Smokes and Whiskey by Tejaswini Divya Naik
Smokes and Whiskey-- the titular combination is indeed a fine one! From social drinkers to the moderately frequent ones, all would agree that the two are almost inseparable. The duo is terrific when the heart is broken into unpolished fragments, body refuses to leave the comforter that is perhaps the only shield, and the brain unable to untangle the frightful thoughts that twist themselves into impenetrable knots. Most certainly, we are referring to a post break-up syndrome and so is Tejaswini Divya Naik, through the brilliance of words in her book. Consisting of 42 poems, ‘Smokes and Whiskey’, takes you through the journey comprising the most intriguing leaps and bounds that life has to offer. The verses are mostly about how each ‘leap’ turns out to be a lesson in itself, and ‘bound’ becomes the strategic expansion of the body’s ability to respond to the surrounding that suddenly seems to be dampened like a thin cloth drenched in rain water accumulated through a week.
As confessed by the author, her narration style is not unique. Yet, it sends out a message that is undermined and overlooked often. The distress gets submerged amidst the overload of stress that both the workplace and your family contribute to. When some much awaited ‘me-time’ finally arrives, it turns out to be the most unwanted guest that is inherently annoying-- instigating undesirable thoughts to occupy the top of your mind. You are reminded of being lonely, every time you get the chance to think. Rather, you do not want to think, and the once-cherished ‘me-time’ comes to be dreaded instead.
Now that’s weird, isn’t it? When all everyone clamours for is fifteen minutes of alone time, why is it suddenly appalling to you? With this thought, let us probe into what Tejaswini is urging her readers to do! She is asking you to accept the past as your own, rather than running away from it. The past is as much yours as the present. Actually, it is the past that has built what you proudly declare to be the ‘present’. The future does not appear out of nowhere, but out of your own journey which made you gather strength to fight the ‘low’, and eventually, transformed into a fortitude that you had otherwise not known you were capable of.
Talking about gathering the strength that was lying somewhere deep inside, you should not avoid such me-time but equip yourself with the tools to cope with it. You may find one in whiskey. If not the essential, but a companion in your solitude. Of course the idea is not to get lost into the alcohol, but reconcile with life again by giving it a fair chance. The ‘whiskey high’ helps to an extent.
The Perfect Mood Lifters: Our Recommendations
While we love expensive whiskies, they may be difficult to afford. Let’s just imagine for a second that it is the end of the month, and your pocket is not exactly loaded. The perfect alternative to an expensive scotch would then be Imperial Blue Whisky. Is it surprising? Well not so much! The alcohol is uniquely harsh and smooth at the same time. While you can gulp it down effortlessly owing to the smooth finish, the effect lasts for a while.
The best whiskies today, do not necessarily have to be from Scotland. India is doing extremely well. Some Indian whiskies have taken the market by a storm! One such is Amrut, which comes with the approval stamp from Jim Murray. While most Indian whiskies have been reviewed as waxy, the rare components and distilling techniques of Amrut have managed to shut down even the most discernible of critics. The barley is collected from the Himalayas, which quite explains its distinct taste. Producers follow the distilling techniques of traditional scotch. The outcome is pretty pure and smooth, to say the least.
When talking about the mood lifters, you cannot really miss the Chivas! The blended scotch whisky from the oldest Highland Distillery of Scotland becomes a matter of pride when found in your bar cabinet. Referred to as the scotch to celebrate success, Chivas Regal 12 Year Old is certainly a ‘happy drink’. Matured for over 12 years, the title of ‘the drink for grown-ups’, is ironically befitting. The blend is a combination of fruit, honey, and herbs; drink is totally worth of what you pay. The subtle spice that lingers for a while is the added captivating element. Chivas Regal Extra, the latest from Chivas, is known to have matured in Oloroso Sherry Casks, comprising a generous helping of the same. The outcome is then packed with a fabulous balance of rich chocolate, dark fruits, and honey. The finish consists of a cigar touch. It would be an understatement to call it a mood lifter. Rather the drink would perhaps let you forget the surroundings for a while. The unique compilation of rare components imparts an inexplicable elegance that you cannot gulp down without appreciating every bit of it.
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