I arrived at the den ‘namma mane’ at sharp 8pm last Saturday, just in time for the big night. I had practiced the poker face for hours by not laughing at my own jokes and by watching himesh in the ‘back of ruby’ part of aap ka suroor. It was time to play poker. I let it be known
its bye bye
to the good guy
coz once the cards are dealt
no feelings will be felt
and i'll kick u below ur belt!!
And so began my gambling career. I soon won my first round. Although the winnings were meagre, it was a start nevertheless. I noticed that the southern end of the table, or mat in this case, was the lucky side. But soon it changed. I guess according to the vastu of the den, the southern end luck was meant to burn out quickly. I wanted to change ends but the casino manager turned down the request citing security issues. I was losing quickly. I decided to drink water, changed my seating, and began picking my card with my left hand. Nothing worked. My incredible bad luck continued. There was this one instance when I felt like tearing my hair out. I had the best cards and I was on the verge of winning the round. It was time to reveal the four poison jokers. The first three didn’t kill me but the forth did! And I lost the round I had heavily bet on. It was like when you put a nice juicy rasgulla in your mouth and it is snatched away from you just when you are about to bite into it!
Soon I was in the red. I had to borrow from the rich. I continued losing. So I decided to call it quits. I watched from the side lines for a while. There some innovative rules being made for each round like lowest total value of cards, jokers, adding the alphabet value of the first letter of each card, and some even more complex stuff that can’t be described here. I couldn’t resist and decided to rejoin by taking some more loans. But my luck didn’t change in the second stint. I just lost more slowly as I played defensively. Some players even took their coins to the bathroom during their breaks lest someone stole them. I didn’t have such problems because I knew each of my few precious coins by name and would have easily detected their absence.
The hours flew by. The rich got richer and made little piles of their coins. While the poor became poorer and began to act sleepy and disinterested. Soon the rounds were being played at really low stakes mainly because the poor were mired in debt while the rich were wary of losing their hard earned coins towards the end of the session. The organisers tried to inject money in the system by having many jokers. But that tactic also failed. We decided we had had enough. So finally after a marathon 10 hr session, we finally called it quits at 6am.
Each player went to bed in different moods and probably had different dreams too! It had been a fun filled night. I realised gambling is truly addictive as can be seen from the fact that I did a night out (something very rare for me) for poker. It was also fun to see the way the winners, including me very rarely, grab the stakes of the round. Thus began my gambling career on a not so promising note. But I know I’ll get better with time. Las Vegas, get ready to welcome the soon to be poker master!
Epilogue: the next morning i woke up at 10 and heard a knock on the door. I opened the door to furious neighbours unloading their frustrations on me. It was good to know there were people more frustrated than me with the previous night's incidents, albeit for different reasons. Apparently our late night revelries had disturbed the neighbourhood. One guy, who didnt know proper hindi or english, started scolding me like by saying "monday to friday shanti, weekends tum log doing gulata!" Now i didnt know what exactly 'gulata' was. It sounded like galipata. I dont know the meaning of that either. So i just nodded seriously and suppressed a yawn. I then handed over the baton to abhijeet who managed to calm them down. And i went back to sleep.