The Drunkard’s dozen, and one for the road;)

When I visit Kodagu, I not only make a choice to blissfully cut off myself from the gadget civilization, but the erratic Electricity Board practically forces it on me too. So I try to read the local news papers  in Kannada to brush up my language skills. Last visit, I was reading the paper and burst out laughing with tears rolling from the eyes. My husband was curious to learn the reason and I warned him, you are not going to like what I say… but he insisted!

I said have you heard of Drunkard’s dozen? You can use it in your next Bingo session… (actually I made up the word) and started laughing again because my mind went elsewhere, to Pakistan to be precise! He was looking at me with a sort of grin and irritation… then I narrated out the news item from the newspaper dabbed with little spice:

{May 28th 2017, – Virajpet} The way it seems, the Keralites are exceptionally Law abiding(***) citizens of India. The Cops seems to be either busy controlling the striking employees or chasing the drunken brawlers… If you take the Nagarahole road to Mysuru, after the check point of Thithimathi, you can often see many Kerala  registered cars from Mercedes to little Nano parked here and there even braving the elephant crossing. I joke with my husband, guess Mallu’s are scared of their abkari and cops more than the biggest mammal!

Lure of alcohol is more powerful than most, as long as the effect is on, one can be what they want to be… a Maharaja or a Celebrity or a Super being. Moreover alcohol is unbiased, has no religion, no gender or language discrimination, sings lullaby even to the beggar/pauper/criminal alike, teaches punctuality to the believer, and embraces everyone in the same manner including animals. Jokes aside, heard of fermented Marula fruit party of animals in Africa? The animals relentlessly keep coming back for more and more inspite of losing balance while walking. Fortunately (unfortunately for some) there is a limit to Man’s ability to drink and eat… and unlike Mr.FAT there is no storage facility for the alcohol either. The chemical cocktail that runs through every creature called addiction are often difficult to control and in Kerala there are one too many devoted to Ms Madire (alcohol). So what is the easiest path to romance or mate with her?

Simply get into a bus or car and depending where you live travel to Mahe or Karnataka. For example the boarder Taluk of Virajpet in Kodagu district of Karnataka and have a fill. Sadly one State’s restriction is another States boon. Ironically Mahe (aka Mayyazhi locally) surrounded by Kerala on three sides but governed by the union territory Puducherry (Pondicherry) with low taxes!

So during the last week of May 2017, one young genius in Lungi, the traditional attire, came up with a brilliant plan. He brought eleven quarter bottle (usually its flat bottles) and tied them to his sexy legs with white cotton rope, one with six and the other with five. Though seemed a dubious plan, it was the best he could do to avoid being caught by the custom officials at the check posts of Makutta and Perambadi. Perhaps he even would have gotten away fairly easily as the Lungi would cover the bottles and rope without any bulges. But like the famous phrase.. “One for the road”, made the plan famous and colourful.

That day KSRTC, – both the Kerala State government and Karnataka State government transport buses are called KSRTC – was running late.  Poor man in Lungi could not resist the call for the last drink like a snake to the charmer’s Pungi, got another quarter and chugged the shot fearing the arrival of the bus. Already high, as the Ms Madire subjugated, he could not even stand or walk. So under duress just sat on the ground, as the Lungi opened revealing his beautiful sexy legs along with the bottles. Rest is history… someone with the smart phone got smarter and clicked the picture and sent to the media.

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As I finished my narration, my husband burst out laughing but in between he said then what is the Drunkard’s dozen and Pakistani connection?

Well, sorry guys I have to admit its little nasty but that was the thought that came to me… I am not challenging the manhood but it’s just a funny episode in the mundane day to day life. I told him, it’s all about the importance or perception of manhood for certain category of people. I was wondering why only the odd eleven bottles and why not twelve? Then realized that in a drunken state, the man in Lungi must have mistaken or counted his organ as the twelfth bottle! It’s not different from a drunkard thinking he/she can drive in supersonic speed or consider themselves as superman/woman.

And as far the Pakistani connection goes, remember 4 – 5 years ago a suicide bombers’ devise would not detonate because he was wearing a metal shield around his genital area to carry it whole to heaven? Wow, amazingly he thought leaving it whole on Earth would reach Heaven without blemish too. Then there is the failed Christmas day unwashed-underwear bomb too…

My husband did not say anything so I thought it was OK to post it… But I am still wondering who is the smartest of the three? And which addiction is more powerful? Is wearing pant better than Lungi while smuggling?

