Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Return to Personal Blogging

I thought I was done blogging about my personal life. You don't want to know what I did last weekend, right? Not unless it was something shockingly embarrassing: and in that case, I don't want you to know because you might be a colleague or an acquaintance and do I want all of them (you? I'm getting mixed up now) knowing so much about me?

Then I read G's post on our party and I started writing a long comment and then I thought, if she can blog about my party, so can I!

First, thanks for all the lovely things you say, G.

And that infographic's pretty cool too. It took me some time to understand what it meant though, so if you're
(you=the reader now, keep up!) similarly visually challenged, I think what she meant was the number of people she could relate to increased a great deal after she came to our party.

Which is a pretty cool thing to say. Also, this:
Let me confess I had never been to a party before where almost everyone was a stranger. . . But trust me, the conversation sailed so smoothly all the while that we had no track of time whatsoever.
A freely flowing unprejudiced conversation with complete strangers without a single awkward moment goes a long way in telling that there are people who you can relate to. It pleased me to no end how everyone present at the party seemed to have their lessons on inclusivity in place.  

The Guy and I aren't the most social animals, so reading what G said about our party bucked us up no end. And this was a party that I was feeling nervous about--we had never attempted anything like this before and it could easily have gone wrong (got boring).

Around midnight on a Saturday, the Guy and I were driving around talking, one of our favorite things to do. And somehow, one of us happened to mention how we had wanted to have a party on our wedding anniversary last year, a party to which we could invite all our friends, most of whom became friends in the last few years and so weren't around at our modest wedding party four years ago. We wanted a celebration, a celebration of our life together and also of the friends we have made in this city that has become home. But we couldn't do it because the Guy was traveling so much last year.

"Let's do it this year," I said.* And then we thought, why wait till our anniversary, when who knows what might happen again? Since when do we need an excuse for a party? And what's a better time than now, when the Guy's home on a break, giving us more time?

But when? In two weekends was the Friends of Children camp, and the two FOC founder-member-managers are among my dearest friends and I really wanted them to come. The next weekend is the IPL final, and we didn't dare hope that our party would be attractive enough to draw people away. (I had some doubts the Guy would want to keep the TV off.)

"Next Saturday is the best bet," we realized.

So we drew up lists of people we wanted to invite and started calling. (What? No, not right away at past midnight. Over the next few days.) We'd worry about food and drink later, we decided. We couldn't afford anything fancy, with the Guy on a work break. But that didn't matter. What we wanted to ask all our friends to our house, so we could meet everyone. It didn't make up for all the neglect, especially last year when things were so unsettled, (and especially from the Guy, who was so busy and stressed out). But it was an opportunity to pick up the threads again.

Quite a few people refused (they were away, or had other plans), but many accepted. Aparna, who recently started a restaurant, offered to do the food. ("Some of it," we told her. "We can't afford to buy everything from you.")

Then I got the flu. (Of course.) "My temperature's only 99," I told the Guy. "Let's go ahead: a party will do me good." So I took pills and we decided not to cancel.

So last Saturday, we cleaned and tidied and tried to figure out where we would seat 20 people. "Some of them will probably come early," we reasoned, "and some really late. There should be enough space and we should have time to talk to everyone."

The Guy made his now-famous pina coladas. And we got dressed and waited. Of course, no one came on time. And then the doorbell started ringing. And then we just kept the door open so people could walk in. And suddenly, there wasn't an empty chair. We had to hustle some people in through the kitchen and to the end of the house as soon as they got in ("What, we aren't good enough for your other friends?" one of them demanded.) And then more people came in and I ignored her as I ran out to greet them.

As I said, the Guy and I haven't done anything of this sort before. In fact, I'm not even sure I've attended a party like this. There was so much that could have gone wrong. We were mixing our different groups of friends who didn't know each other and we even had some guests we barely knew but wanted to get to know (like the neighbors). For a fleet second, I wondered what I'd do if everyone sat staring at each other (including me, because even my most loyal friend can't say I'm a brilliant conversationalist).

