I remember Dipli (my cousin again who was doing her Literature studies & working for Katha) advising me not to join any sort of associations when in Delhi. I didn't ask her why she said that, she must have had her good reasons to caution me and at the same time even I am not the type of some who’d be interested to join any groups!
During those days the number of Kharkhowas was quite less compared to what it is now. I chanced to meet a few whacko’s who camped behind NDSE-I – they stayed on the fifth floor of a building – it was a big open space with two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. They were seven of them – two girls and five guys – a bunch of crazy people who lived life totally on the razor’s edge.
During those days cell phones were by no means a commodity as common as it is now. Only the rich and the affluent owned these gadgets. The seven wretched souls who lived on that terrace had a fine arrangement made – there was a PCO in the ground floor. The agreement was made that whenever a call was made to any of the seven fellas, the PCO guy should press a bell which rang on the fifth floor. And if that wasn’t enough, they had a chart stuck on the PCO with their names written and the number of times the PCO guy should ring the bell. For example if the bell was buzzed once it was for Mac, if it was buzzed twice it was for Partha, if buzzed thrice it was for Pomi…. so on… till it buzzed for seven times! It was funny to see them listen to the annoying buzz attentively and then run down hurriedly the entire flight of stairs to speak to whoever called…!
Many a weekends were spent partying on that terrace. There had been times when all of a sudden the gas cylinder would be exhausted in the middle of our partying sessions and the guys would burn stacks of newspapers to cook the food! They used the same set of bucket and immersion rod to heat water for a bath as well as boil pork! And I’ve seen Mac washing and cleaning cabbage with a scrubber!
Mac is one of those rare people I could go on and on writing – he has made us walk to Chanakya cinema to watch movies… he once took me & another girl called pinky for snacks and tea in Bengali sweets in NDSE-I and as we were through Mac asked both of us very seriously “Are you girls wearing high heel?”
“No” came the reply from both of us.
“Good” said Mac. He further added, “How fast can you girls run?”
We got an inkling of what he would suggest next, so both Pinki and me decided to pay the bill!