Let me introduce you to some of my friends.
Prarthna Singh a.k.a psingh a.k.a Pimp : is a photographer, always well dressed and knows the best places to buy shades. Also talks utter rubbish. A lot.
Mehma Tibb a.k.a Memz a.k.a Mimi : is a ridiculously talented designer but she doesn’t know that yet. She has a heart of gold and is absolutely unreliable.
Rifq Sarao a.k.a Rifqi or Rifqu : Writer and lovely person to boot, with the greenest eyes ever. I like her voice the most. She is the sanest amongst this lot.
I spoke to psingh the other day and asked her if she’d like to come with me to Matunga for a South Indian meal. Psingh never says no. So we decided on Friday. And she told me that Memz was in town so we should take her along as well. And Rifq. This was going to be fun! Three unstable people in a car. Whoop.
Friday came. I had to go fetch Memz and then the others. I remember I had skipped breakfast, either out of sheer greed or because I was out of time. And then as I got out of my apartment and slammed the door shut behind me I realised that I had left my car keys inside. Along with the house keys. And because of this I know that the monsoons are a joke. Because it was hot as f*#% outside and I had to wait 25 minutes for Meena (Godsent. Always has extra set of keys) to save me. So I waited and waited, on a hot park bench, watching ants, with the new security guard staring at me.
Eventually Meena came and rescued me. I got into the car, went to Mehma’s house, hauled her out of bed (she doesn’t have a phone. She lost it. 9 days ago. Didn’t think buying a new one made any sense. Typical.) and drove to Pimp & Rifqs house. By now I wanted to eat my steering wheel.
Psingh and Rifq got into the car and this is the reaction/conversation that followed (Memz was in London for 5 weeks so no one had met her in a while)
After everyone had calmed down a bit, I drove out.
Me : Ok where’re we going?
Psingh : Ummmm dude… Matunga
Me: yeah. So tell me where. I don’t know the route.
Psingh : Me neither, Juice
Me: What?!? I thought you’d been there already P!
Psingh : Ya. But I don’t remember the route, dude.
Me: Ok call someone who knows. I’m going to call Vishal and find out
Psingh : I’ll call Ankur.
And so, after a couple of phone calls and a few kilometres later we were exactly the opposite of where we were supposed to be.
Psingh : Ask that uncle
Rifq : Just go straight, Matunga is this way.
Psingh : Arre ask that uncle na
Rifq : I’m telling you, just keep going straight, Matunga is through Mahim.
Mehma : Matunga? Why are you taking me to Matunga you bastards. What’s in Matunga?!
Me : I’m going to ask that cabbie. Psingh didn’t you brief Mehma?
Rifq : Aahahahahahahahahahaa.
And so there is a sort of fight in the car.
Me and Psingh against the all knowing Mehma & Rifq, who have NO idea where anyplace is but are insisting in giving directions.
After about 45 minutes of driving wherever ‘uncles’ and ‘bhaiyaas’ were directing us we saw boards which said Matunga. Victory!
Now to get to Rama Naik. Repeat process of asking everyone on the road. And make sure everybody asks at the same time. So that whatever chance we had at getting a sane answer was drowned by our own voices. Thrice we all said shut up to each other in unison. Perfect.
Psingh : Uncle where is Rama Naik?
Rifq : Bhaiyya aapko Rama Naik maloom hai?
Me : Excuse me, excuse me, hullo… arre…
Mehma : UNCLE DO YOU KNOW WHERE RAMA NAIK IS?
Rifq : guys shut up
Me: Will you just shut up for one second
Psingh : Uncle, Rama Naik ?
Mehma : Everybody just shut up man.
We found someone on the road who tore through our manic questioning and took charge of answering us. He knew exactly where Rama Naik was. And he was explaining it to us.
Mister: Go around this circle….
Mehma : Ok
Me : Ok
Rifq : Ok
Mister: Skip the first two lefts….
All three of us paying rapt attention
Mister : Go towards Matunga Station….
Mehma: Ok, skip two lefts, go towards Matunga…
Mister : On your right will be Rama Naik and there’s parking right next to it. Do you want to go to the one where they serve thaalis or to the idli/vadas
Mister : Haan, so this is the right one.
Mehma : Ok got it thanks heaps
Psingh : Guys just ask him what else we can get to eat there.
Rifq: Psingh are you mental??
So, we overshot the place a couple of times. Because four pairs of eyes aren’t enough to find a super popular restaurant. Eventually we found it, got parking and went into Rama Naik and ate a meal fit for a king. And also made plans to do this every two weeks. Though I have a feeling, next time we’re going to take a cab.