“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Uno momento

Try to visualize this.

The time is 1931 hrs. I sit in my room, at my table where at the left extreme end my old Sony music system with its huge speakers idles; next to it is a PC – a mongrel if there can be – the monitor is a massive 17” Philips and the CPU is the mongrel. To the right of the monitor, in front of the Inkjet printer, in that cramped space, my love, my little Dell Netbook – I have not fallen in love with any computer till date, but – I love this baby.

To my left, a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey, gifted by one of the few real friends I have, Sreekumar. He acquired it during his recent European tour- 3 larges down, I am wonderfully tipsy but things are so clear that i can type out letters on my little baby Dell without – well, not too many mistakes.

At my feet lies Sancho, I keep my feet warm on his fur. P is not home; she is expected by 2300 hrs, I have to go and pick her up from the railway station far away near the sea.

Jameson true Irish whiskey is too good. Why, it is a close rival to my lord of all lords, The Glenlivet Single Malt Whiskey – now, dont you dare say a single word against Glenlivet! Bliss – has only one other name – Glenlivet Single Malt.

Outside it is quiet, the silence broken only by the pitter-patter of a drizzle. K calls me from Bangalore. He is stuck in the Forum Mall in Koramangala it is raining heavily there and is browsing at the Landmark. He gives me a missed call. I call him back. K says he is hungry and discovered he didnt have any money and came to the ATM in the Mall. Full of burgers or whatever, he says – 'Acha, there is this book you might like, 'Himalayan Vignettes', all old B&W photos of Himalayas, 2000 bucks do you want it I can buy it for you'. I ask him to tell me the name of the book and author, search flipkart and they offer it for 1600. K wants to buy that for me I tell him no i can get it from flipkart.

As I type this, I realize I am getting tipsy, making too many spelling mistakes, lord, am I happily drunk!
I tell K about a T shirt I bought for him at Manali, which says – 'MY DAD IS AN ATM'.

I browse. http://www.oldindianphotos.in/ I am transported to the past, in this virtual Time Machine. I brood over old photographs, India in the 19th and early 20th century and I look at these pics of Himalayas and people and I take another sip of good old Jameson may he live forever, IRISH FOREVER!

Between the letters that jump into this little 10.5' screen and my mind, I remember you – Anil, Doc Antony, Bindu, Melange' (will you stand up please and identify yourself and stop torturing me with all your exclamation marked receipes which I will never be able to try out in my kitchen, you are tormenting me with your Choora curry) Dr Kavita Saharia ( will you take a look at my potholes in the molars where all the peanuts and chicken get stuck forever) and Ousu, who almost seems to be reliving my life 30 years ago and – Bikram, I ENVY YOU for your bike ride to Scotland - Jesus H Christ, as some characters in the old James Hadley Chase used to say – my friends I love you all and I am into my 5th ? 6Th? I am beautifully, pleasantly drunk but still sober enough to correct the spelling mistakes and i told you I love my Dell Netbook and NO, NO Microsoft and Bill Gates, I love my UBUNTU!

Suddenly. My friends, let me tell ya somethin'. I am an old bum soaked in whiskey. Naah! I love my shots, hadn't one since 15th July and I am more of my real self, not the brusque, aggressive facade that I keep, I am me, the bald old man of 54, who loves dogs and mountains and P and K and all the friends and Tierra del Fuego and Ernest Hemingway and the little insignifcant moments of joy.

I light another Gold Flake King size and I am happy as i take anothe sip. Sancho puts his foreleg on my lap the signal that he is hungry and I have to feed him and Sally.

My good ole friend, Doc KVS calls I had invited him to meet Jameson today evening with me but he could not come I tell him how good Irish Whiskey is.

In another few minutes, my friends, curtains fall on yet another happy moment of my life!

Jameson or not, thank you, planet Earth for this gift of life!


Balan. Trivandrum 06.08.2011 2051 hrs


  1. Balan,

    A bottle of heavenly Irish whiskey, Sancho who can unconditionally love you, your baby - the netbook with an awesome OS sitting on it(Ubuntu), an excellent Sony system, your "me-time", definitely appealing old Himalayan photos - amidst all these, you take a moment to think about us :)

    We are all blessed. Enjoy the moment.

    A question to you. Would you feel elated if your friend experiences a joy that you would always want to experience but didnt get a chance yet? :)

  2. B, re-read the poem, 'library of love'. You know something? The few occasions that I really feel happy about myself is when I realize that I am unable to be jealous of my friends! When Sree and family went to Europe and he described Alps and the Eiffel Tower, boy, it was as if I were there! You walking in Costa Rica, NRI Girl in Colorado, Cherian in New Hyde Park, NY ( I saw his house in the Google map!) an uncle of mine standing beside a Llama in Macchu Pichu - I am there, right with you! You see, for me, happiness comes by proxy too. Next time you go to Amazon or Tierra del Fuego or walk by the Adrian's Wall in UK - why B, you'll see me right behind you!

    My friends' happiness is mine too; truly!

