There were quite a few of us missing FTII like crazy. I mean, it’s Holi night, you are dancing, and you ought to be near the Wisdom Tree, not an air-conditioned banquet hall in Bumm-Bumm-Bhole-Land.
It didn’t help when Pu called, she was at FTII, and said she was watching me on screen, playing TT with an egg. I wanted to be there right then, and watch the Holi songs in the Main Theatre, and dance on the stage in front of the screen.
I danced from the minute the music began until it ended, with much abuse for the DJ, who had stretched it way past the B-B-B-L curfew, of 11 pm, to past midnight.
I was not drunk, unless a peg of beer (literally, a peg) and 2 gulps straight from a wine bottle being passed around by one of the dancers, counts.
I don’t know what it is about the FTII gang that makes me feel so secure, that I can be as crazy as I am in my own home, I who am certainly not extroverted or boisterous or noisy otherwise.
It’s not that there are no idiots or scoundrels at FTII, but we are so unafraid of calling them idiots and scoundrels, and they get told that often enough by so many people, that they even become a bit less idiotic and scoundrelly, they lose their bite at least for us, they do.
Perhaps it is because FTII was the first place where I went where I felt absolutely at home, where I felt I belonged. Here were incredibly talented people, crazy, selfish, mean, but each one in their own dhun, and that is so difficult to find for most of us growing up conventionally, in India.
And every time, I meet this group of people, not the same faces, some old, some new, an ever-growing clan, I feel amazed at the talent, and incredibly proud, of them, and of me being there.
And I am not conscious of the seniors, or the juniors, and certainly not of my batch mates, and can dance with them, alike. Until the music stops, and people ask me my batch year, which roughly correlates to my age. Hai tauba, did you really have to ask?
Teja didn’t dance much, he says he did not drink much, but there was a swing in his step, getting back home, which was more of a lurch.
A friend asked, ‘Do you have a driver?’ I said, ‘We have a rickshaw.’
We did have a ‘let me take off your shoes’ moment, when we got back home. Teja’s shoes were laced on so tight, and it didn’t help that he was sitting on the jhula, and was falling asleep, and we were certainly not doing the Hollywood thing of jumping into bed with shoes on, and I pulled and pulled, and he protested weakly, but in the end, he had to squirm them off himself.
I was trying hard, but not feeling at all like a Hindi film Sati Savitri.
So, that was GraFTII party 2014. And what is not there are the photos. So here is one of me at another FTII party, a few years ago, just under the Wisdom Tree. Don’t I look happy?
* Dhun – tune
* Hai tauba – Good Lord! (or something to that effect)