least another chapter, and Howard Marks already beat us to it.
The party continues till ‘when the music’s over’ and we ‘turn out the light’ a few ours pre-dawn and the last stragglers toddle back to their rooms. Interestingly, parts of this chapter were seemingly written post one of these parties, for no one remembers who wrote them.
|Top 5 Drinks|
|Alok||Thums Up, Fresh Lime Soda, Orange Juice, Daab ka paani, Plain Cold Water|
|Animesh||Bacardi Rum, Screw Driver, Bloody Mary, Tropical Temptation, Arabian Heights|
|Anshul||Signature, Coke, Pineapple juice, Bacardi, water|
|Gurpreet||Apple juice, Romanov, Kingfisher, Caffe Latte, Iced Tea|
|Siddhartha||Old Monk and Coke, Goan Port, Bloody Mary, Coffee liqueur, Barman’s Pitcher|