(Published in The Friday Times, on November 7, 2014, retrieved from http://www.thefridaytimes.com/tft/5-party-games-that-need-to-be-banned/)
Picture Courtesy: The Friday Times
Picture Courtesy: The Friday Times
I’m not sure why people have random house parties. Right, so maybe you want to show off your cooking. But, there’s Facebook and Instagram, right? Maybe you want to show off your clothes. But there are weddings every second week, right? Maybe you want to show off your friends to each other. But it can never be a good thing when worlds collide, right? So, maybe you want to gather people so you can have sparkling conversation...not.
Inevitably, a large group of people that isn’t bound by the commonality of having worked in a terrible company, having gone to draconian school or college together, or belonging to a religiously persecuted minority, or being of a generally self-pitying nature, runs out of conversation fairly quickly. The only thing left to do is break off into groups, or talk shop and then explain shop to the people who aren’t part of the shop, or – and this is the part I dread – play a game.
There are some party games that need to be removed from the face of the earth. Not only do they provide too much information that you would rather not know, in time you would rather not waste, but they also remind you that we desis fail to grow up after school. Here’s why:
Truth or Dare
The only circumstances under which this game should be played once one has graduated from school is: (a) The players are characters in a clichéd play that an author was pressured to submit in order to meet a deadline (b) The players are in a horror movie, and will all be killed, which is the best course of action to take against anyone who plays Truth or Dare. This is also worked into the desi version of Spin the Bottle, because, hey, we don’t kiss (and thank god for that), and therefore the most fun to spin a bottle is for the spinner to be dared by the spinnee.
I will forgive Bollywood for its rain dances and designer funeral costumes and sarson ka khet mayn reunions. But I will not forgive it for inflicting this terrible plague upon us. At every party, even the occasional conversation you may strike with the occasional person whose IQ is in three digits, is eventually drowned out by pitchy girls screeching Asha-Lata numbers and tone-deaf boys channelling Kishore. I don’t usually know more than a line or two of any given song, so I’m the one sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the braying to end.
Really, anything you can do with a pack of cards should be banned. First of all, if you have even the most basic knowledge of permutations and combinations, there is no way you can lose a hand of cards. Second, unless you’re a drunk businessman, the stakes at desi taash parties are so low that it’s the least profitable way of spending your time (aside from writing columns, perhaps).
Yes, all. Starting with “Never have I ever...”, at least in our side of the world and probably on all sides of it, the main point of any game – especially a drinking game – is to probe everyone about his or her sex life. This game can only leave you with enormous pity either for yourself, or for everyone else. Also, unless you’re an exhibitionist, you don’t want to be telling strangers things you haven’t told yourself, so there’s that.
I’m not sure whether this is a game, or this an art, but everyone in my circle – which is fairly obtuse, as shapes go – seems to have converted this into a self-oblivious exercise. First of all, they choose topics which ought to be banned from conversation – children, partners, workouts, skin, age, success...and then, they do their humble-brag thing.
“You know, nowadays schools are just so strict. My son gets maximum 95-97 percent. How about yours? Are they more generous in his school?”
“No, not really. His record is 98 percent.”
Awww. And you both get a 100 percent for obnoxiousness. How’s that for generosity?
“How do you keep your figure so trim, yaar? I’m like a whale. I look some 10 years older than you, and I’m 2 years younger.”
“Whaaa?! You’re only 2 years younger than me? I thought you must be at least 10-15 years younger.”
“Look at your skin!”
Wake up and smell the coffee. On a good day, you both look your age. On a bad day, each of you looks older than the other.
“You’ve lost so much weight! What have you been doing?”
“Oh, nothing. Just eating at the right times. I had to lose weight. I don’t have your metabolism, na...”
Right. Or her fat-burning pills. Or her eating disorder. Meow.