The Utterly Unassuming Unguent for Our Well-Being: Alcohol! #AtoZChallenge

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With letter ‘U’, we enter the phase of the ‘tough 6’- the hardest posts to write through the entire A to Z Challenge. The task is daunting but after completing 20 posts, I’m happy that I’m at the home stretch!

Another thing that lifts my spirits (no pun intended) after a tough day of lockdown life, is alcohol. Oops, please forgive me- I said the ‘A-word’!

Over the last six months, I’ve learnt that certain bloggers refuse to read or associate with any blog post that promotes the consumption of alcohol. Hence, I usually avoid mentioning this universal palliative on my blog, but today I’m dedicating an entire post to its uplifting powers.

When social distancing and the ensuing lockdown began in March, there was no mention of alcohol being banned. Some stores that sold essential items like groceries, also held a license to sell alcohol and they continued to sell it.

Most people who enjoy a tipple every now and then, stocked up on a few bottles of things that were easily available, such as beer and wine. However, no one imagined that even this paltry sale of alcohol would be completely stopped with the extension of lockdown.

As per the latest circular by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the sale of liquor and tobacco, is completely banned nationwide till further notice. The circular gives no reason for this irrational ban- it certainly doesn’t explain how alcohol helps in the spread of coronavirus! This blanket ban is quite worrying, as it will invariably raise suicide levels of people who usually drown their sorrows in drink.

5 Ways to Deal with the Unpopular Ban on Sale of Alcohol

The Prohibition era in USA in the 1920s led to the rise of alcohol being sold inadvertently through criminal mafia and hidden speakeasy bars, because alcohol consumption won’t stop simply at the behest of government. Similarly, Indians have found creative ways to deal with the sudden unavailability of alcohol.


A raging bootleg (unauthorised sale of alcohol) business is underway during lockdown. The authorities recently caught on to this illegal sale, and seized more than 8000 bottles of alcohol. Yesterday, an ambulance was intercepted by the police, not for coronavirus, but for containing unauthorised alcohol being smuggled to paying customers!!


Kerala has been a frontrunner at fighting the coronavirus in India. The measures adopted here were smarter and more effective than those adopted at a national level. Their quarantine time for positive Covid-19 cases was longer, and testing more rigorous. The fact that their populace is the most educated in the country probably helped, as people actively cooperated with the government.

Till fairly recently, the Kerala government allowed the sale of liquor as an ‘essential item’ through its state-licensed shops. The CM declared this an important ‘social measure’ to ensure people cooperated and remained happy through these tough times. He was probably right because photos of citizens following norms of social distancing and civilised behaviour while purchasing alcohol, went viral.

The top guns put a stop to this, and alcohol is no longer being sold over the counter in Kerala either.


A couple of days ago, I received a request from a dear friend asking if she could borrow some alcohol since her wedding anniversary was coming up, and she wanted to make it special. Fortunately, I had some to spare and I passed it on to her. She arranged for someone to pick it up from the gate of my colony, since people aren’t allowed inside without requisite permission. An awful lot of work for a drink, no?!

But I’ve heard of similar cases doing the rounds- beers being shared through remote controlled cars between different houses in the neighbourhood, or being sent over as a goodwill gesture. I don’t think the situation has arrived at stealing yet, but that might be next?!


Some people generally maintain a well-stocked bar, and may not have completely run out of alcohol as yet. However, they may be low on their preferred type of drink. The lack of options forces them to be creative with their choices. There are apps that suggest cocktail recipes based on the readily available ingredients at home. A friend of mine is down to the last precious bottle of single malt which has a vintage of 21 years, but she has decided to take this untimely plunge. Another friend has made the switch from vodka to wine for lack of options. If nothing else, this is the time to open that bottle of port wine you bought as a souvenir from Goa five years ago!


People who have absolutely no access to alcohol, are now resorting to jokes and videos to express their emotions. Last week I saw a video where someone wrote shayari addressed to our PM, requesting him not to run the country as per the wishes of Punjabi mothers who are against alcohol consumption! The latest joke is about a guy trying to figure out how to remove the alcohol from hand sanitisers!

So, if you find yourself in this spot, let the frustration out through a creative outlet of your choice 🙂

Fortunately, I have alcohol at home which I drink in small amounts on weekends. This ensures the stash lasts longer, and has me looking forward to the weekend as I would in pre-lockdown days.

