WestCoast Club – That’s what they call themselves! Being born and brought up in a suburban locality in Mumbai has many advantages. Like exposure to diversified neighbourhood, more kids of the same age group, festivals celebrated on a grand scale, social get-togethers, and so on! The kids of this locality were no different!
Each one of them with their families had shifted to a new housing complex in the suburbs. New place, new house, new school, new tuitions, and hence new friends! It was a new environment for every family. Suddenly, there was a new community being formed at this location and people started to explore each other. Families started bonding, Dads built their business networks, and Moms formed their kitty groups, and Kids ended up in the same school/tuitions. It was a new phase in the lives of everyone in this haven.
The kids, specially, bonded faster. Maybe, the curiosity at that age to know about each other and having to spend time on certain activities together helped to break the ice in no time. Moments like being part of the same dance group during Ganesh Festivals, or forming a cricket team to play against the neighbouring society, or getting on a mission to help Mario meet his Princess, or being compared with each other by their parents during the School’s Open House, or taking up a new adventure every evening on their bicycle, or dancing like there’s no tomorrow during Visarjan brought them closer. These are the memories that the kids still cherish!
One of the special memories would be the cricket series they played against a neighbouring society. For them, this was more important than an India v/s Pakistan match. Both the teams hated each other, and would do their best to outperform! During that time, it used to be a ‘seal’ match – wherein the losing team pays Rs. 100/- to the winning team. This means each of the players brought their share (around Rs. 15/-) since the WestCoast Club would lose on most of the occasions. After the loss, the journey back home would be the worst part of the day. Completely dejected, the guys would hang out at ‘Saraswati Juice Corner’ (everyone would order a full-glass sugarcane juice costing Rs. 3/-) and criticize each other for the lost match. The dropped catches, the wide balls, the no-balls, the dot-balls, the mis-fields, everything would be discussed! Ironically, this would never deter their spirit of winning. Again, the same evening they would challenge the opposition team for a match (hoping to beat them this time). In case, if someone from the team is not able to make it for the match next day, the entire team would go to his house and coax him. The scene would be something like this:
Player 1: “Main nahi aa sakta yaar. Mummy allow nahi kar rahi hai!”
Rest of the team: “Aunty ko hum manate hai. Tu tension mat le!”
Team in chorus (shouts out): “Auntieee… Auntieee.. Auntiiieeeee..”
Mom: “Kal no cricket! Home-work karna hai issko”
Rest of the team: “Auntiee… Plz isko aane do. He’s our main bowler! Iske bina hum kaise jeetenge!?!”
Luckily, the kid was allowed after this cajoling. But the fate of the team never changed. They still kept losing, and they still kept hoping!
Frankly, not many expected this (the friendship and the camaraderie) to continue for long. Because life moves on! The kids would soon become teenagers, go to (separate) colleges, hang out with a (separate) new group of friends, pursue (separate) degrees, build (separate) careers, and so on. There might have been situations where-in these friends from the WestCoast Club could have easily moved on as while growing up priorities change and so do the choice of people with whom they want to hang out with. But, that wasn’t the case!
There was some magic which holds them together! There still is!
Yes, they too had ‘school friends’, ‘college friends’, ‘degree college friends’, ‘office friends’ and so on. But this WestCoast Club was the first priority for each one of them! The priority of every person was each other. They laugh, they smile, they abuse, they fight against, they fight within, they discuss problems with each other, they are the problems for each other (sometimes) but the fact is that they are a close-knit family! Friends for life, as per the cliché!
Since the group has a fairly large number (around 14), the dynamics within the group is quite complex and highly entertaining! However, what makes the WestCoast Club the way it is are the characters involved in it.
Let’s have the look at some of the characters from the WestCoast Club that embark this ‘Journey of Discovery’.
Dhananjay (#TheDude), popularly, known as ‘DJ’, is a high-testosterone guy in every possible way. He is loud and (overtly) energetic. It may not be wrong to call him the ‘mastermind’ for all the plans of the group. His enthusiasm gets everyone to surrender to his plans and blindly follow him. He’s like one of those, who has the highest chances of not only striking a friendly conversation with a pretty girl at a party, but also ending up exchanging phone number with her. Being smart with his dealings in work makes his a great choice to take over his family business in future. However, the undiplomatic streak in him upsets people, and can piss them really off! He’s in your face, and he’s unabashed!
Dhaval (#TheGoodBuoy), is a perfect son, perfect brother, and a perfect family man! There’s certain duality in his personality – one side he is very suave and personifies dignity, on the other side he can be equally rough and wild! However, having a background in Operations makes him highly organized and methodical in his approach to life. He’s sort of a guy who will not have hard time keeping his in-laws happy, because he also has the making of a perfect son-in-law. A person with few words, he aptly uses his dry wit to communicate.
Jaydeep or Jay or JD or, simply, J (#TheFunnyMan)! He’s, undoubtedly, the favourite of everyone in WestCoast Club. Though highly abusive in his communication, his personality and looks comes across as someone very sweet and innocent. Also, having started his career in the corporate world, diplomacy comes naturally to him. Someone who wakes up at the right time, eats at the right time, sleeps at the right time, he follows his schedule to the T. He believes everything is good in moderation; hence he doesn’t indulge himself into anything. A perfect groom in the making! However, there is one secret about him – he hates kids! There’s one thing wherein nobody can score above him, is his Sense of Humour!
Parin (#TheFixer), is a jugaadu! He’s one of those who can make things happen and get things done! Someone who is involved with his family business, he is shrewd and practical in nature. Though he carries a strong personality, he can easily break down while sharing his problems. He’s the guy who is most likely to become friends with the wrong person and get into a fight with the right person. There’s never a dull moment in the room when he’s around, as he’s constantly up to something or the other. His sense of humour is loud and crude in nature! So soft hearted people, beware..
Rajesh (#TheMaverick), is sophistication personified! He’s someone who is least likely to get into a fight and mess up with people. Always calm and composed, he’s high on self-confidence and that’s the best part about him. However, this can be highly annoying at times since the other person has to put in his sweat and blood to prove him wrong. But, mind you, such discussions are highly entertaining! He, at times, plays hard to please and usually comes up with out-of-the-box concepts. You can disagree with him, or hate him, but you can’t ignore him.
Yash (#TheMisfit), is the most complex cookie to crack. At the outside, he is simple and grounded. However, there are complex layers within him. Someone who values this friendship the most, he can’t effectively communicate the same. Though he means no offence, his sarcastic humour can rub off people in the wrong way! He is the coy in the group, and shares intimate dynamics with each one in the group. The mister-know-it-all has the solution for all problems, when they are not his!
What happens when these 6 characters get together for a ‘Journey of Discovery’? Find out in the coming episodes!
Watch this space for more stories!