is the 5th part, where Khanak sees the culture difference... Not a
Part 5: Shock to the Naive Mind
April 2010 ' Flashback
was 6:30 pm and Khanak had been waiting for Lalit to pick her up. She had been
informed earlier by Srini (Manager) that there was a team party thrown for the entire
group of employees working for this client.
she sat waiting, she remembered the morning trip. Shaan and Lalit had dropped
her at the rented apartment in the morning. Inspite of trying not to sleep, she
had fallen asleep during the ride to the apartment. And Lalit had lightly
tapped her shoulder to wake her up.
first thing she had seen was Shaan's face, he had turned in the driver's seat
and was looking at her with an amused smile. She had quickly gathered herself
and straightened up to get down from the car.
had handed over the keys, Shaan-Lalit had gotten her luggage into the
apartment. She had asked them to have a seat, but both refused saying, you need
to settle down first. Lalit had shown concern on food for her and shown her
where she can get something to eat. After they left she had made scrambled eggs
as that was all she found in the refrigerator. She knew her Bai would have been
very angry if she came to know she ate eggs that too on a Saturday.
had come home around afternoon time and woken her up around 4 to have a late
lunch. She was a smart girl, nice and helpful by nature. She chattered away
explaining the way things work in the apartment, how to cook on the hot plate,
how long is the drive to office, how the clients are in the office and so on.
had been partially hearing through the stuff that Natasha was speaking, mostly
because she was still weary from the travel, and feeling cold. Her body was
slightly numb due to the cold. She walked over to her bags which she had not
unpacked as yet and got out a black colored light sweater which she quickly
draped over her shinning grey top, which went well with her black jeans she was
bell rang and she heard Natasha greet Lalit with a "Hey Lalit!" and then she heard a shriek, "Shaan! You also are here, I was expecting Lalit with Ramesh."
walked out carrying her black purse and was shocked to see Natasha hugging
Shantanu. Natasha was smiling from ear-to-ear, still holding onto Shaan's hand.
looked up at Lalit with a small smile and softly said "Hi!"
closeness to Natasha for some reason was also bothering her. The fact was that
she had not seen many couples stand like this in public, mainly in front of
left the apartment together, Shaan and Natasha ahead with Lalit and Khanak
behind in the car. She had looked up from her seat and her eyes again met with
those deep brown eyes. A moment shared and both had quickly looked away.
reached the party venue and she saw a whole gang of young men and women entering
the Mexican restaurant. The ambience was slightly dark, with minimum lights at
the tables. They entered the restaurant Shaan walking ahead and Khanak and
Natasha behind and Lalit bringing up the rear.
glanced around the restaurant and saw some faces which she recognized from
offshore. They headed to the long table arranged in one corner, where most of
the team was sitting, with Srini sitting at the head of the table. They moved
towards the table.
had got up and shook hands with Lalit and Shaan. They walked around greeting
the others in the team and took the vacant seats around. Khanak was very
conscious of her attire, as the neck was slightly wide. She settled besides
Natasha, who was sitting right beside Srini.
"Hey Khanak! How was the flight?"
"Lucky you, got to a party before meeting
"Yeah, I guess so"
"Chalo, isi khushi mein ek ek peg ho
jaye. Kyon doston???"
went into a shock as she realized that almost all sitting at the table had a
drink in front, and she guessed that it was alcohol. Natasha sitting beside also
had a wine glass in her hand now.
and some other guys had started shouting "Tequila! Tequila! Tequila!"
waved to the waiter and quickly a count of the people ready to drink was taken
before giving the order. The waiter brought over the glasses and the bottle of
tequila. Ramesh and gang were prompting Natasha to also have it. She refused at
first but agreed at the end.
Khanak had looked at Lalit and Rajesh whom she knew and they had both shook their head
saying "No" without actually
speaking it out.
the guys who were drinking had lemon, salt and tequila glasses in front. Khanal
was lost as to what salt and lemon will be used for. And what happened next was
an horrifying scene for her. All the ones set to drink, put some salt on their left hand, licked it
and then drank down the tequila from the small glasses and then sucked on the
lemon. The faces that they had on, made Khanak almost puke out.
had seen people drink, but this was awful! Their faces clearly showed that it
was awful then why would they drink it, the thought bothered her for a long
was in a trauma, her face taut, in shock. She glanced across and saw 3 sets of
eyes looking at her. She quickly recovered and made her face expressionless as
was looking at her but had the same shocked expression, she knew he was the
most decent young lad, not even 1 year since he moved into the metro city, so he was also
new to all this. Lalit was worried for her being her closest friend and knew she was not used to this culture. The third pair of eyes were the ones she had
least expected to be on her, and that too after drinking the tequila using the
eyes met those deep brown eyes and stayed there for some time ... she realized they were staring at each other and moved her
gaze away from those penetrating eyes and looked at Natasha ...
The dinner had continued till almost 11 pm and slowly people had started to move out in groups - guys without car, hunting for people to drop them home. People with cars were checking for others to be dropped en-route.
Shaan had got up around 10:30 itself. Lalit also had got up and softly urged Khanak also to get ready to leave. She nudged Natasha slowly, but somehow was not able to grab her attention, Natasha was busy in some weird discussion with Ramesh and Srini.
After 10 mins Shaan walked over to the threesome and spoke to Natasha "We are leaving, are you gonna join us, or I'm sure Ramesh can drop you"
Ramesh: "yeah, I can do that" Clearly visible from his voice that he was slightly drunk.
Natasha looked up at Shaan and abruptly stood up to leave. She bent down to pick her purse and slightly lost balance and held onto Shaan for support.
All four left and reached the apartment. Shaan and Lalit left them at the gate of the apartment. As Khanak and Natasha made their way over the wooden staircase to their apartment, suddenly Natasha looked at Khanak weirdly and said "Ajeeb lag raha hain, I'm feeling giddy. I think the wine and tequila together had some effect!"
Khanak moved ahead and held her arm leading her to the apartment. As she unlocked and walked in, Khanak had her hand to her head. She saw Natasha disappear int he bedroom and flop down on the bed, knocked out.
Khanak was scared out of her wit now, how was she going to survive here??????
felt bad thinking of the effect this party had on the naive and innocent person that she
was and that too on her first day of being in the city.
Edited by dishbhan - 05 June 2011 at 12:40pm