By Sonali Desai
Climbing three floors, three times in forty-five minutes! And hugging wine bottles in our arms and surviving the contagious giggling and hilarious wiggling, we were hiking at our own pace. This was almost when we realized a friend of ours fell literally into a puddle of water right in the middle of the floor. The rest of us collapsed into giggles leaving her alone in the little pool. Then dragging her on to the third floor, we cried laughing on our way. And then told her, ” Dearest friend, we’ll always pick you up when you fall, only after we finish laughing…”
In the middle of a no moon night, where dark clouds acted like blankets, we sat in a circle and raised the toast. Sipping wine in the middle of the night was no adventure, what was intriguing about such night outs was the awaited drama – brittle humour, vivid dialogues and angular iterations of love, and of course, whining – the swirl of voices in the backdrop of our ‘twenty-year-old Bangalore.’
The showstopper was not the wine, but ‘conversations’ that danced to the tunes of our emotions. Friends who sit down to talk and don’t stop until the sun has dawned again (like a clock appearing telling you what time it is) – while we are gone, those bits and pieces of conversations are lazying on the verandah.
And one day, whenever we stand on any empty terrace surveying the sky, those memories visit; ‘playing’ the old tape of conversations. Even a graceful wine date today cannot match the ‘whining’ dates of yesterday.
That’s why they say the magic is in numbers – from 20 to 30 –these ten years we didn’t realize when and where those conversations disappeared. Today, the same irrepressible giggling echoed with trilling effect down every memory lane; pulling, cajoling and pushing each other until tears gathered in the corners of the eyes, threatening to spill over.
And… thank God we took that time. We are now in the right age to play a sequel. There will be a day in the future, where ‘whining’ dates will make a comeback. And when we raise a toast, wine glasses will gently knock their heads and the red wine inside will magically swirl like a fairy in a deep-red ballerina dress.