The first (Last) day of London Summer

30th July 2011,18 days to go. And it is goodbye London. I will never forget this year. So much has happened I have come a long way, I should have written more often though, I do remember pieces from here and there and will try my best to put them up together. I will start with the first memory I missed writing in here.

The first (Last) day of London Summer.

April 6th, 2011. First day of British summer, well that is what Ella claimed it was. I was to meet Ella some place in north London and then proceed to Hampstead. I don’t quite remember how, but for some reason Zhanna tagged along. We found Ella in North London, dressed like a character straight out of Enid Blyton novels, carrying a picnic basket filled with goodies. Next I remember exploring few Japanese stores around the place, looking for Zhanna’s sushi. Soon we reached Hampstead, loaded with a picnic basket few mats and my trusted umbrella to protect my tender Indian skin from the sun. Cris joined us in a while, the dumb whites got into the act and started basking in the sun, while I prudently picked a nice tree with substantial shade and slept under it. After few rounds of Pimms, the day passed by quickly and when I woke up I found that rest of the company had drifted to the far end of the clearing trying to soak in as much sun as they could. The sun was setting but was definitely not in a hurry. But on the other hand Cris and Zhanna were definitely in a hurry to leave, I should have heeded the signs. It was then that Ella’s friend Mira showed up, I was still working around the fact that it was impossible for someone from Finland to have an Indian name. Little did I know that this day had plenty of coincidences planned out. Enter first coincidence, Izzie. Izzie, Ella and Mira met for the first time in a ski trip the previous winter, and today was the first time they met again. It wasn’t entirely coincidental I must confess, Ella planned the coincidence out. The Sun set. A little later in a pub in Camden, Barca was beating Shaktar 5-0. So far the day was as good as it could get. I was offered wine and dragged along to the next pub, absolute random pub, and not so random Flavia bumped onto Izzie, Ella and Mira there. Flavia was the fourth among those who went for the ski trip. More wine and cider had to flow, and another coincidence had to happen. Izzie’s friend a DJ bumped onto her, and invited the table to his club down the road. Oh did I tell you this was just after my world renowned amsterdamned story, and my camera bag was wincing a tad bit. I hate clubs and the music they play, also I cant dance. In no time the boys were at work, more randomness led to an absolute stranger getting all of us sambuca shots. Me: What does the sambuca feel like? . Mira : Oh mostly involves short term memory loss. Me: Oops. My Camera Bag : Save me please? I had to sit, I don’t quite remember if the feeling was for real or if that is what my brain wanted to believe in, I knew I was in trouble. Wisely, I picked a couch, it looked lonely. It was comfortable as well. Everyone else got busy, doing what people generally do in clubs. The view from the couch is pretty good, I definitely recommend it. Time went by, I saw Ella being hounded by a guy, it might have been the same one who bought us the sambuca shots. Sleep quickly found me. Gentle, dreamless, blank, peaceful sleep. The loud bass and mindless electronic booms caused me no worries. I do remember waking up once, to find Ella, Mira and Izzie. Knowing that all was well, I got back to sleep. After forever, somebody ( the bouncer) flashed lights on my face and politely asked me not to sleep, I promised him I wouldn’t and as soon as he left, stayed true to my, comfortable couch. Time went by, loads this time I presume, for the bouncer wasn’t as nice as he was the first time, and little less politely asked me to leave. I wanted no trouble at 4 in the morning in Camden, far away from home and a batteryless phone. I woke up. I was alone. Ella, Mira and Izzie had vanished. My mind started racing now. It was shuttling between the conclusions that, either they got lucky, or maybe not so lucky. As I was washing my face and getting back to my senses, a stranger made a comment in passing “dude, you slept in a club, you slept through the night, in a club” . Oh yes my bag was safe. A bus to central came by quite quickly, I hopped on and made my switch and with relative eventless ride, I got back to the halls. The junk of a phone, my black berry took its sweet time to load, once it did, well actually it didn’t help. Facebook did. I found Ella’s post on my wall that read “ Awake? Safe? Alive?” She was safe, atleast safe enough to have access to facebook and sober enough to notice I was gone, maybe lost. Confirmation on Mira and Izzie’s existence could wait, for it was time to sleep. This time in/on a conventionally familiar place, in a bedroom and on a bed.

This picture below iscalled, little did I know...

This is how it started..
This is how it started..

And this be Ella Mira and Izzie