*** Even though India is one sovereign entity, each State has its own independent rules and regulations within the state. Often it is stretched too thin and hard to comprehend. For decades I lived in a tax free country Kuwait, where there was restriction for very few items like drugs, alcohol, pork. Yet people try to smuggle it not only for quick bucks but also for personal indulgence. Always the modus operandi is exclusive; often mind blowing which could turns funny, nasty or stupid too. Like the drugs carrier mules sorry humans, swallowing plastic bags with drugs or kept in private parts, etc.. I often wondered how it is in a large country with limited restrictions or free movement between the states.

In Karnataka, alcohol sale is a big business… both as money spinner to state government as well as politicians/abkari/police department’s coffer filling golden goose, who are like the mosquitoes sucking out on decomposed mushrooms! Sadly as long as the last alcoholic is standing, demand and supply will continue and the trend will continue. Pathetically, as if the half crack-nasty, ego bound drivers are not bad enough, it is even sold on highways… However, the next door neighbour state Kerala has a different covenant even though they enjoy “Kallapam”, a alcohol based breakfast. Say no to “Kallu” and encourage drinking “Chaya”, the famed Kerala milk-tea,. According to Mr. Google uncle, the state owned Bevco (Kerala State Beverage Corp) has 338 shops, and Bevco will shut down 10% of them every year. Consumer fed, which has 46 shops, will also be closed. However, sale of alcohol will continue to be permitted in 5-star hotels, and there were fourteen 5-star hotels in the state as of August 2014. That means big wigs can still drink, in other words liquor is not really banned; only the location is restricted!!

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Bloomington Diary – Part 6 – Goodbye Bloomy

It’s almost time for me to leave Bloomy. A small little place I have come to love in a unique way. Everything about it is so different & everyone I met had been so pleasant to me (us both), I feel good about staying here jobless for 21 days so I could explore the place.  And I wonder if I have seen more flora & fauna of the place than the locals itself.

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have such an enriching experience in a small university town of USA in such a small number of days. No wonder civilization starts & dwells healthily in villages. Bloomington is a “Melting pot of Humanity” where the people are so humane & polite. I thank all the wonderful people I met from bus drivers to cabbies to sales women at the mall to people at the mall to people at the winery to ……the list goes on! God bless the people of Bloomington. Not just the locals even the other nationalities including Indian students I met were just great, as if the good vibe from the land just rubs off on any one that steps in. No wonder it is called Blooming – ton means flowering in loads…. positive vibes are like flowers maybe I should add an “s” with the “ing”.

Sometimes I used people around me as my study subject for humanity… in a curious way without meaning any harm to anyone. The little sweet Punjabi housemate of my daughter from Delhi was a sweetheart & I spent some time in a day just pulling her leg. The young Sindhi who was born in Pakistan & came to India as a teenager was so sweet & made me realize how her Pakistani childhood made her such a fine human being. She made the best alu parata I ever eaten & was so generous in giving the food to everyone… The tall young Gujju friend reminded me of my son who almost made me feel like twisting his ears…and it was so much fun to watch his face & action change when I told him artificial vanilla is a byproduct of petroleum…

End of it all I have hopes that there is still scope for humanity. Someone asked if I want to live in Bloomington for good… I said I have my own reasons for not living anywhere other than in India that too in Karnataka. But definitely it would be my second… And also I don’t think I would be able to with stand the winter but I definitely would want to see a white Christmas in Bloomington or perhaps in Big apple or in Vancouver whichever is possible!!

Even though I could click endless number of pictures against my husband’s tension of getting arrested I could never get a decent picture of the squirrels, rabbits, deer & otters (guess it were the otters I seem so often in the little pond on the North Pete Ellis Drive every day). May be they want me to come back & learn more about the humanness of the people of Bloomington. I am really glad that I made the trip & stayed in beautiful Bloomington & my husband was there every step of the way not only to care & protect me but also to keep me entertained with his constant fear & never ending tensions.

I still have to go to Post Office which is practically next door & am yet to meet the Sheriff (of course a friendly visit); I am reserving it for my next trip. Whenever my husband scared me of getting arrested for trespassing, which I think was exaggerated, I would fool him by saying if that happens or before that happens I will meet the Sherriff & see if he is my age & single, &  I would ask him out to dinner…

Thank you for reading. Until my next visit a great time for all my readers & like my husband would say a big God bless.

I feel my life has come a full circle & I have seen it all that one has to see in life both good & bad & I have no fear of death. It gives me the freedom to write what comes to my mind. I am sorry if I have offended any one in any way with my writing. I am different in many ways even though I would say there is enough room for expansion in my brain. I write what come to my mind when I start writing… there is no preplan or prerequisite to my writing.

I will surely have to visit Indiana again after all it seems to call all Indians… India – ana (ana means come in Hindi)