My uncle in Kochi is a member of the Yatch club there. He is a pretty scary guy. By scary I mean that he is a successful, powerful and intimidating guy with a deep voice to match his temper. At the same time he is very loving and protective about his daughters and us, his nieces. In fact he is soft as a peach when it comes to us. Usually when his wife and my mother have to ask him for something, they route it through us. Not just them, whenever anybody in the family, especially the boys are too afraid to speak with him directly, they come to us. We are very gracious; we always agree to help them, but only with bribes.
My sister and I were visiting my uncle’s family a couple of months back, and as usual one of my uncle’s employees, Manoj came to us to ask him for a month long leave. “A month long?” said my cousin. “No way, that’s impossible, Daddy will not allow it, and we will also get into trouble” “Unless” I said. “Unless you try a little harder, and may be a good Scotch whisky pay off may help you” It was supposed to be a joke, my cousin was a little skeptical but we just laughed it off.
That evening, my uncle’s driver walked in with a bottle of the new Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve from Manoj. My cousin and I were shocked, and even afraid that my uncle would find out. When we called Manoj, his phone was not reachable, so we just decided to sneak the bottle with us for the Sunday picnic the next morning.
The next morning, we managed to sneak in our bottle of Triple Gold Reserve into the yatch. The plan was to go sailing and fishing in the sea all day, then park the yatch and enjoy a good grill in the evening. Although my uncle had his bar stocked up in the yatch, we girls wanted to have a little fun of our own. It was an amazing day, the weather was good, it was not too sunny, and the traffic around the coastline was too much so we went further into the sea. The peace and quiet, golden rays of the sun dipping into the sea, made us want to go dipping into the sea as well.
Dad and uncle’s fishing and drinking was going pretty good too, but until now we had only got a few sips from their Scotch, and never individual drinks for ourselves. Even with a buzz, after six hours of lowering their fishing fly into the sea finally they managed to catch some baby sharks and pomfret from the Arabian Sea. The stars were beginning to peep and it had started getting cold. The fish was on the grill, so we came out of the water and decided to pop open our big prize, or should I say bribe.
When we go to the back of the yatch where we hid our Black Dog, we didn’t seem to find it! Disappeared or Evaporated or just fell into the sea, our big bribe of Triple Gold Reserve just wasn’t there! We served up our grilled fish, and as we were walking up to our dad’s to hand them a piece of their hunt, what do I see? A bottle of Triple Gold Reserve, and without a thought I reacted, “How did you find our bottle?” “Your bottle?” my dad asked. My cousin almost fainted, and I went pale when I realized what damage I had done. There was no way to rescue that statement, after fumbling and trying to make up a random story, I accepted defeat. Almost shaking with fear, we told my uncle the whole story about Manoj and how we had taken this bribe.
My uncle just shook his head, sipped some Black Dog, and said “it’s good whisky. I had never tried it. Have you had it before?” “Yes” I said. “Then come sit down, have a drink with us” You should have seen the look on Maitri’s face at that minute. “That’s it” she said, “You’re not angry?”
Turns out that he was upset, not just with us but with Manoj for going along with our immature act. He just didn’t want to spoil the mood and ruin everyone’s evening. Thanks to Manoj, we all had a great evening. The bottle of Black Dog, fresh grilled fish, the breeze, the yatch in the starry night and the joy of drinking with my uncle. We all laughed as my uncle shared secrets from his childhood, and all the little naughty things they used to do.
Everyone knows that I drink, you know “professional obligations”, but my cousin’s love for daddy’s hidden bottle of Black Dog was a revelation. We did get a short sounding and a warning after that, but that was hardly anything in comparison to the banishment that we had expected. Manoj, well, he got a sounding too for bribing us, my uncle told him that because he had tried to pull this trick, his leave will not be approved, he handed him a replacement bottle of Triple Gold Reserve and told him to go home and drink his sorrows away.
As for my uncle, he still loves us the same, but thanks to us, he now has a new found love, his bottle of Triple Gold Reserve, which he likes to drink while fishing and sailing in his yatch. I think this time it’s true love.
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