Office Woes #6: Ties That Bind Us

Last Friday, we had an office party. The HR team valiantly set up a laser tag tournament in the office, which was fun, and then took us all out for a buffet dinner to a hotel.

The hotel is the rather beautiful Orchid Hotel in Mumbai, near the domestic terminals of the airport. The restaurant is called Mostly Grills, a rooftop alfresco dining area with a view of the runways and the terminal buildings (also of the slums that sit cheek by jowl near the airport, but glossing over those conveniently).

It was a warm sultry night, but a light breeze kept us from being too hot. There was a dedicated bar, which was lacklustre, and a buffet which was downright awful. But the company of my crazy colleagues more than made up for those deficiencies. Although we work together day in and day out, we have so much work, we actually spend very little time actually talking. The exceptions are breakfast and lunch, and the odd snatch of conversation had when grabbing an ubiquitous cup of coffee.

Anyway, back to the party. Towards the end of the night, there were the obvious drinkers that were teetering on the edge of complete inebriation. There were those who had fallen headlong onto the other side. There were those who had a few drinks, and were idly watching the antics of the former. I fell into the last category.

Around midnight, I decided to push off home. Two of my friends gallantly decided to accompany me home, and a third soon joined in. We sat in the taxi, and were on the way back to my home when the following conversation ensued on WhatsApp:

Colleague 1 (slightly drunk, still at the restaurant): “Call ASAP!!”
*I called using WhatsApp, because I was in a hurry. No answer.”
Me: “What?”
Colleague 1: “Call me on the phone”
*Called him on the phone, only to have colleague 2 answer the call.*
Colleague 2: “Where are you?”
Me: “In the taxi. Why? What happened?”
Colleague 2: “No. WHERE are you?”
Me: *getting exasperated* “In the taxi! Why?!”
Colleague 2: “Uff. Where is the taxi?! Have you left? Are you still in the hotel? WHERE are you!?”
Me: “Oh! No, we not in the hotel. We’re already on our way.”
Colleague 2: “Aw damn! Damn you! Never mind. Fuck!”
Me: *laughing by now* What happened, for heaven’s sake? Why are you so weird?
Colleague 2: “Never mind. Fuck you. Bye.”
Me: “Wait. Give the phone to Colleague 1.”
*The phone gets passed, I think, but colleague 1 was out of it, so the call disconnected. I reverted to WhatsApp.*
Me: “What happened?”
Me: “Are you ok?”
Colleague 1: “Yeah I am okay”
Colleague 1: “Rains wanted to ask if you could accompany Smith”
Colleague 1: “*Akit”
Colleague 1: “**Amit”

This left me severely mystified, and in hysterical laughter. I dropped the issue, and forgot all about it. Colleague 1 pinged me on WhatsApp about something else, and I suddenly remembered the previous night’s conversation:

Me: “Why was Colleague 2 yelling at me from your phone last night?”
Me: “You sent me this in explanation:
Colleague 1: “Rains wanted to ask if you could accompany Smith”
Colleague 1: “He was worried about Colleague 3”
Colleague 1: 😅😅
Colleague 1: “There was no one to accompany Colleague 3 home”
Colleague 1: “And he was wasted as usual”
Me: “Before last night, I’d never spoken to the guy”
Me: “And that bright spark (Colleague 2) thought I could drop him home?”
Colleague 1: “This is what office parties are about”
Colleague 1: “Breaking the ice”
Me: “I don’t know where he lives”
Me: “Riiiiiiiight”
Me: “That’s breaking the ice”
Me: “Here, let me cart your drunken ass home. By the way, where do you live? Also, are you married?”
Colleague 1: 😂😂😂😂
Me: “(just in case I have to deal with an irate wife)”
Me: “Because nothing spells a strong marriage like accepting your alcohol soaked spouse from an unknown woman.”
Me: “In the middle if the night.”
Colleague 1: “Okay okay”
Colleague 1: “Colleague 2 obviously did not think this through”
Colleague 1: “Neither did any of us who were present”
Colleague 1: “And Colleague 3 actually left alone in a rickshaw”

Now, I am curious to see whether he has turned up in the office today. Bunch of geniuses.

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