I just had to caption my blog after Bond's immortal words!
Growing up in a fauji environment parties were a regular feature. Socialising is an important part of and aspect of the defence fraternity.
Our bravehearts in uniform serve the nation selflessly and without a care for their personal safety. They put the country's glory first and their own lives are way down in the list of priorities. In difficult areas, inhospitable terrain and hostile situations they go all out to win against all odds. Nothing is impossible for them!
Since times immemorial, armed forces have enjoyed high respect. A certain kind of standard of living is associated with the uniformed men which has been maintained till date.
Even in the rigorous and dangerous Field postings, these bravehearts don't lose their optimism, energy and spirit. 'Work hard, party harder' is the unspoken, unwritten and unseen message here! That's why, just the way they go all out when they work, there's no holding back when they party!
The civvy street is curious about the life of the Forces and they feel its glamorous and entertaining because of the frequent socialising (read parties!) because that's all they see on the surface. They can never fathom the deep feelings of a soldier's heart which wants to make every living moment a celebration of life! Getting together with family and friends, seniors and juniors is what these 'parties' are about.
Being a fauji brat introduced us to social interactions and get togethers since birth. Although children aren't supposed to attend formal functions and parties, they are an integral part of informal gatherings. These early social interactions helped shape our personalities as confident, social and mature adults.
Formal parties held in the formal dining area mostly to welcome(dine in) or bid adieu( dine out) colleagues or to honour a guest, are attended by the officers only, mostly with their spouse, while arrangements are made for the children in a 'children's room' close by so that the parents could watch them. The Bar, the Ante Room( formal sitting area) and the Dining Room alongwith the Silver room( a dedicated area to display the precious trophies etc of the Unit/ Regiment) are totally out of bounds for children.
Informal parties, picnics, potluck etc were good occasions to let your hair down and meet others in a relaxed atmosphere. The live bands would belt out the party favourites and the food would be catered keeping the children and ladies in mind. There would be mocktails and cocktails according to the weather and time of the day. Children and ladies would be encouraged to take the mic and speak or sing. Games would be organised by the youngsters and everyone would participate.
I have very vivid memories of all the above.
Contrary to popular perception, despite being a fauji brat, I never even touched alcohol before I got married! I had seen from a very young age how Daddy, who was just a 'social drinker', would literally be one of the few sober ones left towards the end. So, I never felt any curiosity to even try 'drinking'!
Post marriage, especially during our Europe trip, I developed a taste for Wines. Dessert wines, fruit wines, floral wines.... I freaked out on the options they had in Europe! Back home, I generally stick to Red wine; Takin from Bhutan is my personal favourite! In fact Zumzim, a mild peach flavoured white wine from Bhutan is another gem! Himachal produces some affordable and flavourful fruit wines worth trying.
When it's cold, Brandy with hot water is a staple. I don't mind cocktails though I am not fond of hard drinks like Whiskey or Rum! I prefer 'sweet' drinks, so Beer is out too! Liqueurs are fine too, especially Sheridan, Malibu, Limocello, etc. Oh yes, I don't like Champagne😖!
Of course, hubby is a 'single malt' guy! However, I think he makes the best PinaColada (my favourite cocktail!). In fact, on returning from our Europe trip, he would try different cocktail and mocktail recipes and we both would tweak them to our taste and liking.
I'm no one to judge anyone who doesn't drink at all or who enjoys it a bit too much. I can only speak for myself. It's good to know one's ability to handle alcoholic drinks and make an effort not to overdo it. Let's enjoy our drinks without being wasted or being a nuisance.
And those who don't drink at all, if asked for your preference, never say ' Kuchh Nai'
Why? Because 👇🏽
Daddy used to say- I drink on only 2 occasions - when I'm happy and when I'm sad!
Here's to high spirits ( pun intended!)