Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ringing in 2010 the Terrace Party

Enter the new millennium, 2009 is just a memory like the nineties, eighties, seventies time ceases to exist. The past seems like a kaleidoscopic blur, a page of landscape portraiture seen from a train’s window, a smudge of high mountains, lush paddy fields and greenery. The smoke from the steam locomotive paints an ethereal picture out of reach like a X’mas bauble.
The tingle of glasses brings me back to the party, the hot chicks in short dresses, Gucci knock off hand bags, imitation leather high heels and real breasts, one should notice and fondle details, no symptom of ‘lactose intolerance’ in me. Let me head for the bar and fortify myself with a stiff drink, part of addiction is that you need the substance so bad during parties that when they try to take it away from you , you want to die… People are already dancing on the floor, couples glance significantly into the eyes of each other, the ridiculous flirtation between men and women like ‘cognac’ after dinner. The invitees were an eclectic multiracial crowd, mostly airline cabin crew, BPO, and IT industry, a crop of young men and women who will inherit and save our dying planet in the near distant future. The Christian group, with a mild grudge against the Hindu majority were dressed for church (midnight mass) suit, tie, sweaters and booted, the women in sequined dresses, over scented with the glacial ‘come hither’ looks trying to propound the reverse “axe effect” I stood out like a sore thumb in my khakis and sandals. I slowly gravitated towards a noisy pseudo- intellectual Bengali group with the possibility of an emotional connect: leveraging the common passions of leftist leanings, feudal set up/ inheritance, river songs and mutual love of sea food, subjects which are very sentimental yet difficult to articulate. The common tapestry of aristocracy, blue blood, history, genetic superiority stretches this continuity. As an Aristocratic Nair with a matrilineal and cross cultural heritage I was fortunate to be assimilated yet felt strangely alienated. Due to my nomadic childhood and broad minded parents, all traditions, cultures as well as ‘belonging’ had become equally questionable to me. Unknowingly the group continued their shallow party conversation, analyzing the rising cost of apartments, difficulty in sourcing household help, the latest blackberry curve, I phones gaming gizmos, cricket, cars and associated traffic snarls; the conversation gets more profound when they try to establish distant family connections to Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, though I cant fathom why Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is not included in this ‘relative profiling’. It’s time to relieve my weak bladder, I go hunting for the urinal (oops cloak room).
When I returned the music had reached the right crescendo and the gyrating crowd had spilled into the open, their bodies and faces buzzed with glee, exhilaration, a jubilant awareness of being alive. With the alcohol dissolving in their bloodstream the inhibitions suddenly crumble and the real personae rushes in to their frames to sway to the rhythm of the Samba.
The spread on the buffet table tingles your olfactory senses, Sushi, Chinese, Pasta, Pizza, succulent barbecued chicken legs, no sign of roast Turkey though I spotted pork chops at the far end. As a dyed in the wool Mallu, my roots are in the digestive tract; Kerala food like Appam with stew, puttu, mussel fried, neighmeen, are simple flavorsome, unfussy with spice and I yearn for this soul food. Yet most party animals have this obsessive eating disorder (OED) a tendency or craving to eat substances with exotic names like caviar, sushi, Manchurian other than normal food, a symptom which occurs during pregnancy or childhood.
The clock strikes twelve and the crowd cheers, hug and kiss each other, a self evident and pre-fabricated symbolism which attaches itself to this Zenith, as the thought occurs to all, that they have made it so far, to a point where they can see horizontal, amidst the explosion of crackers the old earth reveals itself newly. Everyone is staring at their teeny LCD screens with haute nerd intensity, keying in hot text messages in the flat spectral non hour time zone, awash in limbic tides. Satiated with food and wine my neurons stir fitfully to complement a tumescence that is emanating in my groins, flashing an inappropriate reptilian demand.
Unfortunately there comes with old age and wanton life style stiffness in the wrong veins, caused by hardened deposits causing an inelasticity of physical muscle, sinew and mental fiber. Despite the lack of serotonin a strong urge for a physical linkage to a fellow mammal of the opposite sex arises. Turgidity will take forever as my thinning blood is strained from the upper torso to the loins to make a rumble in the jocks. This is more crippling than the heart attack.
The revelers return to the lowly drawing room talk asserting themselves with an acquired knowledge from the flat televisual series repeated daily by the pedestrian soaps. The news and mimetic pictures on TV, divides them metaphysically and forever from the real external world. Today’s viewer ship is dumb, and the truth is apt to make them uncomfortable, the same way that in real life true pleasure is usually a by product of hard work and discomfort. Life is a mirror which goes ‘fast’ like a watch sometimes. I will have to reset my brain. Welcome to 2010.

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