Pun-jab we met
So, this year I chose a SoBo shindig. Didn't want to get stuck on the other side of the border, i.e., the Sea Link
And so, December 31: it is that night of endless quandaries — what to do? How to bring in the new year? Scoot out of town? Across the harbour to Alibag? Attend a private party and make resolutions? Engage in a dance-shance gig with EDM blasting, or just sleep by 11.30 pm? It's about the valour required to go out and face the nocturnal crowds, the nakabandi, or accepting it is a night like any other, and awaken to the new year. Choices, choices, choices.
If in Mumbai, then there's always the SoBo vs NoBo conflict. For most SoBo-ites, there's that annoying, 'We need a visa to get to NoBo.'
(A side question, if we're now called Mumbai, and not Bombay, then why not SoMu and NoMu? Just asking.)
So, this year I chose a SoBo shindig. Didn't want to get stuck on the other side of the border, i.e., the Sea Link.
So let me get the cliché, stereotypical assumptions out of the way — I chose a SoBo party because I was hoping for some dosage of retro rock. I reasoned, the burbs tend to focus on Bollywood. In my ilaka, there'll be a focus on western tunes.
Okay, dear reader, so here's the confession — judge me, sue me, but Bollywood music isn't one of my favourite genres. And Punjabi music, my least preferred choice.
(Don't get me wrong, I love Hindi cinema. Badhaai Ho, Andhadhun, Raazi — my three films of the year — side by side with A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody.)
So, it's about the music, not the movies.
I just don't want Arijit Singh cooing into my ear, when I'm socialising, or Yo Yo Honey Singh urging me to have some Dope Shope.
'Enni sukki vodka na maareya karo, thoda bahut Limca vi paa leya karo
Naale thode tikke-shikke tussi khaa leya karo
Ainwi khaali tidh liver na saadh-
Enna vi na dope shope maareya karo'
In one corner of the party is a group of old mates from school; in another clump, a bunch of NRIs; a third lot are bankers, you can see them a mile, the suits are still on, the ties ever so slightly loosened to indicate, 'Hey chief, I'm letting my hair down.'
And what is the DJ playing? It seems like a Daler Mehndi special, with everyone singing, 'Tunak Tunak Tunak Tun.'
The playlist is relentless, 'Ghoom Ghoom', and 'Bumrererebumrebumre', and 'Chakrechakrechakre.' Lyrics that would make Majrooh Sultanpuri turn in his grave.
And then an old schoolmate comes up, 'Boss, Daku, you are a real angrez, you always have been, ever since school, typical Peddar Road type. You want English songs na, then you'll like Badshah's latest hit, She Move It Like, solid dhamaal song. Here listen':
Kahin tera phone hai kahin tere shoes
Thoda gussail hai thodi confuse
Hai lagi hai pyari par ude tera fuse
Dil kare break tu breaking news
Mere situation pe na laugh karo
Mujhse door raho mujhe maaf karo.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at email@example.com
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