Jimmy G’s Pub
Category : Travel
We could spot nothing to the right or the left of the brightly painted log cabin. It appeared to have sprung up out of nowhere, precisely at the moment we wanted to take a break from the excruciatingly long car drive through the exquisite Irish countryside.
The inside was even more quaint, straight out from a Jonathan Swift setting — a juke box, a dart board, dusty framed pictures; a harp propped (probably never strummed), a trumpet, all vying for space with other knick-knacks — tins, cans, bottle openers, coins that went out of circulation aeons ago — all adding to the happy clutter and the pastoral warmth of the place.
“Welcome, ladies, anything I can do?” a voice boomed in the deep Irish accent. It was warm as it is clear. A tall man emerged from the anteroom. Ducking his head to avoid colliding against the low railing of the door, he appeared to be in his late seventies.
“Can we…er.. have some..Tea?” someone from our journo’s team inquired. “Tea?” he snorted. “Not care for anything stronger?” he teased. “No Sir, tea should be fine,” said my colleague and he grunted, “O.K, I will try. Can’t promise, it will be good though.” And with that he was gone into the rear room again.
Moments later, he re-emerged; balancing a tray, bearing three steaming cups of a sweet, weak concoction that he claimed was tea. “What nationality are you?” he slowly began, peering at us with a slightly bemused, quizzical expression a child who has just spotted a new species in a zoo.
“Indians,” we replied in chorus.
“Hmm. I have a daughter…my eldest…in Bahrain, married to a Moslem. But that won’t be anywhere close to India, is it?” he said, “These days, youngsters marry for lave, you see,” the drag on the word making no bones of his plain disdain for the phenomenon.
With the ice between us broken with a sip of the warm brew, the old man rambled on. “My son-in-law is a Moslem, but the Lord be thanked for his smoking and drinking,” he chuckled.
“…Wife died four years ago,” eyes darting to take in the expanse of the pub before apologizing for the mess around. “One when I’d begun to acutely miss my daughter, I traveled all the way to Bahrain to meet her family and guess what? I began to feel homesick! I was meant to stay for two months but quickly returned in ten. There is no one to run this place in my absence. Then the folks also begin to write. You may have gone for a small while, but when they don’t see your car parked outside, they begin to crib, “What is it Jimmy? You never open up?” he mimicked.
Then all of a sudden, he switched gears and said, I must say, you folks speak very good English.” “Yours is not too bad either,” jibed a colleague. We laughed.
Soon it was time to leave.
“How much would that be?” I volunteered.
“Nothing,” he said, with a dismissive wave of his hand. “I’ve never had Indians as guests before. Glad to have met three beautiful, ladies today,” he chuckled.
We came out feeling charmed with the memories of an old Irish man.