Preetish Mohan, my chilled out and friendly ex-boss was a pain-in-the-blank, tough-guy-to-impress kind of boss until February this year. One busy evening in February something changed and Preetish became a dear friend and my ex boss.
Let me start at the beginning, I was happy with my job, but like most good administrators, my boss was not a pleasant man. Not even the kind of guy that would be impressed with the mini muffins I got to office. In fact after gorging up five muffins at my desk, he gave me a stinker feedback that I will never forget, “Make muffins instead of writing reports, at least I will be able to justify your salary!” Funny thing is that report wasn’t even my job; it was from his secretary who ran away and left the thing incomplete, which he “requested” me to finish. Such an arrogant man! To make us do the extra hours he would say, “you’re not tapping your potential, you can do better”. Ughh!
It is clear that we had a mutual dislike for each other, until one evening he said he would be leaving early due to some personal commitments, and I said I would be leaving late to finish some work. It was the perfect plan. My colleagues and I had decided to open up a bottle of Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve to watch India bat and have a little party of our own. He left work a 5 pm, the rest of employees started leaving by 6 and by 7.30 that evening we had the office all to ourselves. Many had plans to watch the match at home.
We turned on the TV and opened the bottle of Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve. Two out of eight people weren’t drinking, cause it was Monday, or Tuesday or some Holy Day. It had hardly been ten minutes since match started, and we were still passing the glasses around, when we realized that one glass was short. Aman had passed six glasses and six of us were drinking! We all saw an extra hand, and turned to find Preetish sipping on that sixth glass of Black Dog. He said, “Monthly report, haan!” gulping down that first glass. Still in a state of shock, I asked, “refill?” He smiled and put his glass out, I poured him another drink, “Pretty good stuff” he said.
By then the first wicket fell and we all started exclaiming and abusing the Indian batsman. There was no turning back. We kept pouring in the delicious whisky, abusing, screaming and sitting on office tables with loosened ties. Very soon the first bottle got over and we called for another one. Preetish was so enthusiastic and tipsy, he sent his driver over to pick up his favourite crispy prawn snacks from Taj. A man of taste, he wasn’t going to compromise on the quality of food he eats!
He even told us how he usually sticks to single malts and selected blended Scotch whiskies. When I asked him, “What’s your poison?” He said, “From this moment on it is this, Black Dog TGR” we laughed. The prawns were so crispy yet succulent and amazing, and so beautifully sweet. They tasted brilliant and the whisky made them even more delicious.
Preetish is man of taste, just like his beautiful wife, who walked into the office all dressed up in gorgeous champagne coloured saree and twinkling with diamonds, and nearly pink in anger. Preetish looked pale and frozen for a minute. “I am so sorry” he said.
Didn’t he have to go early for a personal commitment today? Oh my God. What did he do? It was his wedding anniversary! He had forgotten his wife’s present in the office, which is why he had returned to the office to pick it up. Then he saw us, started watching the match and drinking, and had completely forgotten about his wife until she entered the office all dressed up that second.
They are classy people, neither of them said a word, they just left. The next day Preetish called me to his cabin, we looked at each other and burst out laughing. It wasn’t funny though, obviously his wife was very upset and he didn’t know what to do. I was planning to move on to another job anyway, I suggested that he should tell his wife that we were stuck with some report and when he returned to the office he had to help me out. He had only decided to stop by and say bye to the other group when she walked in. He told her that he had fired me, and in reality I had resigned anyway. Obviously his wife didn’t buy any of that, but later a twinkling little gift made up for his sin.
Preetish and I have been good friends since then. We get together every month to discuss some office politics and share a bottle of Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve whisky. The luxury whisky that made Preetish forget his lovely wife on their wedding anniversary. Even today when he says, “Aah so smooth”, I tease him and say, “yeah, so smooth it makes you forget your wife!” He recently even introduced Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve to his Single Malt Club, and not surprisingly, they all loved it, they are even planning to introduce it as the unofficial drink for their meetings.
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