The Whiskey Story
I wanted to try an Irish whiskey, just for change of taste. Single malt are amazing, but then again, change is all I wanted. And amongst Irish whiskeys, the only name I knew was Jamesons.
This incident is almost an year old. I was in Raipur
) to attend the wedding of a very good senior of mine. A very good friend of mine happened to have a very good friend of his in Raipur. So, with a very good friend of a very good friend of mine, I went to the liquor shop. This is the very same shop where once I bought a Gold Label. That is another story (and will be narrated in future).
It was around 11am. The shop was almost empty, and I had my shades on. The disappearing hangover of the last night was still potent enough to make my voice sound little flat or corny. So I walked in with a very good friend of a very good friend of mine, and he pointed the shop owner towards me (They both happened to get familiar with each other because of his frequent visits). With the thick beard and glares and that heavy voice I asked for a Jamesons leaning my hands on the counter for support. And all he said was ,”Hain? ( When you don’t understand what is said, you just say Hain blankly in Hindi)”
I thought he didnt get the words right, so I spoke again and read the expression on his face which meant the same answer Hain? The blank expression said it all.
I thought maybe there might be another brand, so I asked for an Irish whiskey of his choice. He replied, “Ye Irish kya hota hai? ( What is this Irish thing you have been saying all the while?)” We friends exchanged cold glances and he gave me a shrug. Finally the shopkeeper asked the very good friend of the very good friend of mine ,”Ye bahar se aaye hain? ( Is he an outsider, a foreigner, or a piece of joke?)” He might have mistaken me for someone I wasn’t, or maybe was expecting me to be a rich wealthy Indian residing in London maybe, an owner of a company with a huge turnover. How I wish that would have been true.
The friend replied,” Haan, bahar se to aaye hain, lekin Dantewada
se ( Yes, he’s from outside, but from Dantewada. For quick info, Dantewada is a district in Chattisgarh, with no resemblance to London whatsoever, not even by .01%. Click the link to read more about Dantewada)
“. The shopkeeper was shocked. I asked again ,” Thik hai bhai, Irish to hai nei aapke paas, koi aacha brand hi dikha do, kuch naaya maal aaya hai to (Its ok you don’t have/know Irish Whiskey, show me something else, something new in your stock)
“. With renewed vigour, he pointed towards Chivas, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Black Label…as if they were his cherished collection. I shrugged at all of them saying “Saab taste kiya hua hai, kuch aaur hai to batao (All of them have been tried and tasted, anything else)
He had given up all the hopes of selling me liquor when I sarcastically asked for Singleton, and luckily he happened to have it. I finally bought that.