My veins pump out half Newar blood. And yet, I'm beyond disconnected from my half culture for reasons I have not pondered upon much. So when I approached a friend to ask her to write an article about aila from the perspective of someone who has never had it before (which she had, by the way.), I was taken aback when she pointed out that between the two of us, it was probably me who had never had it. She was right.
So, there I was with a small glass of aila in front of me; my parents sitting beside me, excited to see me take my first sip. The aila itself wasn't authentic; raisins and cinnamon sticks were left to soak and give it a warm brown color. They didn't think I could handle the original drink, since I'm not much of a drinker to begin with. I trusted their assumption.
The first sip was electrifying. It was sharp and spicy; I wasn't a big fan of the taste.What I did enjoy was the feeling of warmth going through each of my organs until it settled in the pit of my stomach, and the heat spreading all over my body. I was starting to see why people drank this. What was most interesting to me was, a while after I downed the glass, I felt like I was in mellow cocoon of haze; I just wanted to sleep.
I wish my tastes were mature enough that I could enjoy aila more. But until my tastes get refined, I'm grateful to have experienced what I was missing out on, grateful that I've been brought closer to my origins.