Today we tackle Turquoise Cottage:
Pallavi from Bandhavgarh writes in to ask:
Your blog is all I live for. But there is one thing that has always bothered me. Why do you keep going back to this TC place? What's the deal? Do they PAY you to make an appearance or what?
Eagerly awaiting your reply,
Turquoise Cottage (or TC as we call it to make it easier to text or refer to in conversation; NEVER TC's though, because that is just wrong) used to be one of my favourite places in Delhi. Notice how I said "used to be".
Turquoise Cottage came about when we were all in first year college, I think this would be late 2000 or early 2001. Originally a very popular place, like all Delhi clubs, it had its days in the sun, before gently fading away to attract only thirty somethings. Or late twenty somethings. Definitely not us. Now, let's put me in context. I was a most Serious Young Person in college, all duuuuuude-bring-back-the-70s and at the same time, let me adjust my silver framed spectacles and quote the Romantic poets at you, while we argue metaphysics. Right, do we have a picture? Excellent. Therefore, cluh-bbing, dahlinks, was way beneath me. This was around the time I discovered Old Monk and Coke, and drinking in friend's basements, and buying three cigarettes for the delectable headrush I always got with the first drag.
So when Friend Who Was Older Than Me (in his twenties, although it saddens me that he was younger than I am now) took me to "this really nice place with good music", I went. And fell in love. I loved that it wasn't crowded, that the booze was reasonable, that they played all this rock music. Delhi then didn't think rock was cool, it was all PSY! and TRANCE! everywhere we went, even the good ol' Mezz, once a favourite, had sold out by opening its doors to the horror that was electronic nights every Tuesday. And it was too crowded to move. (Incidentally, even now, my mother says, "Aren't you going to the Mezz tonight?" despite the many times I have sighed and reminded her that it is, in fact, six years later).
Turquoise Cottage has a lot of good memories for me. I remember arriving there the day I lost my virginity, all knees trembling and raw skinned and feeling as though everyone could totally tell. (I told my friends though and there was much toasting and war-whooping, much to poor old ex-boyfriend's dismay. Although he was pretty pleased at the act too, I might add.) It's a place where I've met people, and flirted, and hung out with friends, and now at parties and things, people come up to me and say, "Haven't I seen you at TC?" and we know so much about each other from that question, what music we like to listen to, what kind of party scenes we're into, and even, usually, what professions we're in.
But now I feel going to TC is like a force of habit. I don't know why I go anymore. It's much too crowded and the wrong sort of crowd too, ever since they started cover charge, the music always seems to be the same (Rage Against The Machine, Du Hast Mich, The Reason etc etc). Every time I go, I feel as though THIS time could be different, that we'd be taken back five years, when TC on a Friday was all you could ask for from life, when you met and talked to nice, new people regularly, when you didn't have to dress or anything, when the bartender could see you from across a room and know exactly what to fix you. My friends who used to be regulars just like me have dropped out saying stuff like "The music is too loud, dude" or "It's way too crowded." But I keep going back.
And one of these days, like a time portal or something, it's going to be empty, and I'll get what used to be our favourite table, and the old foozball table will be back where it was, and people will be less hectic and dressed in jeans and sweaters and sneakers and prop up beer on the DJ console. And the music will be just right, no one would be dancing either, unless they were really ambitious, and I will be nineteen and hopeful that every evening is spangly excitement.