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.
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!!
- THE KERALA MODEL:
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.
- BEG, BORROW, STEAL:
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?!
- GETTING CREATIVE:
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!
- EXPRESSING MISERY THROUGH JOKES AND VIDEOS:
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:
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