It was sometime in October, a couple of years ago when one of my close friends from work (let's call him Himanshu for the sake of the story) told me about the Bandra Wine Fest which would be held over the weekend. He really wanted to visit that festival as wines are one of his favourite alcoholic drinks. As fate would have it, I had a major exam on that Sunday morning. That meant I would not even have the Saturday to myself, as I would have to spend all of my time studying.
I felt horrible that I would not be able to go along with Himanshu. So, I got another friend to volunteer keep him company. This guy was an alcohol worshipper, so I guessed the duo would really enjoy their time in Bandra. But after the broke the news to them, they both seemed sullen. They had been thinking I would accompany them, and their hearts sank when they found out I was bailing myself out of this. The spiralling sadness engulfed me in guilt. Then, I decided to put my time management skills into action!
On our way to Bandra, he told me how he had almost gotten himself into a date-like situation with a girl he met the previous night at the cafe next to his place. She was so obsessed over him that he had gotten 14 missed calls after he told her he was going with me. After he showed me half a dozen text messages from that girl (named Gayatri), Himanshu switched off his phone and said, "My evening is all yours! No distractions today."
I wrinkled my forehead and told him he shouldn't be an idiot and just take his new girlfriend along. "Girlfriend?!" he balked. "I barely know her, Oindrila! I am not going to waste such a fantastic wine fest on a random chick I just met. You know how badly I wanted to go with you. I wasn't going to go with Gayatri even if you were unavailable today. I told you last week that I would go only if you accompany me."
I smiled at that. We both knew how much we loved wines. None of the other friends we had were into wines the way we were. They would be more attracted to beers and whiskies. But one thing we enjoyed more than wines was our friendship and the company we provided each other. I was glad I could make Himanshu feel special that day just by following my heart and showing up. But what said to me was even more sublime. I think he made me feel better than acing my exam would have.
The wine fest was absolutely rocking, by the way! We had over twenty glasses of wines and ciders, and ate quite a lot to cleanse our palates and keep us from collapsing with intoxication. There was even an impromptu salsa session, but we danced rock and roll to a slow tune. We were drunk alright! I have many pictures of that afternoon which turned into evening and ended late in the night. But don't think I will ever need pictures to remind me of that day.