I went through a phase where I thought psychedelia was the answer to everything. Probably one of the best phases of my life. Also around that time, I met Mehma Tibb.
Memz and I were born 8 days apart. But we only met when we were 26. She seemed alright. Didn’t talk much. And I didn’t make much of an effort. Whatever. But then August came along and I really wanted to go for the Boom festival in Portugal. 7 days of pure, unadulterated trance (with some faeries & pixies thrown in for good measure). But no one seemed to want to come along… So, I asked Memz. “Hey, I’m going to Portugal for the Boom, you wanna?” “Sure.”
And that was that!
We exchanged numbers and I spoke to her once before leaving, giving her my travel deets and when I’d be in Lisbon & she said she’d take a train from Paris and call me.
So, I reached Lisbon and I seriously started to doubt Mehma coming with me & I wondered if I should feel bad for myself, but then I met up with a friend from Bombay and we bumped into some more people who were going to the festival so it was all happy and merry. We roamed the streets of Lisboa, drank a lot of beer, posed with random architecture, drank leftover beer left by strangers on the road (I know, I know), and then called it a night. I woke up in the morning and Bam! I get a phonecall from Mehma Tibb! All the way from Bombay via Paris! She had made it! And she brought a friend along, Chris Espinosa, who she met on the train & got along because he was ‘so cute’. (She later found out he was 17. She turned green for a while but resumed composure soon after)
And so we had an entire day & night to kill before heading to the festival. So what do we do? We drank buckets of sangria, got more beer, hung out at the city center, debated going to see something cultural/historical but this didn’t seem like it was that kind of holiday. After dinner we got back to our hotel & all the people we’d met the previous day had decided to stay at our hotel and catch the same bus as us. Great! Party! Yay!
But in two hours everyone was asleep and Chris had finished all the beer and had locked himself in the cupboard. He didn’t want to come out….. Ever.
At some point it became morning, and we all trooped out to catch the bus, which would take us to Idana Nova. The only things that mattered to us were our backpacks and all the cheap wine we had bought (youth is wasted on the young). 4 hours into the bus ride we were all ridiculously happy and could barely walk.
And then the bus stopped.
The driver told us that that was the last stop and we would now have to walk 6 kilometers to the festival site. (This is what happens when you book last minute). So, armed with 16-kilo backpacks, 42 degrees of afternoon sun and mammoth hangovers, suddenly life wasn’t all that peachy.
And so we started to trudge and we met other sad people like us…. trudging. Everyone had a blinding headache and there were no aspirins in sight. At one point everything seemed yellow and I thought I couldn’t hear too well, but I figured I was being a bit of a drama queen about it all and manned up to the situation. And its only when we realized that it wasn’t going to get better, that a flying unicorn wasn’t going to come and rescue us and drop us at our tent site with orange slushies in our hands, did we actually start to make the most of it. Those hours flew by (ok, not really, only in retrospect, but whatever, just go with the story) We made heaps of friends, got to hitch a ride for a few hundred meters in a car, were handed out water and beer by people who were stuck in cars (Now that queue was about 2 kilometers long and it immediately made us feel better) and somewhere around sundown we made it! We were alive, a little out of breath, mildly sunstroked, very tired but so fuckin’ happy! We were there!
Memz & I managed to pitch our tent with a little help from Saurabh, but we slept outside it, under a tree under the stars. And in 4 hours morning peeked at us with the most magnificent sunrise I have ever seen.
I’m not even going to try writing about the next 7 days because I won’t do them any justice.
Best. Time. Ever.
It seemed so surreal. And it was definitely a trip of a lifetime …and I had found a friend I could keep forever.
P.S – Mehma talks a lot
P.P.S – She brought meflowers. Which means she loves me too ☺