Monday, August 12, 2013

2nd anniversary of the Friends and Single Malt Club. Foiled kidnaps, Balvenie and more...

  Tulleeho's Vikram Achanta hears about a kidnap, which has gone wrong as he attends the 2nd anniversary of the Friends and Single Malt Club. 

When you receive an invite to the 2nd Anniversary of the Friends and Single Malt dinner, which better still, is at the Trident, Gurgaon and is sponsored by The Balvenie, you don't think twice. Better still, a car is provided, which is much needed after a long Gin soaked afternoon on which copious numbers of Jamuntinis were made and savored, necessitating an urgent replenishment in my gin stocks.

I know not a soul when I walk in, except for Pramod Krishna the founder of the Club, who's in a corner with a few people. I wait for an opportune moment and wish him a belated Happy Birthday (it was the previous day). It strikes me now, that the anniversary date of the club may be synced with Pramod's birthday. 

 Abhishek Parameswaran and Anand Virmani of William Grant and Sons, flanking Pramod Krishna

I console myself with a Whisky Sour made with William Grant's, which I soon abandon for a glass of the Balvenie 12yo Doublewood, which the waiter fills nearly to the brim with water, completely destroying the taste of the liquid and necessitating the addition of more whisky, something I was trying to avoid. I lament for the Indian hospitality industry, that they pay so little attention to the training of their staff.

We're soon seated for dinner and I sit at the first table where there appears to be a vacant seat, and interesting company I have. The highlight of the evening, was the presence at the table of an Orthopaedic surgeon who had been kidnapped the previous Friday. Son of a prominent UP criminal lawyer, he said he had spent his days as a child hobnobbing with the dacoits, and dealing with these kidnappers was child's play for him.

The good kidnap in India is a supply chain to study. He had been kidnapped by the first link in the chain, which was now negotiating with the next link to agree at a sales price. In the interim, they made him sign some cheques. "They didn't realise", he triumphantly said, "that I have two signatures, one for the bank and the other for my patients." "I used the latter one, which they verified by seeing the files they had also kidnapped" and settled back to the phones. There was a lot of toing and froing going on, no doubt with an influx of people who wanted to see the new kidnapee. Including the neighbouring women and children (now I exaggerate).

In the interim, he spotted his car keys nearby, and took the briefest of opportunities to slip out, reach his car, dismantle his gear lock and speed off to freedom, leaving behind a bunch of kidnappers with bum cheques. I wonder if they might sue him now for cheque bouncing? Stranger things have happened in India.

We settle back to enjoy the Balvenie, which is served up as a tasting before the dinner begins. We taste the first bottle of the Balvenie 12yo Triple Cask to be opened in India, which is a travel retail exclusive as well as a Balvenie17yo Peated Cask. All wonderful whiskies, and which go down smooth as a bell. Would you rather have S&M (Single Malt) elbow or Whisky Wrist we joke as the evening draws to an end. Long may the friends of Single Malt Club live.


Vikram Achanta

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool story bro! Many happy returns of the day!

-Der Schrifiröfer

11:53 PM  

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