Us Indians have different drinking milestones than Westerners – while they get nervous about their first frat party, we get nervous about having our first sit-down drink with our parents. Here’s a low down of the horrors we’ve all gone through.
The first drink: If you come from a slightly progressive family, your parents are going to offer you your first drink on their own. It’ll be a full-blown affair where your father will ask you if you want a peg, you will be given some watered-down nonsense with a drop of whiskey and you’ll have to pretend like this is the first drink of your life. Little do they know, you’ve been drinking for years before this. And if you don’t happen to be so lucky, your first drink is going to happen with you pleading your mother for one sip of her drink and her sneaking it to you.
Having shots: If you’ve just started drinking with your parents, please, for the love of all things good, don’t ask for shots. From personal experience they will be horrified learning that you drink neat liquor and will ask you why you enjoy ‘burning your liver’. You don’t have to bring out your party self with them, just ask for a mojito or sangria instead.
The suspicious looks: When drinking with the mother and father, there are bound to be extremely suspicious glances shared between both of them. Either you’re drinking too quick or you’re not sufficiently grossed out by the liquor’s taste so your cover as a beginner drinker has been blown. What’s even worse is that they probably think one drink has gotten you drunk, so every joke you crack or anything you say will result in awkward silence and raised eyebrows.
Drinking with extended family: Your first drink with extended family comes from your cool aunts and uncles spiking your drink but after you start drinking with your parents, your family starts asking you out loud if you want a screwdriver. My suggestion – look at your parents for approval and don’t jump to just saying ‘hell yes’. They’re chill, they’ll let you do it, they just don’t want you to come off as unsanskaari in front of your rishtedaar.
Getting sloshed: Never in a million years have I ever heard of Indian parents laughing off their children getting drunk in front of them. But someday you will and amidst the Baghban-esque ‘humne yehi din dekhne ke liye bada kiya’, ‘no one will marry you if you drink like this’ and ‘mera beta bigad gaya hai’, you will have to apologise profusely. Don’t worry, they will hopefully forget it soon and you will learn your lesson of never, ever being even slightly tipsy in front of the mata-pita.