But as G said, everyone started talking to each other without much prompting. All I did was greet each friend, introduce them (when I remembered to) to the others, and pour out drinks and pass around snacks. As the house filled up and the party spilled over from the living room to the kitchen and the guest bedroom/office and the balcony, and at one time I stood in the kitchen and heard roars of laughter and squeals of comfortable disagreement from all sides, I was amazed that this was our house, our party. Me and the Guy (who is arguably less sociable than me): we know such cool people who can just walk in and start a party. 

Even with the flu, I barely sat down all evening, until most of the guests left and it was nearly midnight and the 'regular' group of friends sat talking in the living room. As I said to the Guy as we went on our customary drive after we saw the last departing friends downstairs, I didn't realize we had accumulated so many friends and cool acquaintances in the city. The five years I've lived here seem now full and rich, and for the first time, I feel I'll be sorry to move away.

* All the conversations in quotes are somewhat modified for dramatic effect.


Sukhaloka said...

Congratulations! Hope you have some more of these parties, and I'd certainly love to be around for one of them :-).

PS: I had a somewhat similar party on New Year's Eve - 7 people in my room - and that was a similar confidence booster. It's exhilarating, isn't it?

Gautam Ghosh said...

where do these parties happen? Would love to be in one :-)

Unmana said...

Suki: Yes it was. :)

Gautam: OMG. Come to Pune, and we'll throw one in your honor!

Nilesh said...

Hey hey, I called up most guests. Can't say I am less sociable than you!

Unmana said...

Nil: YOU are the one who keeps saying that. I can't win with you, can I?

Chicu said...

so much fun! and lovely, lovely feeling to have your house buzzing, isn't it? and what's all this about famous pina coladas? I need to taste them!

Unmana said...

chicu: Well, you'll have to visit for that, won't you? You did receive a standing dinner invite. . .

~G said...

So I am one of those [quoting you] "cool people who can just walk in and start a party"
;) Like that! :D

Unmana said...

G: Of course you are!

And Suki: Come over, and we'll have one.

Punju Hotstepper said...

I missed your party! :(

Hope the next one is sometime soon and we can join in the fun!

Unmana said...

Punju: Let us know when you're back!

Pallavi Sharma said...

BTW, P1 and I have never been to a party before. Excluding the wedding / other ceremonies that have a formal invite. P1 is uncomfortable anywhere outside our four walls. I am always scared that I will have nothing to say and would want to hide in the smallest corner of the venue. But you made us feel welcome and at ease. It's difficult to believe you were unwell... you looked a little tired, but I thought it was from cleaning up the place before / making arrangements. You made a good host, and Nil made the best cocktail I had yet. I used to hate Pina Coladas before this. Thanks to you both and your friends for the fun.

Unmana said...

Pallu: Glad you had fun, and am very glad P1 made it too. And I'm never ill on weekends (especially at parties). I've been feeling unwell all this week, but I'm sure I'll be quite okay tomorrow. :)

gitima said...

Damn!... sounds like so much fun... now i demand an invitation even if im unwelcome!Never mind...i wnont even bother for an invitation... im cominng over nxt time m in Pine:)

gitima said...

I meant Pune... sorry for d typo error!

Anonymous said...

Awww *sniff*
I missed out on such a good time (AND the Pina Coladas. Oh la la ...what a loss :( )

Do invite me next time darling and I'll make sure I cross the moon to be there with you :)
(Even if it means dragging the twins and the hubs along :D )

PS: Hope you're feeling better now

Unmana said...

I tried to comment many times yesterday, but Blogger wasn't taking my comments. WHY haven't I moved to WordPress already?!

Gitima: You're very welcome. Let us know when you're coming!

MomofRS: Actually, it's your turn to host now :p

Anonymous said...

My pleasure :D

Just give me some time to settle down first :)