I moved to Pune for studies in 2008. I was really excited at the thought of living away from parents and making new friends. I did not want to live in a hostel, so I looked around for apartments online on sharing basis. After a lot of searching and meeting many brokers, I finally found a decent apartment in my budget. I moved there along with two other guys. The day I moved to the apartment was the day I met Advay. Although I take time to mingle, we hit it off instantly.
I started hanging out with him and his friends but very soon, I realised that hanging out with them meant drinking. I did not drink so it was a little uncomfortable for me. One day, Advay asked me to try a drink. I refused but after he persuaded a lot, I agreed. That was my first mistake. From that day onwards, we started drinking every night in our apartment. Since I used to feel left out with them, I also started drinking regularly even though I hated it.
One night, we finished three dozens of beer bottles. We were all out of beer and it was around midnight. Still Advay goaded me to go with him to a liquor store to get more beer. I was not in a state to drive, but went with him nevertheless. That was my second mistake.
When we reached the store, it was closing. Advay literally begged the shopkeeper to give us beer but he did not budge. As we were about to leave the place, a young foreigner came to us and said that he knew where we could get more beer if we paid him. Advay jumped at the opportunity and thus, without thinking much, we followed that complete stranger.
We roamed with the guy in the middle of the night and didn’t even know where he was taking us as both of us were new to the city. The guy took us to a dingy looking bar. As soon as we went in, three other guys, his fellow countrymates, jumped at us and asked us for money and everything we had with knives. Feeling helpless, we gave them everything we had including my new Nokia phone. They argued a little about dropping us off and then after some time, they showed us the way out of the area and disappeared into the night.
I told Advay that he needed to see a doctor as his alcoholic nature was the reason we got into that mess in the first place. But he started screaming abuses at me and I ended up hitting him.
After that, I changed my apartment and never spoke to Advay again.
I’ve learnt my lesson with alcohol and stopped drinking. But I still get goosebumps when I think of that night. Who knows what those guys could’ve done to us?
— As told to Khushi Qazi
Follow the writer on Twitter @ikhushiqazi