Subject: Fwd: Criteria for choosing a Son-in-Law in Goa!
-*Choosing a Goan son-in-law An update on folk knowledge regarding alcohol
*By Cecil Pinto
Olga Aunty dropped by again today with her daughter. For the past four years she has been searching for a suitable boy for Succorine. Every few months Olga Aunty will meet me to relate her woes - invariably the same. The right match would be found but then, at the last minute, they would find some seemingly insurmountable flaw in the boy. "But he wears earrings", "But he can't take his wife abroad", "I heard he took drugs before", "He was friendly with a married woman when he was in college"... Wonder what it is this time?
"But he drinks!"
"Perpet Mana told me that every weekend he goes to the Club and has a few drinks."
"So what of it, Aunty. It's not like he's a raving alcoholic?"
"Ok! What does he drink?"
"How should I know?"
"Tell Perpet Mana to find out."
"Arre! What does it matter? Drinking is drinking!"
"No Aunty, everything depends on what he drinks, and how."
"Maybe he drinks rum."
"White or dark rum? If he drinks white rum of any sort then he is blissfully ignorant. But if he can differentiate between Old Monk from Tilamol and Lucknow Distilleries then he has a fine palate and a refined temperament. And if he knows about the 12 year variety and prefers it to the squat bottle then he is truly enlightened."
"What about vodka?"
"Nominally worse than white rum. Most IMFLs suck but…"
"Aree baba, what's IMFL?"
"Indian Made Foreign Liquor. Anyone enjoying the locally bottled vodka is plain stupid and probably just wants to conceal his drinking, as vodka kicks but doesn't smell. Do you want a devious liar in your family? Today he hides his drinking, tomorrow…"
"Ok baba. I get the point. Is beer acceptable?"
"Beer's ok, but what brand and what size? Is he a wastrel wannabe-yuppie who drinks from cans, which are also bad for the environment, just to impress others? Does he try to show off by drinking expensive foreign brand names. Can he, in a blind test, differentiate between a lager, and an ale? Does he insist on draught beer without knowing the difference? Does he pronounce it `drot' instead of `draft'? Or is he one of those pathetic sods who drinks a particular brand hoping to win the Rs. 50,000/- prize under the cork, and get his photo in the papers? Do you want a gambler in your family?"
"Naka re baba! Everyone drinks whiskey no?"
"Whisky has done more harm to our Goan drinking culture than mineral water! I know bars in Panjim that stock a dozen varieties of whisky but no Caju Feni. I have attended weddings where there was whisky but no Caju Feni. Are we in Goa or frigging Scotland? Anyway Aunty, if the young man is having whisky tell Perpet Mana to find out what brand. Good imported premium brands show that he is a well bred man. If he drinks anything known by its initials, like AC, OC, IB, DSP, DySP... then he's a loser who just likes the golden colour and the elegant sounding names and packaging. But if he drinks a single malt then he has refined sensibilities. "
"I think Perpet Mana mentioned Solan something"
"Solan No. 1, Bagpiper, Arlem beer... these are genuine signs that this guy is in his mid-fifties and is too old for your Succorine. He probably also rides a Yezdi motorcyle and smokes Four Square cigarettes. Stuck in the early nineteen eighties, that's what these guys are."
"Why would anyone drink brandy regularly. You only drink brandy when you have a cold. And if he's drinking any variety of Doctor's brandy then his stomach is probably corroded already and he won't last long."
"I thought too much wine was bad for the stomach."
"Too much of anything is bad. But speaking of wine I doubt a Goan man of marriageable age would be drinking wine. It's ok as a starter to more serious alcohol but not as the main course. He must be a foreigner or a non-Goan trying to imitate foreigners. They drink only wine and then blame the restaurant food when their stomach gets upset. If he is drinking wine find out what wine. A simple thumb rule is price. Anything below Rs. 150/- a bottle is not made from grapes but from raisin extracts mixed with alcohol. They go by fanciful names like Port and numbers like No. 7 and No. 10 and are more suitable for use as vinegar while cooking rather than for drinking. Either he's illiterate or effeminate. "
"What if he drinks gin?"
"Gin? Did you say gin! Avoid him like the plague. Or even if he has those sweet pre-mixed drinks like Bacdardi Breezer. He's gay. Definitely gay. And if he's not gay the gin will make him impotent soon enough. Don't you want grandchildren Aunty?"
"Of course I want grandchildren! What if he drinks local stuff?"
"What you mean local stuff?"
"You know Caju Feni, Palm Feni, Urrack..."
"Aha! Now Aunty you have reached the domain of the cultured connoisseur. There are many factors at play here. You see Aunty here in North Goa anyone who regularly drinks Palm Feni or Urrack has to be a broke guy. Urrack is only drunk during Urrack season, and Palm Feni should only be purchased and consumed in South Goa. Caju Feni on the other hand is an excellent pointer to a person's good character. But does he drink just any Caju? Does he sniff the bottle before pouring a drink? Does he enquire about the vintage, village and the still it came from? Does he accept branded Feni? Which brands? Will he travel a few kilometers out of his way just to frequent an establishment that stocks good Caju Feni? You see this year's stuff from Anton in Siolim is not the same as last year's from Digamber in Sanvordem? Does he have it with soda or with water. Cold water or normal room temperature water? Ice? A dash of fresh lime? There are so many factors to be considered when choosing a son-in-law. You have to very careful in these matters, Aunty."
"I will ask Perpet Mana to find out more and get back to you."
Well to begin with, it started off being a wanderer. Originally an artist, wanting to do things in a scientific way. Normal to any growing up age, adventure, challenges, competition, decorated dresses, also couldn’t miss my attention. But as they say, forces lost the opportunity of my charm. Public schooling had already set in me the love for science, history & fabrics. Which are poles apart. Science took me to drug delivery systems and its pharmacokinestatics. But the friends & environment forced me towards business. I’ve been through many accidents, one of which landed me into education technologist job. Reason for being a child researcher. I’ve spent most of my service life working in that strange space where passion was never my profession. I’m passionate about the things that interest me like, what is the strength of an ant, why butterflies have different shades and colors, who am I, why somebody likes.......and plethora of other questions, which need my attention. I read voraciously and collect books as well, but only in specific genres. I’m passionate about my profession(s), both planned and accidental, Which is partly why I’m chairman of “The School Of Everything.”