He never drank or ate meat or smoked (or had fun, by extension)
This is one of the lines in Chetan Bhagat’s book Two States. I don’t think he meant it as an anti-South Indian sentiment, but as a general observation – if you are vegetarian, a non-smoker and a teetotaler, then you don’t have fun.
That made me wonder – when did I have maximum fun? As usual, I have a list:
- 1. Snorkeling with dad: Apart from realising that my serious dad could be cool, the parallel underwater universe was breathtaking to behold.
- 2. Standing under a waterfall: I don’t know if it can cure insanity, but standing under a waterfall should be a to-do in everyone’s list.
- 3. Treks: Not all of the treks have been fun, but two have been unforgettable. I can still vividly recall climbing hills in torrential rains, running from the leeches, watching the fireflies light up a tree and the welcome bonfire in the night.
- 4. The Terrace get-togethers and cousin outings: Who cares about the drink and food when the company is awesome?
- 5. Goa: We didn't drink in Goa (must be one of the very few couples to do so) – we went to farms, saw waterfalls, para-glided and walked along the beaches.
- 6. Watching a play, dance drama or a music concert: Watching a story unfold right in front of your eyes is difficult to describe and heavenly to experience.
- 7. Travelling in Mumbai Trains and Chennai buses: I am a sucker for public transport, and can't explain why I enjoy it so much more than autos and taxis.
- 8. Reading a book with Cup Noodles: That is my personal piece of heaven on earth.
- 9. Playing Catch with Ashwin: All couples have their own stupid games. :D
- 10.Singing Nursery rhymes: I am not sure if the boy enjoys it, but I sure do – especially if they are the ones with action, like “Wheels on the bus” or “If you happy and you know it”.
None of the ten required drinking, smoking or eating non-vegetarian food. It is this thinking that gets all teenagers muddled up – smoking is cool or drinking is necessary. Not really. While I don’t condone any of the three habits (to each his own and all that jazz), please don’t make it sound like a prerequisite to have fun. In the same book Bhagat mentions the reason for the protagonist to become a writer:
Someone who tells stories that are fun but bring about change too.
In the quest for a larger change (promoting inter-state and inter-caste marriages), he seems to have let all the smaller things go.