So, here’s my tip to beat the lockdown blues today:

If you have alcohol at home and enjoy drinking, raise a toast to this wonderful unguent for the soul.

If you don’t drink or don’t have access to alcohol at the moment, then use a non-alcoholic drink and raise a toast to life and all its joys instead.

Here’s a TV show I think you’ll enjoy watching:

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix is a hilarious take on a small-town girl adjusting to the big city, with a huge twist. Kimmy was kidnapped as a 15-year-old and forced to live in a bunker with three other kidnappees for 15 years. After finally being rescued, she attempts a fresh start in New York City. This show raises important political and social questions while maintaining high levels of humour.

A book that I recommend with the letter ‘U’ is:

The Undoing Dance” by Srividya Natarajan is a beautifully written novel about traditional temple dancers i.e. Devadasis, in South India. The plight of these women is largely misrepresented through English texts, and this book sheds light on the other side of the story, through a Devadasi protagonist.

That’s all for today folks! I hope this talk of alcohol didn’t put you off. I promise tomorrow’s post will be on a tamer subject.

Please check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter U?

Uz redzēšanos till tomorrow! (farewell in Latvian)


This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up. Read my other posts here:



*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action. 


  1. Oh gosh, really? I didn’t know this was on the cards in the US. I do understand that this is a difficult time, but my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine probably every day to unwind and go with a meal. I think it’s healthy and normal? I can’t imagine having this imposed on people. It’s like rewinding a century in terms of state control..

    1. Don’t worry it’s definitely not on the cards for the US!!
      And yes, in some ways India’s government particularly enjoys rewinding back centuries instead of moving forward!!

  2. Bloggers refuse to read blogs that are associated with alcohol? Who are these people!? Aren’t we the kind of people who believe in Freedom of Speech! 🙂
    And while I was reading this post, my husband received a message from our friend asking for extra stock! What a coincidence!!

  3. Haha. I love this post. My husband always ensures there is a good amount of alcohol in the house and now he is getting a little worried about the stock of red wines. 😂 Cheers!! and I hope alcohol is available after 3rd. It is a big part of the state govt’s revenue after all

  4. I don’t drink alcohol. But I wont mind having some yummy cocktails. I usually have strawberry and other berries crush my freezer which I come very handy whenever I am in a mood to enjoy some freshly made mocktails.

  5. Loved this if only because I miss my weekly tipple. Kerala wanted to let the sale of alcohol continue (the state’s economy is largely dependent on that!) but the Centre put a seal on it altogether, very irrationally even as you’ve pointed out.

  6. Aaah! This is one refreshing read in these gloomy times. Yes people who like need alcohol are really getting creative. Untill alcohol was banned nationally, I had a bunch of friends who were almost planning to begin a delivery service. I don’t know whether to be happy or thankful about the later developments 😉

  7. It hardly matter to a teetotaler. But I do feel that for addicts, it could be a chance for rejuvenation and maybe even rehabilitation. This might look a little negative, but I don’t mean any disrespect to people who drink. I do have a friend in the same situation who would drink everyday before the lockdown, but since the lockdown, his stash has hardly saved him for a few days and now slowly he is recovering from his addiction and wants to quit it completely.
    Nice suggestions Noor,Ill share this with him. Thank you 🙂

  8. Haha, people always find their ways. Good for you that you have some stock at your home. I don’t drink, so I cannot really relate to this feeling of loss. But for the sake of the ones who do, I hope the access to alcohol is restored pretty soon. 😀

  9. I am still laughing as I type this post. I don’t enjoy alcohol but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a post dedicated to alcohol. Cheers to a morw hopeful and happier alcohol laden future.

  10. Haha, this is funny and so true. For Alcohol lovers it is a distress. Thankfully in UK and USA alcohol is still available in the aisles of grocery stores. I hope that here in our country, it is soon accessible to people who are facing the loss. 😊

  11. The title of the post got me a chuckle. Thats a fantastic definition of the spirit, I have ever heard. Till reading this post, I was quite unaware of this problem that is challenging many. I believe where there is a will there is a way. All those deprived souls will find your post inspiring to do some “jugad” for restoring their supply!
    -Its U for Unusual Request at

  12. I dont drink but i hear you Noor..i am missing my golguppa fix as much.As a features coumn writer I once wrote a column on which wines go with which Indian food and the editor refused to carry it..The Hindu imagine

  13. Loved reading this post. I don’t drink, but I can totally understand the problems. Let’s just hope things return to normalcy soon.

