Post number: 200
This is a true story that happened in the life of our author.
The author's first drinking experience.

October 13th 1999. My first year in college and my first tryst with alcohol happened hand in hand.

I, being a young guy of 17 years found it real hard to cope up with the ways of the world as it was my first experience staying away from my folks. I joined the hostel and ended up sharing a room with two other guys, Andrew and Stephen.

It was first time staying away from home experience for them too. Alcohol and tobacco were a big taboo for all three of us then. As we stayed in the same hostel with our college seniors, we had to undergo different rounds of romantic-ragging activities.

We came to know that the seniors were planning to rag me and my roommates that weekend. We also found out from sources that they were planning to make us get drunk. Stephen was little bit worried when he heard about the plot laid by the seniors.

Andrew was almost in tears. I was literally peeing in my pants too. But I took up the role of an agony aunt and tried to soothe things a little bit.

Me: Hey guys. Why so gloomy?
Stephen: I am scared about the ragging thingie
Andrew: Oh yea. Last night they made our batch mate Paul to run around the hostel naked.
Me: Yes I saw that awful sight too. Poor Paul. But he ran like a true champion
Andrew: The seniors took a video of that and they might show it to the college babes
Stephen: That is unfair. We have to complain and protest against them
Andrew: Don’t you do that. This is just their way of breaking the ice. Do you know that Paul is their best mate now?
Me: Is it? So if we do what ever they ask us to do, we will also become our seniors’ friends?
Andrew: Yes that is true
Stephen: But for us, they are planning to get us drunk. I have never tasted alcohol in my life
Me: I haven’t tasted it too
Andrew: I have tasted it once. But it tasted like Mike Tyson’s urine.
Stephen: Oh no. I am not gonna taste it at all.
Me: In that case, they will break the bottle on our naked bums. That will be painful
Stephen: I will drink then. But what if we get drunk? They will make fun of us
Andrew: If we practice drinking, we would not get drunk.
Me: But we do not have much time to practice. Today is Thursday and they are planning to get us drunk on Saturday.
Stephen: I can practice as many times as possible. I do not want to become a joker in the pack
Andrew: Ok then. We will go out to a pub and practice drinking tonight
Me: I am game
Stephen: I am also in.

So, we three made a pledge that we would face the music and walk with our heads held high in front of our seniors. In order to attain the respect, we wanted to perfect the art of drinking and hence we marched towards the local pub.

I did my college in Pondicherry. Pondicherry was known for its liquor. It was very easy to find a pub. It was around 7 pm. It was dark inside the pub. We took a table in the corner of the pub and looked at each other. The bearer came to us and asked for the order. We blinked at each other and suddenly Andrew blurted out,” can we have the menu?” He saved us from embarrassment.

The bearer came back with a menu card. We went through the whole list. Still we did not understand a thing. Finally we decided to go for a beer. As it was our first time we decided to share our beer. When we placed the order, the bearer gave us a sheepish smile and left.

We waited for five minutes. Three mugs were placed in front of us. The beer bottle also came.650 ml in all. Just to show that we are not amateurs in the art of drinking, we ordered some side dishes also. Just when we were about to drink, Stephen had something to say

Stephen: Hey I have seen an uncle of mine, mixing his drink with soda
Me: Is it?
Andrew: Then we should mix our drink with soda too

Immediately we called the bearer and asked him to bring three bottles of soda. He controlled his laughter and went away. He came back with the soda and placed it on the table and asked, “Hey guys! Is this your first time”. We were not the ones to easily accept defeat. We told, we always drink like this.

We filled one third of our mug with the beer and filled the remaining mug with soda. We all stood up and made a toast for our friendship and took our first gulp. Oh yes! It tasted like a wrestlers’ urine. We all finished our first mug with ease. We checked with each other and found that we were not drunk and we were rock solid.

We poured our next 1/3 portion of beer in the mug and ordered for another three bottles of soda. Finally it took three rounds for us to complete one bottle of the beer. I felt slightly dizzy. But still I controlled my mind and we were so happy that we were not drunk after so much of heavy drinking.

We knew that we were ready to take our seniors head on…

-To be concluded.