Saturday, November 18, 2006

Whisky and Coconut milk Dont Mix

Today I was reminded of an incident that happened a long time back - to be precise around 11 years back.It seems very funny now but looked set to end in tragedy at the time. Just goes to prove my point that Time is the best healer. I was doing my first year in Engg at the time. It was vacation time and I was at my cousin's place. I was 18 then and my cousin was all of 17 years of age.

We had a desire one evening - to partake of some whisky. We had located the mother lode - where my cousin's elder brother used to keep his liquor supply safely ( or so he thought ) stashed away. We waited that night till everyone was asleep , and then got out the bottle from the hiding place. It was almost full - just around 2 pegs missing. We had , I think , around 2 pegs each. ( That being my first time, I was unable and uninterested in keeping exact count ) . Anyway when we were done , we found the whisky level in the bottle to be alarmingly low. Now here lay a problem - both of us being students , our stock of pocket money was something that would have made the beggars at Mahe Railway Station blush. Replacing the bottle with a new one ( thus ensuring we could have some more gos at the old bottle ) was a very attractive idea. Unfortunately , like most such ideas, this one was definitely not practical. Our bade bhaiya was at the time a teacher in a local parallel college. His own monetary supplies being low, having him discover the missing whisky was decidely risky from a personal safety point, for us.

I will always maintain that some of the best ideas come under the influence of drinks. True, these ideas seem pathetic under the cold reasoning of sober daylight, but what the heck, thats why we drink , right. My cousin had the idea of bringing the bottle to its original level , by mixing some water. In a momentary flash of brilliance , I suggested adding some karingali vellam ( karingali is a powder much like jeera which is usually boiled with drinking water giving it a reddish brown colour ) so the whisky didnt lose its lustrous colour and look diluted. The blending operation was a tricky one - we had to ensure the original colour was retained ( so some strong karingali powder was required) , while at the same time ensuring the resultant product , did not have a karingali flavour. You will appreciate the difficulties we faced when I tell you that while the operation was in progress, there had been an unfortunate power cut and we were at the mercy of candle light.

To continue, we made up some of the deficit in the bottle by mixing karingali vellam and then went to the bathroom for a supply of fresh water. It was at this moment that I had my second flash of brilliance of the night ( above average by my standards and can only thank the whisky which by this time was playing havoc with my nervous system ). Instead of the tap water that my cousin was planning to desecrate this bottle of soma rasa with, I suggested using some bottled water kept in the fridge. We went to the fridge , took out a bottle of water , brought the whisky bottle to its original level and kept it back in its original hiding place - remembering to replace the strand of hair bade bhaiyya had placed to catch any pilferers. After this we went to bed for a well deserved rest.

We woke up , bright and fine in the morning, the doings of the previous night a distant memory. Our first inkling of the disaster that lay ahead came in the morning , when my aunt asked us if any of us had seen the coconut milk bottle she had kept in the fridge. I forgot to mention earlier that after topping up the whisky bottle, we had used the remaining contents of the fridge bottle to quench our parched throats ( no doubt , the readers with a scientific bent of mind will
appreciate that hard liquor causes dehydration and any person having two drinks for the first ever time can be excused if his taste buds do not tell his disoriented grey cells that the liquid making its way down his dry throat is not plain water ). We laughingly told my aunt that perhaps we *had* drunk the coconut milk in mistake. There the matter rested, or so we thought.

After some time, my uncle came to us and enquired about the unseemly smell that seemed to be pervading the whole house. We eagerly joined in the hunt for the guilty party - eagerly that is , till our by-now-sensitive noses led us uncomfortably close to the hiding place of the whisky bottle. And now , the cat was out of the bag. We learnt that day , to our cost, that whisky mixed with coconut milk causes a chemical reaction which releases gases compared to which the smell of rotting eggs (Hydrogen Sulphide if memory serves ) is like that of the freshly bloomed jasmine flowers. The only thing that saved us that day was that it was in bade bhaiyya's interest as much as ours that the bottle remained undiscovered - for what thief reports a theft at his own house to the police. What followed was gut wrenching - for even bade bhaiyya , hardened drinker that he was, could not bear that foul smelling potion pass his lips. And so we arranged a funeral for the erstwhile liquor bottle ( preferring the Christian/Islamic tradition of burial to the Hindu one of cremation ). You will believe me , Iam sure, when I tell you that there was not a single dry eye ( among the six eyes ) that attended the last rites.


silverine said...


I am going to link this, I had a similar exp but it turned disastrous. Will blog about it soon.

Risha said...

Good attempt here...quite an adventurous stride haaan?

Sachin R K said...

@silverine... Charmed

@risha... trying my best :)

Anonymous said...

Good one. It brought smile to my lips though I heard the story before.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention that, that anonymus was me- RR

Panther said...

No wonder! I know how a peg work in you.

Nariyal Chutney said...

Too Good :)