  14. The rationale behind alcohol ban doesn’t get to me. Is there even one?? As you rightly pointed out it can lead to depression or suicide. But mental health is hardly a worry in our country.
    Thank you for the book recommendation. Id like to check out.

  15. Wonderful post again 😉✨ Alcohol is I don’t know what to say when people behave so irresponsibly for a little bottle of water and alcohol 🙄 I don’t appreciate drinking, I wish a lifetime ban on that, I know that’s a wish Will stay a Wish. I’ll keep trying 😜. Have a beautiful day ✨💐🤗

    1. No! You can’t say that on my page! It’s offensive to me! Hahaha on a serious note- there’s nothing wrong with alcohol as long as it is had in moderation. Thank you for stopping by.

      1. This post is not meant for people who can’t control it- only for people like me who drink for pleasure and not sustenance. There is a huge difference between the two, which perhaps teetotallers like you don’t consider 😊For you we are all bad!
        Anyway, no point in this discussion. If ever you do start drinking we’ll talk about it then!

      2. I’m can’t consider myself in that category 😜 I use to drink when I was studying and it’s for fun. But I lost interest in that before marriage 😉 I’m not saying people that drink are bad. I only suggest if there is a control on it, everyone will live peacefully 🤗 That’s actually good talking about this 😉 Glad to read others opinions 😍

  16. Yet another lovely post, If it gives pleasure or just few moments of happiness I don’t mind it. Glad you shared bit of happiness to your freind so she will always remember celebrating a quiet anniversary in each others company. So a toast for happiness, positivity and prayers for a heathier world.
    Ujjwal is a great blogger I’m enjoying her dream stories this A2Z.

  17. Hahahaa…Good post…great topic…lovely to see you posting a gut wrenching post on such an emotional topic for many. 😀 😀 😀

    You are almost here…keep the amazing work going.

  18. What a coincidence!! I was thinking of the book, I couldn’t remember the name of it. I saw the name and the subject some days ago on Twitter, but really couldn’t remember the name now. Thanks to you, Noor you told it. I would like to recommend you another book, Sita’s Sister by Kavita Kane. It’s about Urmila and her anguish. And I really loved the farewell word by U. I learned a new word today! It’s awesome. Thanks dear.

  19. I raise toast to good times…that are hopefully just round the corner…and today only a friend called..he said desi bhi chalegi boss 😉

  20. Hahaha… What a refreshing post Noor! I think everyone has the right to talk and express about whatever they want.I think let’s all raise a toast to the good times ahead !

  21. Ha ha..I think you had suggested some really creative ways to deal with this situation. as I do not drink alcohol, I can not understand this emotion completely but I had a great fun time while reading this post. yes..ujjwal is one of awesome blogger and I really liked her recent series.

  22. Lol! Alcohol from hand sanitizers. Desperate times call for desperate measures, isn’t it? I don’t drink alcohol so I can’t understand the extend of this problem. But I sure enjoyed this post about how far people will go for a drink. 🙂

  23. I have to share this post to all my wine lover friends and my all maternal uncles in India, may be they get some strength after reading your post Haha 🙂 I am not alcohol lover Noor, but certainly your write ups lover, it always stretches my thoughts to empathasize other ways. your friend’s queries and efforts for Alcohol made me smile whole day.

  24. I am so glad and humbled by your gesture of mentioning me as a blogger to visit. Thanks.

    This blog is hilarious. My husband has also received a couple of calls to check if he has some stock. Ha ha ha but we don’t.
    Transporting beer cans on remote-controlled car is amazing creativity.

  25. I am not a regular drinker but sharing a sundowner with my daughter and mother-in-aw did help us in the initial stages of lockdown. And when the bottles of wine got over, we moved on to gin. And when that got over we finished the vodka. Alas we’re down to the single malts but that is a bit too warm to drink even with a cube of ice.

  26. I can so relate Noor because though I have complete given up wine due to health issues, my husband is missing it so much here in the dry state

  27. Unguent is so uniquely used! And, must say quite a unique post. I guess I should think more like what if tea is under blanket ban, what would I do.

  28. A good one, Noor. I don’t drink but friends and family do, and I can understand the pain. What I do not understand is the shaming. Seriously?!

    1. Hahaha if you read some of the comments, you’ll see some underlying shaming here too… it’s ok, people love to judge anything on the other side 🤷‍♀️

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