The first time I had alcohol was when I was in the second year of my college. My roommate walked in with a huge smile on her face and said, “Guess what I have with me?” Chocolates. That was my first guess. But, it turned out to be a bottle of Fenny.
You know why she was grinning? Alcohol was not allowed in our hostel and she had managed to sneak it in.
Getting back to Fenny, it is local-made cashew liquor and a specialty of Goa.
However, it is NOT a good way to start drinking, as anyone who has ever had Fenny would tell you. (And, I think people have Fenny only once in their lifetime – the first time they go to Goa or when a relative comes back from their vacation bearing a bottle.)
That night, we locked the door, pulled out our steel tumblers and poured ourselves a drink. It was a big one – we did not know how to measure the 30s and the 60s and we definitely did not know how much would be too much. So, we poured generously.
Just as I was about to take the first sip, my friend said, “Stop, dad always puts in some soda.” We just had a bottle of warm limca, so we topped our glasses with it.
And then came the first sip. The smell was horrible and I could feel the drink pass all the way from my throat to my stomach, burning as it went down. It made me feel nauseous.
My friend cringed her face too, but then looked up and said, “Hey, that’s how it’s supposed to taste. Try a little bit more and it will get better.” But, it didn’t. The drink was left unattended after two or three sips. I just could not drink more than that – it was like forcing medicine down my throat, that too without my mom breathing down my neck.
I don’t know how we finished the whole bottle – it was mostly used to light lamps, mixed with my orange juice and boiled to make an espresso shot. Yes, you read it right. I made an espresso shot with the Fenny. All you gotta do is put some Fenny where you would normally put the water in a kettle.
The tastes of neither of the drinks improved! (Warning: Do not. I repeat absolutely do not try this at home. It is hazardous for your health)
After the initial experience, the first time I had alcohol willingly was in a car-o-bar – the boot of a car turned into a bar. (Only Indians could think of such jugaad.)
I had received some bad news that evening – I don’t even remember what it was, but at that time, I thought it was the end of the world. And, like I had learnt in the movie Devdas, I wanted a drink to numb my pain.
I called up a bunch of guys, friends of a friend, and asked them to get some whiskey. Surprised at first, they were happy to comply, especially when they came to know that they were going to be drinking with two girls – me and my best friend – who did not have a lot of experience with drinking.
It was a fun night, although, I do not remember much of it. Except, that I woke up in the arms of one of the drinking buddies. Naked.
So there. Two of my “principles” washed down the drain.
You want to know when I finally said “Whiskey on the rocks, please?” You might have to wait for my next post. I won’t take too long, I swear.