Sunday, March 16, 2008

D-Day 3

March 9th, 2008 - Around midnight, we decided to celebrate Elvis's B'day. I'm just going to let you watch the video and enjoy the sublime moments. This was also our turn to thank Rahul for all the wonderful years of friendship he gave us. He will be truly missed.

After those wonderful Thanksgiving Speeches and sharing the B'day cake, it was time to hit the bed again, only this time some guys decided to play cards and from what I could make out (while I was trying to sleep) Kris was being rogered once again. The guy did have a hard time reacting to the verbal volleys this time around. Around 4:00AM I got up and some guys who still had some "FUEL" left in them from last night decided to go out and have breakfast. As you can guess the only place you find stuff to eat around that time is the roadside. It was me, Hemu, Amit S, Elvis, Parag and Rahul scouring for a place to eat in a chilly morning in Lonvala. We finally got a stall that was serving some bhurji and omlets and we had our share. We teamed it up with some chai and we were ready to hit the bed again. This time only to get up and bid adieu. Time 1:00 PM. Karan and Amit K had already left early around 10:00 AM

We packed our stuff and hopped on to our cars. We planned to meet at Vashi before breaking up and going our own ways. The feeling that the SJ-QBR was over started to sink in as we drove on the Expressway and reached Belapur. Here I suggested to the guys who were going to travel to Mumbai to take a break and get some refreshments. We checked in to an Ice Cream parlour and the guys treated themselves to some desserts and sandwiches. It was time to finally say good-bye with a promise to keep in touch and meet again.

Well, thats how it all happened, hopefully this Blog will remain until such time we retire and look back upon our cherished QBRs. It is not possible to capture every moment we spent in as many words but this Blog will serve as a reminder to a tradition we wish to keep alive till death do us apart. Amen.

D-Day 2

March 8th, 2008 - Around 2:15 AM we stepped in Elvis 's bunglow and even though it was locked up for almost a year, it was pretty clean and we settled down. The guys couldnt wait to unscrew the alchohol bottles and quite rightly so, it was time to celebrate.

We were well stocked and the drinks started to flow. Parag came in from Pune and immediately got his usual "BROKE-BACK" comments from the gang. It was good to see him in shape, usually you see that when someone hits the gym, in his case he hits the hospital :) It was not so cold as you would expect in the dead of the night in Lonavala and we spread some chairs in the porch and started to reminiscence the good, the bad and the future that beckons each of us. We were wired this time and there were like 3 laptops. I hooked up mine to a speaker and we enjoyed the music as time passed. It was like the previous 2 QBRs we spent at this place, everything still seemed the same, the fun, the bonding, the slapstick comments, the howling (dedicated to Tanveer). And now we all know how inspired we can get, so when someone asked Hemu why the hell wasnt he picking up our calls, he gave some lame excuse and we told him probably he felt crippled like SK in the film Sholay and should immediately hire "RAMLAL" (SKs domestic help in Sholay) to attend to his calls. So the next time you see Hemu across the street, just mention "RAMLAL" and he should get worked up :)

Now admist all this fun and hoopla there was something very unplesant that we had to brace ourselves with, the unceremonious exit of one of our HKs, Mahesh Karkera. It is one of those things you wished never happened but it did turn out otherwise, in a way it is a good learning experience. But hey, we got the number to go even with the introduction of a new HK, Amit Khanna, so there you go, you win some, you lose some.

We were out having the time of our lives well in to the dawn and then one by one we hit the bed, it was time to catch forty winks. Before we did that, some of us headed out for a quick breakfast, we feasted on the misals, omlets and bhurjis and topped it up with piping hot chai.

We were up by 1:00 PM and decided to fill our tummies and headed straight to a local restaurant, Hotel Lonavala. Javed hooked up with us during this time, he drove from Mumbai straight to the restaurant in Lonvala. The food was reasonable and filling. The next plan was to play a game of cricked, sweat enough and jump in to the pool, as you can guess, the uncles and daddys that we had turned in to over the years, we couldnt pull our ass up to the playground and rolled over in to the pool instead, like a hippo in fresh water lake.

The time spent in the pool was awesome, as it always is, imagine hippos playing water sports, I had to pay the price for not stepping in the pool, I had to keep running around taking pictures, capturing video and throwing the ball back in the pool. The guys played the sport in true spirit, cheating, sledging, getting pysical, thank god we are all Indians and share the same race. As the game went in to the twilight, the inevitable happened. Rahul shared his special announcement. He was leaving us. This was going to be his last QBR and he and his wife were heading to the US to pursue their dreams. It was an emotional moment and the guys hugged, shook hands and finally hoisted him in the air, still in the pool.

With a heavy heart, the guys stepped out of the pool and headed to the bunglow. You could make out the sudden turn of events had its impact on the guys, they went silent and it was pretty much the same for a few hours until it was time to celebrate Elvis's upcoming b'day (March 13). We decided to give him a suprise since we were all together. Over to D-Day 3.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

D-Day 1

March 7th, 2008 - The D-Day finally arrived and as was expected there was a last minute rush to confirm who the hell is coming with whom and whose car. So this is how it turned out, Rahul, Karan, Elvis, Tanveer and Kris came along in Kris's car. Amit S, Hemu and Dinesh came along in Hemu's car. Priyank and I got in my car. Javed, Amit K and Parag came on their own, Javed did not arrive until the afternoon of March 8th. Phew!! This is the first time 13 HKs (HK is aka HaraamKhors) gathered to celebrate the SJ-QBR and as you can guess it was quite a riot when we reached the spot.

The entourage (Kris and my car) started from Vashi and we made the first stop at a R & B in Belapur, Mahesh Lunch Home around 10:00 PM. Now all through the trip from Vashi to Belapur I have been telling the guys this place is cheap and not the expensive MLH they think it is, they didnt believe me until they saw the signboard. Well double whammy for the guys coz there was Wine Shop just adjacent to the R & B. We thought, to make this pit-stop was the best thing to do since there was no gurantee what F & B Lonavala had in store for us in the dead of the night

The pit-stop at MLH was the beginning of what was going to be a laugh riot for the next couple of days. While we were busy ordering F & B, we overheard someone at another table saying "HE HAS COME THE HARD WAY" and that phrase just got stuck with all of us and every now and then we would use it when mentioning someone in our gang. Ironically, we did come up the hard way, 5 years back (March 15, 2003) we use to bundle ourselves in a couple of cars and head to the cheapest gateway available in town and today, believe it or not, we had 6 different cars for 13 folks and our spending pattern, less said the better, dont want some IT guy to read to this :)

Hemu, Dinesh, Amit S and Amit K arrived an hour later at the R & B. Now since Hemu has been acting pricey lately, we decided to give him a cold shoulder when he arrived but eventually had to kiss and make up. One man that was under the line of fire from the word go was Kris, he got quite an earful from Dinesh, for ignoring him and acting like what we term as "CEO HK". We all had fun at his expense. It was time to leave. Time 12:45 AM

Moment of Truth, we hit the Mumbai Expressway and I was pretty impressed with my driving skills, I reached the first Food Court point in 20 Mins. Not until I hit the ghats and I kept sliding down in peak traffic, thats when I realized I still have a long way to go. Well, we all touched at the base around 2:15 AM. Over to D-Day 2