Cocktail tales

I relish the occasional cocktail parties and pray that no one thinks of me as a dipsomaniac.

I relish the occasional cocktail parties and pray that no one thinks of me as a dipsomaniac.

It is said that, on the first day man meets the drink, on the second day man drinks the drink and on the third day the drink drinks the man. On this score, let me admit that I am yet to step into the third day, although I relish a bottle of gin-n-lime during summer  and either rum or brandy with warm water in winters.

In other words, I have restrained from borrowing money to quench my thirst unlike a confirmed Bacchus who may feel like a fish out of water sans the evening dose.

Fortunately, till now, I have remained an anonymous entity as for the Alcoholics Anonymous. All that I know about AA is from the engagement columns in the dailies. If my personal ‘bar’ is stocked, I booze; otherwise I am a teetotaler till the arrival of replenishment. Often my preoccupation does force such a drought to prolong for a week.

Despite such a spirit of contentment even in the absence of spirits, often I do apprehend that this may be mere illusory, since none can predict the future. To a certain extent, I am ill at ease while holidaying at the home of my eldest brother, Dinesh, in Ahmedabad. This city is a forlorn place for tipplers, in tune with the term ‘damp squib’ penned by sports scribes to describe a listless event on the field.

Yes, for the ‘spiritualists’ it is damp regardless of Gujarat being dry! It is also believed that liquor flows more than the waters of river Sabarmati in this province, but at twice the actual cost. Hence, it is my baggage that bears the brunt of a couple of bottles, all the way from Delhi as I am no patron of items sold in black or the bootleggers. While I enjoy my sojourn sharing the chota and large ones with Dineshanna, his sole concern is about the possible hue and cry over our session, raised by the clan of ‘peeping toms’ among the conservative residents of the society.

Candidly, I would attribute my spirited and yet subtle traits to the nine-year long innings in the Air Force and later, the three and half decades stint in the Fourth Estate. As an airman, I fancied the rum punch parties more than sipping a drink in the mess. Irrespective of rank, the seniors would rub shoulders with the juniors at these get-togethers.

On becoming a journo, almost every second day a press conference or an invite for cocktail parties hosted by a corporate honcho has satiated my liquid diet. To this list, you may even add the khadi-clad netas, who until dusk swear by the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi. Indeed, I relish these occasions and pray, let none assume me to be dipsomaniac. The cocktails hosted by the diplomats are truly classic. Leave alone the chatterati snobs making their presence felt, these parties are lively. Our national capital also boasts of a few miserly elites throwing a bash.

At one such party, I overheard a guzzler breathing curses at the host because the waiter was performing a literal ‘mangalaarti’ with the tray of drinks, letting no chance for this disgruntled guest to grab a glass! In a nutshell, enjoy the drink but don’t let the drink enjoy you. Cheers!

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