Post-Thanksgiving Rambles: Eat, Drink (mainly drink), Man, Woman.
Fair warning to readers: The following post may be filled with cliches and some doses of corny sentiments (not to mention the personal nature). Even the fact that I am making this disclaimer is pretty hackneyed by itself.
A post is owed to our wonderful hosts in Pittsburgh over the last five days, C. and IP., who deserve, in the spirit of the holiday that inspires this ramble, our immense thanks. There is much in life one feels thankful for – in fact, the very essence of life is perhaps a gratifying experience – but to have great friends who are on the same wavelength and with whom you can enjoy five days of break involving debauched eating, drinking and making merry – deserves some special acknowledgement.
Pittsburgh is a city we keep find ourselves repeatedly visiting (the panoramic header image on this blog owes itself to the wonderful view of the city from the top of Mount Washington) – and this statistics is mostly due to the above-mentioned friends who have been living there for the last few years and are now all but settled with a newly purchased home. But the city does have its own charms. Few other cities I know can boast a downtown that effortlessly blends the steel and concrete urban vista of skyscrapers, sports stadiums and few dozen bridges with the natural beauty of an abundant waterfront (provided by the three rivers, Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela) and the decidedly hilly topography.
This time however, we weren’t much concerned with the downtown other than driving through it to get to other places. Moreover, the amount of intra-city traveling was miniscule and most of the five days were spent happily lazing around in the brand new house (resisting the lure of the uncharacteristic pleasant weather outside – five continuous days of 60+ temperature and sunshine in a city that is supposedly the third cloudiest in the country). Additional ‘activities’ included:
(a) guilt-free calorie-loading through consumption of sumptuous food – ranging from the rosemary-and-thyme-flavored roast beef to methi ka paratha (we bent traditions by not having a turkey, which I am not too fond of), abetted by rum-cake and ice-cream at home – not to mention the elegant Spanish/Protugese/Latin American Tapas dinner and the delicately flavorful Thai at local restaurants,
(b) watching movies – three of them Hindi, of which one and half were not too bad – and Casino Royale (more on movies in a separate post), and
(c) last but not least, as is true for any celebrations I am involved with, freely flowing alcohol. Copious quantities of vodka, gin and rum-based concoctions (with both original and modified recipes) were imbibed. Yours truly came up with the detailed cocktail menu and also served as the bartender – a job, which I unsurprisingly found, gets to be increasingly difficult with decreasing sobriety.
But immense fun was had in totally plastered states (three of the five nights were spent in such a manner): drunken arguments broke out on the status of marginalized criminals; the relative merits and demerits of starting a family were discussed; life and work with its endless frustrations were cribbed on; but in the end, the great things in life – such as getting piss-drunk and behaving wildly among close friends – were appreciated [See note 1]. The highlight, however, would have to be a mock interview recorded by C. and myself, wherein we played the parts of Moon Moon Sen (the interviewer) and Rituparno Ghosh (the interviewee) respectively. We were attempting to spoof the latter’s feminine demure and pseudo-intellectualism (antlamo); the former’s nyaka-ness (an exaggerated lilt and affected mannerism ) really needed no spoofing ! It was, I have to say, quite a hoot.
(Non-Bongs – sorry, the humor in the imagery does not translate well; Bongs – imagine it yourselves, videos will not be made available 😉 ).
In contrast to all that frolicking, the eight and half hour drive home yesterday and getting back to work today morning was positively soul-crushing. But such, as we agreed over the longish weekend, is life.
1: Lest it be misconstrued that there was actual conversations with everyone chipping in, let me say that the words ‘discussion’ and ‘arguments’ etc should be interpreted liberally. When I am in a sufficiently alcohol-induced state, any conversation is startlingly one-sided and the audience has to be very lucky to get any points in edge-wise. Therefore, another round of thanks to C and IP for letting me indulge in those incoherent rambles.
2. The definition and the nuances of being ‘nyaka‘ is difficult to provide to a non-Bong – the phrases I used was described by a commenter on GreatBong’s blog.