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   One of the pleasures of going to a Parsi wedding... (November 14, 1986)

One of the pleasures of going to a Parsi wedding is having the old Parsi aerated waters by “aapro Rogers and aapro Duke.”

First, you remove the napkin from the glass and spread it on your knees. Then you tell the man who comes with the forks and spoons that you don’t want them. Then a man comes and puts ice in your glass. Then the aerated waters start coming, a whole collection of them to select from.

My favourite is the raspberry. It has a bright cheerful red colour, lighter than Campari,more sparkling than red wines, and it actually tastes of raspberries. Unless they are very modern and watch TV advertisements. Then they ask for Thums up, which they don’t get at Parsi weddings. And when little children have raspberry, they have a red moustache round their upper-lip.

I also like pick-me-up, both for its name and the taste of the drink. I think the name is a forerunner of such other action names as Do It, Thums Up and, yes, Rimzim.

It is an orange, not as gaseous as gold Spot (the sing thing) or Campa Orange (I woder where that has disappeared), not as full-bodied as Tango. When Tango first came into the market, and I repeat-first, it was for my money the best Indian soft-drink ever made.

Women generally ask for pick-me-up at Parsi weddings. Unless they are very sophisticated or misinformed, then they ask for Limca, which is not served by caterers at Parsi Wedding. I often ask for ginger. My Parsi friends tell me it gives you both an apetite and acts as a digestive, both of which you require with a Parsi wedding dinner. The men generally have the ginger, often with something a little more alcoholic added to it.

Alcohol, of course, is now freely available at Parsi weddings, in large Parsi pegs, which are at least the finger-spans more generous than the Patiala pegs. During Mr. Morarji Desai’s prohibition, and more than anybody else the Parsis have never forgiven him that, also drinks were served, but quietly, in some little corner of Albless Baug.

But to come back to the soft-drinks. I am surprised that even Vimto is still available at Parsi weddings. It is a grape-flavoured drink, introduced some 40-50 years ago, with a publicity campaign as big as Appys. And it was very successful thought the company had closed down, until I found it again at a Parsi wedding.

There was also drink called Sosyo, though I doubt if it was ever served at Parsi weddings. It was probably not in that class. And the reason some people drank it was because they claimed I had an alcoholic kick in it. which automatically limited its existence to the prohibition era.

Now I am looking forward to the day when Parle’s can claim - Lima before a Parsi wedding, Limca after a Parsi wedding.

 
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