The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A tale of two picnics.

I am pretty convinced that there is an asocial side in me tucked away deep somewhere in my innards. A Mr.Hyde hidden somewhere in my Mr.Jeckyl self (I can’t figure out which of these RL Stevenson characters were good and which one bad, but it’s just a metaphor people, so don’t bother reading too much into it). And this ‘indifferent’, ‘cynical’, ‘where am I’, ‘what are these people doing’ side of me clinically resurfaces every time I go on one of these big social gatherings of the picnic type. On diagnosis, I have a feeling it happened all the way from school. But my memory is vague so I am not drawing any conclusions from these could have been symptoms.

Now picnics, in general are of two types. You have ‘the 15-20 people in a Swaraj Mazda going to some waterfall 100 km away’ type of picnic from the college days. ‘We got caterers from Malleswaram but they wouldn’t make chicken da. So we’ve got curd rice, veg pulao and lotsa beer’. Beaming smile from organizer at the very mention of the golden brew. Scheduled departure at 7 a.m but three women have not turned up yet. 8 o clock we get going, the women had valid reasons supposedly. Something to the effect of ‘we thought it was 8’. Roads bumpy, traffic (which we should have avoided) horrid. By 9, a game of Antakshari and the Mr. Hyde in me has taken over. I am asked to join and I check speedometer readings to evaluate if it’s safe to jump into Bangalore-Mysore Road at 50 kmph. Serpentine highways transform into muddy village roads and in the mid afternoon heat you’re at a stream and an anti climax of a waterfall. I am well and truly Mr.Hyde now. Aloof. Grumpy. Irritable. But the thing is, nobody spots it because in between all this, the booze has happened, and if I’ve become strange the junta have become stranger. Sundown and the return trip. Muddy roads now metamorphosing back into black tarmac as I myself transform back into usual self. End of picnic. Hand shakes, hugs. ‘It was fun no?’ ‘Oh ya.’

The other kind of picnic is the ‘100-200 people in big tourist buses going to nearby resort’ kinda corporate event. These ones actually and contrary to popular belief are bearable and unfold generally like this. You enter big 51 seater Volvo with loads of trepidation. So many children on it people, that you bloody damn think it’s a school trip. You walk past familiar faces on your way to the last seat. Many more married people than last year. Some bastards have hit jackpot with super hot wives. “Hey how are you’, you ask one of the jackpot winners who happens to sit on the same pod near the vending machine. ‘Fine, fine. Back meh seat hai’, he replies, as though in a big hurry to keep you moving. ‘Hellooo, how are you’, you continue, to the boss’ little one. Kid shows faces. You smile; look at boss and say ‘He’s smart isn’t he’. Boss does a ‘Ya, he’s my son’, kinda nod. I was joking you fool.

Resort is big and proceedings begin with a few autistic games. I suddenly feel him rising within me. But the expanse is vast, the crowd too big and escape unnoticeable. In a while it’s every man his own and only lunch can bring them back together like sweetmeat to a swarm of flies. The food is super good. Three chicken dishes and all. Sun down. Prizes for kids, two for manager’s kids and organizers. Smiles. Clap, clap. Everyone jump back into bus and travel back to square one. End of story. Bearable nah?

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic stuff !! thoroughly enjoyed reading this..especially the boss' bit ..lol.. remember Sudheer's kid when you got a lift in his car??

August 13, 2007 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would you classify Cubbon Park picnics in the evenings, where all you do is sit and eat bhutta and ponder over life, the universe and everything. Happy in the knowledge that the 3 friends you have around you, are all who you need in life, besides your immediate family. Nice picnic, no? :-)
- Lals.

August 14, 2007 1:45 AM  
Blogger Preeth said...

@ananymous -> lol.absolutely remember that one.the kid had a 'who the fcuk is he' attitude.

@Lals -> Hey very nice indeed. Even the very mention of it paints happy pictures :)

August 14, 2007 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Meera said...

Nice one preethax.Saw the Mr Hyde raising its head during the picnic.So related to this one, totally.
Friends who've landed a jackpot!lol..

August 15, 2007 2:56 PM  
Blogger as good as it gets said...

Hah hah ha :)

August 16, 2007 7:01 AM  
Blogger Pri said...

oooh cubbon park picnics were fun. i loved that lame toy train. and that big joy ice cream shop where i would eat only JOY BALL. heeeeeee

August 16, 2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger Preeth said...

@meera -> will make sure its not obvious next time round :)

@Raj -> :)

@Pri -> JOY ball.What joy :)Was the mother of all ice creams in those days I remember :) Btw do u remember the double ball ? Vanilla below,strawberry on top types.

August 17, 2007 2:05 PM  
Blogger Bikerdude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 17, 2007 12:06 AM  
Blogger Bikerdude said...

LOL boss -you're the bond! Feel exactly the same way about both picnics.

For #2, I usually drive down deliberately late in order to miss the autistic games, and leave after stuffing my face at lunch. Fun times.

September 17, 2007 12:08 AM  

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