When You Tell Your Brigade Commander to have Dinner & You will come Later after having your Quota of Drinks

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Three officers who had served together in the paltan sat together talking of old times,which are the best times to talk about.

The topic started when Bobby sir was telling about meeting his prospective bride for the first time.Maam sat listening.He had a thick and broad leather belt tied around his back to keep his vertebrae supported.He has been living with a broken back for years now back now but that is another story.Future Mrs Bobby sat smiling on a chair right in front of us.Bobby sir said,

"When I went to see her at her home,she asked me,do you drink."

"Yes ,I am a fauji and I drink every day."(Daroo to me peete hai aur har roz peete hai.)He answered in  his Malyali accented Hindi.

How much,she asked,

"I drink eight large of old monk everyday and I don't believe in God-Shod and religion and I will die by the age of forty."

 The drink spilled out of my mouth.I had heard of many match making pitches but this was the next level.Mrs Bobby who is a fervid church goer said,

"All the boys I had seen said only nice things about themselves.He was the first person who said things honestly and openly about himself.I started  praying for his soul and I said yes to marrying him."

We were sitting in General Singh's drawing room.He has been following a diet and exercise plan successfully for over a year now and looks very fit.He also has an injured back problem that he has been keeping in check with yoga.And no they don't have fat disability bonus coming every month in their pension because in the paltan there was no culture of reporting sick.I had been nursing my glass of whisky for over an hour,he said,

"Ashok if you don't like the drink you can go and throw it in the sink."

I made apologetic noises about the high  honour I feel for single malt whisky and took a couple of quick sips .Then he said,

"Eight large used to be normal.I remember in Palampur I had just cleared my staff college exam and come in competitive vacancy.The God feeling was not long in coming.

There was some brigade dinner in which all officers and commander had been invited.The evening wore on and  food was laid and I was standing with a drink in my hands and the commander passed me and said,

"Come Singh let's go and have dinner."

I looked at my glass and waved him on saying,

"Sir, (aap chalo humm aate hain) you go and have dinner. I will come later."The commander thought  that I was slightly high,said nothing more and quietly went to the dining hall."

Next day I was called by the commander to his office,

"What was it you meant yesterday,you were drunk."

"No sir I was not drunk , I had just started my drinks."

"No but you were high."

"No sir I had just started having a drink."

"What's your normal quota Singh?"

"Sir ,eight large is normal,sometimes I have ten large also."

The brigade commander looked at me with owl like eyes and mouth open.

"Hain,eight large."

"Yes sir ,even during my staff college preparation,I used to have atleast two smalls every day.I am too rational by nature and only a couple of drinks make me feel like a human being."

"Okay you may go." 

When I came back I realised he would seal my career for sure,he was the brigade commander,"ACR me ragadd dega.".A few days later there was an inter battalion basketball and you know how Gorkhas play basketball.So it was Aziz and me,the two officers alone and we won the basket ball tournament. Next day ,the commander who had seen the match called me to his office,

I went in fearing that he still carried the grudge from the dinner. But he got up from his chair and shook my hands and congratulated me for playing excellent basketball. He had a  beautifully wrapped gift for me,

"This is for you,you brought your team out of the brink of defeat."

I opened the wrapping and it turned out tobe  a beautiful bottle of Peter Scot whisky.I thanked him.He said very pleasantly,

"But remember my dear Singh you shouldnt tell your brigade commander to go and have dinner and you will join afterwards after having  eight large."

Xxx Xxx

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