The first time I had a single malt, I decided that it was better than an orgasm. Though at that time I didn’t know what an orgasm was. I was 21 and the branch head of my company had called me home. It was my first job and I was one those eager beaver corporate slaves, willing to kill myself to get the next promotion. The branch manger recognised quality cheap labour when he saw it. Luckily, he also recognised good whisky.

It was a Glenfiddich and I remember with my first sip I thought it tasted better than ada pradhaman or chakkavarati or even the Prasad laddus from tirupathi. All for some reason great favourites at that time.

I remember that since the second sip, I let the liquid stay on my tongue, bits of it slipping under , creating a little stagnant pool of happiness. I thought or I think I would like to have thought that it felt like a dog who had his ears scratched with a forceful, digging finger at an exact itch point.

It was the first time I was away from home and loneliness had engulfed me along with the self pity of trying to survive on 1500 bucks a month. Existentialism, when practised was hard work and idealism was losing its way. That single malt washed away a lot of the negativity that had built up, unsuspectingly.

It made me believe in art, literature and in some moments I even felt grateful to be a human. Of course, I may be plain neurotic to have got so much from that one evening, where the hero was the bottle.

Over the years, a single malt has never failed me. It brings along with it the tingle of ice cubes, the palm cupped heaviness of a crystal glass and liquid that oils my soul into contentment. No matter how bad life gets, I always know, that at least, there is single malt, somewhere waiting for me.


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v.k. arathi menon. wordsmith. traveller. single malt lover. book devourer. humour seeker. sometimes humble pie eater. tweets @unopenedbottle. columnist livemint.com http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/PWaDWsGY25TAwzU3R92ZRK/DANCING-DIVORCEE-The-beginning-of-the-end.html

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