  3. As they say,"Mother of God", I have not heard a tipsy essay yet as tipsy as this~!!!!!!!!

    And I just got this askance from B, what has happened to you and Balan that you guys are on whiskey and posting in the Blog.

    It is no wonder that even Gods indulged in spirits. Sacremental or bought at the store spirits are spirits.

    And the man who appreciates quality enjoys it responsibly. We have done so fairly well this far.

    And some miles more to go .....!

  4. Balan, you are irritating teetotalers like Anil and me.

    A bit of jealousy is permissible Balan,and that is human.Right now,when I read this post,I really feel jealous of having not been able to be there, the rain outside,this concoction you mentioned and that heavenly chicken fry,not to mention the cigarettes,don't you know it is prohibited to smoke?( For that matter,anything enjoyable is prohibited)

    You have introduced me to some good friends like this Jameson. I knew his uncle Mr Glen for sometime,and this fellow must be naturally good. After all, the Irish have good ancestry.

  5. Anil, Riding those pleasurable waves of mild inebriation, I tried to capture a small slice of my life. Unconsciously I must have been following my instincts for little bits of happiness- that do not come at the cost of anybody or anything else. I am sure B and you can understand and relate to that feeling.

    I think this is the first ever time I blogged under the spell of a couple. Should try it again; perhaps it has something to do with the magic of Irish Whisky!!

  6. You write again or not,what I am seeing here is totally a free spirit..Always wondered what this drink is doing to people Balachandran,I mean the amazing things.Way back in your own city,while I was chatting with this celebrity intellectual (sorry I am not one,yet I had many such hi-funda people came to chat with me,lol,I realised they all loved to be the real 'fools' for sometime),I just enquired him why when you talk about those evening shots,your face brightens and it seems you live for that..He started laughing and said.'Yes,truly so.I can't describe it to you'..Suddenly I had something else 'I think I love to try and see what you all are enjoying this much..' Again he started laughing and replied,'no need,to my sight you are 'kick' always..why you need more ? You may get bored."I was so curious what that 'kick' was.Finally he concluded ,I am being myself for those few hours..Isn't that fine ?

    I think why people keep away from writing while they drink may be the vulnerability dilemma.But here as well I am seeing Balachandran,the real person."My Dad is an ATM" and was imagining how K is going to be in that..Such a jovial dad he got.

    It's like pleasure and pain at a time reading this piece,the happiness and the hollowness..both.I feel suffocated too.I just wished P to come back soon.

    Btw,reading the melange part,I laughed out so loud for quite some time now..with the exclamation marked recipes..haha...the real torture of sending you whole lot of horrible stuff I experiment,perhaps a revenge..

    Good night to Irish whiskied free spirit..! (lemme put another exclamation plz.)

  7. A thoroughly enjoyable commentary on whiskey and friendship..

    I will keep visiting..


  8. Hic ,Hac ,Hurray !
    I would be more than happy to take care of your molars but seriously speaking ...Go and see a dentist asap(i am screeching here):):)

  9. and i am also frowning ...three larges down and you were to pick up P from station.
    Totally enjoyed your tipsy post .BTW i don't need to get tipsy to make spelling /grammar mistake ,i can do it anytime :)

  10. @Kavita: No Worry, my appointment with Jameson ended by 2100 hrs, P's train was at 0100 hrs. Irish or Scotch, they would vapourize by that time! :-)

    @Kunal: Thanks, but my sober pieces need not necessarily be as good as this one! ;-)

    @Melange: Spirits need not soar for every one under the spell of spirits. There are many, seemingly smooth operators who with a few drinks under the belt would show their real, violent nature.

    My school of drinking is based on moderation - sometimes it would be months long abstention - then an old friend or two might turn up, we sit and chat. Alcohol, the reasonably good kind, loosens up and relaxes one. Alcohol too is like a friend that one would like to meet occasionally. I do have a penchant for good Single Malts- magnanimously provided by some friends abroad- maybe one or two bottles a year - I am happy with that. And I go around like a preacher singing the glory of Single Malts - and Irish - and Bourbon - and - !!! :-D

  11. Balan,

    Awesome! Prepare yourself for more joys to come by your way :)

  12. Noe thats one of the best whisky's I have ever tasted.

    Nowadays a must at a lot of indian wedding gone are the days of the black labels etc, this one has changed the scene :)

    Cheers sir, and I get mentioned Wow, You get a visa and drop by sir, We will make another bike ride on the lovely bullettttt All the way upto scotland.. and offcourse with Jamesons in the Pack..

    hope you had a great night , one great thing about jameson is no headache in morning ...

  13. ha ha ha!!!! masterly! your gradual slide up the weightless floating terrains is closely monitored and narrated in this piece. you can't write such a piece except in the real time--writing with the experience, contrary to wordsworth's theory.

    did you pick up P from veli railway station?

  14. I need to visit you. Ny home town is Thrissur. Presently I am at Bhopal and would come home after I get my cataract removed.


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