‘That which is seen at night, cannot be unseen in the day...’
Similar views are held by a lot of people. It would surprise many that things they had an opinion about are common to a lot of people. People like them and people unlike them. Brushing aside differences of color, creed, caste, nation, language, region, state, and a whole lot of them, these views are common to many in different spirals of the above. It would surprise us when we find that the most unlikely person has similar views to ours on topics which we thought were unique to us. Views that we believed were ours alone...
The evening was finally here. Kamli had a smile fixated upon his handsomely chubby face. A smile that just wouldn’t let go because tonight was ‘Prom Night’, their first and a sense of wellness could also be gauged on Arihant’s countenance.
“There is one thing we need to decide.” Hul seemed worried when he said that.
“What is it that you think we need to decide upon?” Arihant questioned, a little bemused.
“How do we go there?”
“Oh! You mean transportation?” Kamli guessed.
“Yes, you guys don’t have bikes.” Hul was right in surmising so.
“Well, you and Meera have one,” Kamli uttered as if that solved the issue.
“Ye...es, that’s two of us, there are four more.”
“What four more? It’s just me and Rehan.”
“Don’t act dumb, we have partners.” Arihant seemed worried.
“Let’s decide later, let us call them first.”
So, it was left for later. The means of going to D Club which was on Mysore road, as Hul had told them. Before that though, they would have to pick up Kanya and Madhuri from their homes. That required a vehicle and they didn’t want to forsake a lot of cash on a cab, though it looked apparent that they would have to take one.
“Hey! Ravi, remember?”
“Yes! Kamli, you have hit this one on the nail. Hammered it through is what I would say.”
That Kamli remembered Ravi, their auto-driver on that fateful night when they had left Shantinagar from Hul and Meera’s to reach Bannerghatta. He had said that he would be available if called on his number. They decided to try his number.
“Kamli, you call, you are lucky.”
The phone rang thrice before it was picked by a voice now familiar to the two of them.
“Yes, who is this?”
“Ravi, do you remember us, we are the two boys you had dropped at Bannerghatta road to M. Narayana Mansion a couple of months back?”
“Yes, Kamlesha and Arihanta, I remember!”
“You had given us your number and told us that we could call you if we ever needed transportation or help. Today we need both. You see, we are planning a trip to D Club and we don’t have transportation so we thought that we’d call you.”
“D Cluba? Yes, I know...I can go, but if you want me to stay the night and bring you back, you pay double.”
“Yes, we know that night charges are double for Bangalore. Will you also charge for waiting?” Arihant was the more level headed.
“No, this your first party in Bangalore?” Asked Ravi.
“Yes, this is our first party and it would be so bad if we don’t pick up our partners.”
“So, there will be four of you?” Asked Ravi...
“Yes, four, including two girls.”
“Then you have to take me as it will not be safe otherwise. When do you want me to come?”
“Could you come at 6:00 in the evening?” A relieved Arihant enquired.
The next task was informing the two girls and they made the respective calls. Kanya lived near MG Road, but Madhuri lived in Malleshwaram, so they decided to pick Kanya first and then Madhuri. It didn’t seem odd to them that they would be picking up the girls in an auto which was not something that any girl would like. If you invited a girl to a party, you were supposed to have a vehicle at your disposal. Well, an auto would have to do just as well. Next, it was their dress that they decided to concentrate on. Kamli wore a red, painted shirt out at the waist with faded jeans and Arihant wore a blue Levis shirt with a party tie and comfort Jeans. Both wore sports shoes though, anticipating a dance. Meanwhile, Hul and Meera were ready to go and since Ravi knew the way better, they decided they would follow his auto on their bike. At 6:00, they heard a horn.
“Is that Ravi?” Kamli was restless.
“No, dumbo autos don’t have horns!” Arihant with his common sense.
“Well, this one does.”
The bell rang at that moment and outside the door was Ravi, a smile on his face and with reason too.
“I have a surprise for the two of you.”
“What surprise?” Asked a wary Kamlesh...
“Look outside at the road.”
They did and they saw a car, black shine, a sedan, probably a modified Esteem. Both Kamli and Rehan looked at each other and couldn’t keep from smiling.
“But wouldn’t your car cost a lot?”
“No, as guests to Bangalore, your first party to D Club and that too with two girls, I feel that it is my duty to show you around. The rate is only marginally higher and you guys can pay me later.”
“Thank You!” Both uttered in Unison.
“Kamli, let us go and it seems we are lucky for tonight is our night.”
They left M. Narayana Mansion and made their way to Kanya’s place which was near M.G Road if they remembered the address correctly. All that they had to do was give Ravi the address and rest assured that he would find her place...
