When it comes to a birthday celebration, 26 litres of beer in 2 hours isn’t too bad. 
Yes I’m referring to the ‘Annual Beer Drink-Off’ that my friends and I have initiated.
Rules are simple, the team which consumes the most beers in 2 hours wins.
That’s it. Just 2 hours. Just 2 hours you think, what happens in those 120 minutes looks like a battlefield. 
The stakes were higher as there were 4 players on each side (double from the First Annual).
The losing team would have to pay 70% of the bill and pride was up for grabs.
The lead up to B-day is always funny, with tactical meetings and trash talk doing rounds of the WhatsApp group.
And then there is the aashirwad, maa ka aashirwad.
And when it was time, the floodgates opened and we were ready to drown ourselves in that glorious sea of gold.
Blood, Sweat and Beers (BSB) VS Beer Pressure (BP).
The teams that we drink for, we die for.
Puneet, Clavell, Mira and Zorro VS Arjun, Rueben, Ranga and me.
The warriors who took to the pints.
We wore our colours, we stuck our stickers and boom!
Both teams adopted an attacking strategy with BSB setting a blistering pace in the first half hour.
Me and my fellow BP team-mates were playing man-marking and kept up with the BSB boys.
An hour into it the pace settled down and then the big boys showed their mettle.
Then came the puking, with comrade holding comrade as they puked the excess, wiped it off and got back to the pints.
The last 15 minutes… Blitzkrieg! Guzzling, downing, knocking back… we defined it all.
At the end of the 2 hours, in my own slurry words, ‘defeat tasted nice’.
The final count was 41-38. We had lost again. The BSB onslaught was unstoppable
But ultimately, we’re all brothers. A brotherhood of brew.
We carried our fellow warriors out… on shoulders, victorious… joyfully drunk. We left the stylish jazz pub (our venue each year) with wobbly steps and made our way to a brother’s house. Some puked more, some passed out.
The 2nd Annual Beer Drink-off was over. But the fire burns, to avenge that defeat.
This was my 25th, 26 will be bigger, badder and boozier.
One universal learning though, they don’t call it the morning-after for nothing.