Chuchu(Rahul) had been planning out his birthday party for quite a while now. It had to be a place which could accommodate his never ending list of friends and yet be affordable on his pocket. He had escaped unscathed in the first year because he was down with jaundice. Though we are blood suckers to the core, yet we were kind enough not to press on someone who was recuperating. That was precisely the reason why the expectations were more from Chuchu this year around. Chuchu had promised all of us that he would leave no stone unturned to make up for last year.
There was a week to go for his birthday and the weight of expectations had started to show on Chuchu. He had been enquiring about possible places which would look grand enough and yet be light on the pocket. Chuchu came to my room that night. He did not beat around the bush and asked straightaway, “Balu yaar, from whatever comparisons I made, the fact that has emerged out is that among all hostelites it was you who got away with the minimum bill. You bloody had invited 25 people and still ran a bill of 2500 bucks man! Really awesome yaar. I am thinking that even I will give my bday party in Pizza Hut. What’s wrong in Pizza hut man?? It has great ambience and the capacity to seat all my 30 friends comfortably. Its Pizza hut for me. Full and Final. I have had enough of searching around for places yaar. The cheap restaurants are a shady lot which wont create a good impression of me on the girls while the better ones are beyond my budget. Plus, i dont intend to spend more than 3000 bro. Pizza hut fits the bill perfectly.” I gave him a big smile, “Brother, I don’t mind till something non-veg goes into my system. And I don’t think others too would mind. I cant recall any party being held at Pizza hut after mine last year. So it has been quite some time. Send the invitations yaar. What the hell are you thinking of then?” A little support can do crazy things on you. The biggest of motivations that have made people do great things have had their share of this little support. In this case, i was totally clueless that my support would push him closer to attaining salvation. Salvation one attains when one is drained of all cash and has to rely on friends for day to day needs. Chuchu was all pumped up because of my support and left the room in high spirits.
Finally the day arrived. 21st February…….the date which had proved to be a dampener last year promised a lot this time around. Chuchu personally welcomed all his male friends with a handshake and the female lot with a gladiola flower each. Bheema(Vishal) fumed a little when Shruti gave Chuchu a big hug on receiving her flower. She was visibly touched by Chuchu’s act. TJ had noticed this and started inviting bets for Bheema copying the act on his bday the coming week.
Chuchu was in very high spirits and pretty excited on the decent turnout. He egged us to have soups and starters. TJ and me had been waiting for this since morning. We had saved on our breakfast and lunch to park funds for the Shahrukh starrer releasing the next day, with the lavish party lined up for the evening in mind. We deliberately took the seats besides the girls because we had assumed that more personal attention would be paid to this crowd. And we were bang on target. After one round of starters, Chuchu came to our table and asked us to order more. “Don’t feel shy damid. Eat yaar. Shall I order more Murg Satay for you Shruti? And what about you Moti? Hey Divya, why are you not eating anything? I will set this right in a moment. He called for the waiter, “Excuse me…please get me three more plates of Murg satay on this table.” I looked at TJ. Three more plates!! Wow…we knew this girls would raise their hands in submission after having a single plate. And we were dead hungry to say no to anything that was being passed on to us. Seeing more starters coming to our table, other hungry souls ordered for more starters. Chuchu was very happy to see everyone enjoying the treat. I think sometimes an overdose of happiness blocks your brain. It mixes with the blood in your veins and gives you a kick. You are robbed of your senses and you float around in a state of trance. I could see Chuchu floating all around us with a 440W smile. I was even more surprised to see that we were not the only hostelites to save money for the entire day by starving, keeping this party in mind. People were gobbling pizzas like they had never seen them. I don’t recall ordering more than 10 pizzas among the 25 I had invited last year. Last time people looked more civilized. I had lost count after 20 pizzas in this party. I thought I should remind Chuchu of his budget. But seeing him smiling and asking the girls sitting at our opposite end for desserts, I opted against it. I was full.
Everyone seemed content and we were applauding Chuchu for the lavish treat. He was still floating with that same smile. He had still not come out of the high of happiness. It took a bill of 7400 bucks to bring him back to senses.
(Exclusive: The moment when the bill of 7400 shook Rahul out of his state of trance)