What Arihant remembered distinctly at that exact moment when he saw Kanya was her gown. It was a laced silk gown which came down to her feet. Her voluptuous figure was complimented by the swerves in the gown. Its bluish shine made her face shine and he felt he had never seen anything more beautiful in his life. Never. He wished at that moment that he could tell her how he felt, but decided it was wiser to remain silent for he knew anything spoken in passion could spoil their evening.
“Nice car!” Was the first thing that Kanya said and the words had a tinkling quality in them, at least for Rehan.
“Yes meet Ravi, our Chauffeur for tonight!” Arihant decided to add a word he’d picked up from his books which sounded so much classier than driver.
At that moment Hul’s bike drew up and after the formalities were over in introducing Hul and Meera, Kanya seemed at ease as Meera was there too, another girl like her.
“Now, we will go and pick up Madhuri.” Kamli, who had been uncharacteristically silent, uttered.
“Do you mean Madhuri from our place? Convergys?” Kanya seemed inquisitive.
“Yes Kanya, we have not told you but Madhuri’s with Kamlesh.”
“That wonderful! Kamlesh, you seemed so matured and sober. You sure pack a surprise!”
“Well Kanya, we are friends!” A suddenly shy Kamlesh replied.
All four reached D Club at 8:30, which seemed like a good time for them. At the gates, they were asked to buy coupons for entry where there was a cover charge which they could exchange at the club’s restaurant. They were also given four bottles of beer in their coupon per couple which they could redeem. At 1200 Rs. Per couple, that seemed like a very good deal. Their hands were stamped just above the wrist so that if they went out, they could just show their hands and gain entry. So statistically, they had three passes and 12 bottles of beer, of which Kamli and Arihant didn’t drink. That left Kanya and Madhuri and both said they would have a glass of beer with their dinner, odd as that may seem. Hul and Meera were the benefactors of this decision and they were happy with the way things had turned out.
As they entered a sight greeted them that neither Kamli nor Rehan had ever imagined. There was a cottage which you walked inside to reach circular stairs. The stairs winded down to a dance floor. The dance floor was a circular stage with music so loud, you couldn’t hear a thing. What surprised them though was not the music. What surprised them was the number of couples on the dance floor. All seemed entwined, there were also a few dancing in groups of five and six. What stuck Rehan was the ease with which they were doing everything that seemed so distant to him till yesterday. Couples hugging, couples kissing, fondling, some busy dancing. It was Hip Hop and neither Kamli nor Arihant knew how to move their hips as the ones on the dance floor were doing.
“Let’s get something to drink first!” Hul suggested. Both Kamli and Rehan felt that they should probably need the high of drinks to do what they witnessed on the floor. Rehan did something he had been meaning to in the cab all throughout their journey...
He held her hand.
She didn’t remove it. Kamli took the cue and held Madhuri’s hand. Hul and Meera took them through an exit to the restaurant cum bar which also had a Basketball Court nearby. Some were even playing basketball.
“I have never seen anything like this in my life. Well, maybe in movies, but never up close. Never in front of me. Why do they do that?”
“Do what Kamli?” Asked Hul
“Everything they are doing on the dance floor.”
“Kamli, we are young. We have energy levels that are not met by everyday tasks. We also have very strong libidos. Dancing to Rhythm is a way of letting out some steam and as long as they don’t harm anyone, there is no harm in celebrating life and youth. For we are not young forever. Youngsters who party are less likely to take part in crimes, they just wait for their next foray. Others, whose youth doesn’t find vent, commit felonies, crimes if you will, they hurt others. That’s just their lifeblood flowing from them. It doesn’t have an outlet.
“What do you think, Kanya?”
“I think Rehan, I think that there is no harm in partying as long as you don’t overdo it. Don’t get drunk and drive home. Don’t trouble others. There is no harm Rehan.”
“But they all drink!” Kamli was besotted with this matter that they all drank. It seemed wrong to some part of him and he said it out. Madhuri chipped in...
“We don’t, do we Rehan?”
“It is alright that you don’t. Yet, you can dance.” There seemed an invitation in Madhuri’s voice.
“Yes, that we can” Kamli was game.
The evening seemed made for them. For, when they went to the dance floor, the music was a soft tune playing the blues. Arihant, who was holding Kanya’s hand till then, held her waist and proceeded to ball dance to the tune of the soft music. He had dreamt that someday he would dance with a girl he liked and today was his day. Kamli took a look and did the same with Madhuri. When it was faster music after a while, both the Shillong lads tried keeping pace with the music. At that moment, Arihant’s phone vibrated. It was Ravi!
“Hello! I can’t hear you...hello! We are in the Club.”
He drew Kamli near and shouted in his ear.
“Ask him to wait.”
So Rehan shouted out asking Ravi to wait. After all, a wait is only that long...
There was something troubling Rehan, though. Even with Kanya near him, a tiny voice in the back of his mind wondered what the call was about...