Monday , October 21 2019
Home / Blog / Taste of an Elixir

Taste of an Elixir

My dad used to bring it quite regularly especially during winter evenings. Mom tried to show some disapproval but as soon as dad brought that bottle, her job was to prepare some spicy gravy chicken. Dad brought many different kinds of those bottles- some with clear transparent liquid and some with brownish coffee- coloured ones. I think his favourite, though, was the one that had written “khurkuri RUM” over it. The only problem I had was he won’t let me drink it. I asked him what was that RUM thing and he explained to me, it is the short form for “Regularly Used Medicine”; some sort of cough medicine he used to say. Then I started complaining even more, dad knew very well that I’d the worst goddamn lungs one could ever have as a child and that makes me the most deserved person to drink that medicine. And within 15-20 minutes of drinking that 250 ml bottle, dad would be a different person. Patting on my back and saying not to worry about the exams I failed (however I could still remember the echo of the tight slap on my cheek on the day I’d shown him the result), giving me money to buy some mango juice for me and my sisters; and even as a child I could see the spark of romance in his eyes after he drank some of that medicine. Even mum used to get mellow over all the complaints she had with dad.  Oh how I’d wished in those days for my dad to bring that medicine. Everybody looked happy and time seemed to flow without generating any tides.

By the time I realized Rum was an alcoholic drink, I guess I should say elixir, panacea to every shitty problem, I’d decided- the earlier I start to drink it, the better. However, I could never manage a valid reason to argue dad’s illogical reason that I should not drink it. I tried to bring the matter up during conversations with my friends, but nobody would want to talk about it- all goddamn phonies seemed to be engulfed by some taboo.

I think I was 12 when I went to Kathmandu to one of my uncle’s house to spend the summer vacation. He was kind of rich guy among our relatives, with bungalow in the capital city and his son, a little older than me, was the most arrogant kid I’ve ever seen. I hate my parents when they send me over a holiday to one of the richer relatives. I hated to pretend I was suddenly more cultured and civilized during the stay. I even didn’t like their restrooms. In fact I didn’t know how to use many items in their toiletry or kitchen for that matter.

Anyway I liked my uncle the moment he showed me his living room. He looked more passionate to alcohols than my dad was. All different kind of bottles in the shelf- some semi full and most of them still not taken out of their boxes. But like his son told me the other day that he doesn’t drink any of that. In some special days he would invite friends and his friends would try some of them. The moment he said that, I thought my uncle was kind of a rich dumb arse by not drinking the most awesome invention of mankind. Probably he’d never seen my dad drink and how everything around us seemed perfect in matter of minutes.

My eyes were typically piqued by a half filled bottle on the lower rack of the shelf. Ditto as the khukuri rum and it was at a reachable height so that I did not have to drag some furniture. The next Mondayturned out to be the best day. I’d planned everything so meticulously in my mind over and over again for almost a week then. Uncle left for office and aunt took my dumb cousin to his school to get his exam results.

The dilemma always was how to replace the drink in the bottle because even if I drink a cup from it, it would look ridiculously little left on the bottle and what if they noticed. I kept frittering around kitchen and his living room in frustration. An idea struck my mind. I removed the bottle carefully from the shelf and ran towards the kitchen. It was not rum though, looked like some imported thing. The label read “Johnnie Walker red label whiskey”. I poured almost a cup full into a glass cup. And I boiled some tea in a kettle. I poured the tea into a glass and placed next to the cup of whiskey. It took me almost 10 minutes to match the colour by adding water and/or tea for many times.  Finally I replaced exactly the same amount into the bottle and replaced the bottle exactly in the same position where it was earlier. If you had seen me at that moment, you would have thought what a smug I was. I was literally glowing with pride on my own effort.  My heart was beating fast as I finally made my move; I drank it in a shot so that I’d achieve nirvana earlier.

WTF, the whiskey tasted like a tea itself, so bitter that I couldn’t even swallow it. It took me quite a while to realize my cousin was not as dumb as I had thought. And I did nothing but smile when I thought how even with multiple attempts he couldn’t manage the right concentration of tea into the bottle. He made the tea far too strong…..

About The Author

Monkey Talk