Mom is staying with my maternal uncle since a few days and grandmom is staying with my eldest uncle. My dad is enjoying every bit of this never-found freedom . We were discussing our dinner place yesterday at around 5:30pm when dad suggested of ARDE’s (thats the place where my dad worked for 38 years) mess with my friends. This is one place all of us love. Don’t go by the word “mess”. It is a beautiful place next to the Pashan lake with a huge lawn area and a typical Defence mess atmosphere. Not to forget our dear Seema’s wedding reception was here.
By 8 we (dad, Manmit, Mukul and myself) reached there. We went straight to the bar. Since the last 20 years the same protocol is being followed. I follow my dad in the bar, my dad orders for a large peg of either rum or whiskey and I am given a soft drink with waffers or peanuts. But this time the protocol was programmed for an upgraded version. Dad first asked Mukul whether he will share a drink with him and expectedly Mukul nodded with excitement. We went to the bar. Manmit had told me he won’t drink a beer but will share a Vodka with me, if I was going to take it.
Mukul wanted a beer. However, it was not chilled. So dad asked him whether he would go for any hard drink. The bar tender said that he will serve the beer with ice cubes for which Mukul agreed. But dad was in some other mood. He made fun of Mukul that no one drinks beer with ice cubes. Still Mukul went ahead with the same plan. Then came the real big moment.
Dad: “Tu kay ghenar” (What you will have?)
Me: “Te kay aahe” (What is that?) .. pointing towards dad’s glass.
Dad: “Bacardi White Rum.. the best alcohol“.
I deserved an Oscar for my performance. I was acting like a batsman in a boxing arena. Then I asked for a Vodka. I had to… I had to break that thin wall some day.. and I did. My dad even asked me whether I had it before. I said “yes, sometimes we have it in our office parties”. I knew of dad’s perception of Software company parties. I said it because I didnt want dad to assume that we friends have it regularly. And as a matter of fact our maha-kanjoos company has never kept alcohol in any of its parties.
Little did dad knew that I had it in 12th Std. first. Hello, hello now don’t assume I have it regularly. We drink very rarely say once in a month or so… that makes it just 12 times in a year. (except for Goa trips ).
We took our glasses (btw Manmit also had vodka) and we went on the lawn with some chakna of shev. Now dad started talking on various issues ranging from caste system in India since the era of Shivaji, political scenario in India and slowly he moved to bolder topics like extra marital affairs and on characterless people. I think I should discuss topics of dad’s interests often.
Expectedly he asked us of our frequency of having drinks. Again I dismissed his assumptions that I rarely have it and I have started it after joining Satyam.
Then dad told me the real art of drinking vodka.
- Pour Sprite/7up or Soda and water in a vodka peg.
- Add lemon drops to it.
- Cut open a green chilly vertically and add it to the glass.
I imagined the consequences of dad if mom comes to know of this . My dad also mentioned that Anmol won’t like the fact that he treated us in his absence. I hated this new-found respect for Anmol. He didn’t deserve it. Then dad continued by saying that whenever he has seen Anmol he is always with a different girl. We laughed on that.
Dad continued with 3 more pegs. We, like good boys didn’t ask for even the second peg. Mukul finished the entire beer bottle and we had 2 XXL plates of french fries and 2 plates of peanut and 1 plate of green salad for snacks. I feared for Mukul as we knew his capacity. Fortunately he was okay.
Another memorable evening, an evening when my relationship with my dad moved up one more level.