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200 WHISKEY FARMERS

 

Jack Few

Maybe it was his cheeky, toothless grin, or the bottle of Mcdowell’s rum in his hand that blushed gold against the fading red sky.

“Whisky?”

I nodded, his long wiry eyebrows focused as he poured the honey-like liquid into a small paper cup.

I notice a spindly goat tied to a tree outside when Bibek yanks me inside a concrete shack where several old farmers mix steaming rice in copper cooking pots over a crackling fire. Hours pass.

The paunchiest man in a fur coat, woven hat, and crystal blue eyes thrusts an offering of what looks like scrunched up newspaper into my hand. It's blotchy and heavy. I open it to find the goat's heart, still warm and slowly twitching. Egged on by the farmers and wanting to rekindle Britain's waning adventurous reputation, I proudly tore into it, my vegetarianism lost in the intoxicating grip of whisky and new experiences.

The night plays out with gestural stories, ancient songs and lavish amounts of goat stew smothered in chili and pepper until tiredness consumes me and I fall into a deep sleep in the cramped corner, to the sound of the river coursing through the high slopes of northern India.