Sunday, January 22, 2012

Give Us This Day Our Daily Booze

Saw this article by Mr Derek Almeida, in the 'Panorama' section of Navhind Times today. Very nice logic. Liked it very much. You may like it too.

Give us this day our daily booze
Published on: January 22, 2012 - 12:01

The frequent raids by the Election Commission on shops, restaurants and politicians houses to unearth liquor has taken the kick out of the polls and turned them into a tame academic affair. What’s an election without the booze? It’s like a football match without the ball.
Somebody has to protest and being a blue-blooded Goan, domicile certificate and all, I decided to write these Delhiwallas a letter to remind them how ‘ajeeb’ we are
By Derek Almeida

Dear amigo (CEC),
Your decision to raid liquor stores and politicians’ houses has left me in a quandary. I get the drift of your whole campaign. Your aim is to prevent candidates from bribing us with booze.

Nice logic. It might work in New Delhi, but down here it is quite difficult to go and vote when sober. Have you seen the choice of candidates in Goa? No one in their sober minds would vote for any of them. But after two shots of feni, trust me, we see things more clearly, even though we sometimes cannot find our election cards.

I am worried about mining, even though I am not affected by the dust and the traffic jams. So, the other day, I went to meet an MLA to question him on the issue of illegal mining and what he intended doing about it. When I threw my question at him he said, "Forget about it. There is no illegal mining."
He was either telling the truth or lying. I couldn’t tell. So I went home and poured myself a stiff ‘feni’. After three such drinks I too forgot about illegal mining and got totally immersed in my quest to find the toilet. Now do you understand why staying drunk is a way of life here?

You must have heard about the regional plan. I am concerned about that too. I am concerned about a lot of things, like turtles, the Siberian crane and the jackfruit, which by the way is disappearing from the Goan table. Forgive me for digressing, but dining tables have become so small that it is difficult to place a jackfruit without displacing the curry bowl.

Coming back to the regional plan, I had a strong argument with the minister at the secretariat on the issue. I objected to everything, from the quality of the paper on which the map was printed to the sudden disappearance of the local chapel. My house was missing too, and so was the hill. I would have given the chap a hammering, but for the fact that I was sober and a prompt reminder from my wife that I was referring to the wrong map. So you see how bad things can get when we are sober?

I immediately adjourned the meeting, found a local bar and had a shot of feni, by which time the MLA had vanished along with the map and I went home and had a good siesta. You should try the siesta sometimes. It does wonders for the liver.
That regional plan encounter was a long time ago. Then on Christmas Day you chaps announced elections, which you do without fail every five years. I don’t know how you do this, but I suspect you have an alarm in your head that goes off every five years.

Anyway, the announcement brought my MLA back to my doorstep. It’s this door-to-door thing that candidates undertake every five years. I was on my second drink when the door bell rang. I opened the door, glass in hand.
"Who are you and why are you swaying so madly?" I asked.
"Honey," my wife said, "he is not swaying, but you are."
I could swear by the Archbishop’s cassock that I was not swaying and would have produced a gyroscope to prove it, but liquor has a way of diminishing all protests.
"Have we met on Facebook?" I lisped.
"Honey, he is the MLA," my wife said.
Anyway, I kept staring at him as he launched into a monologue which was interspersed with a list of things he had accomplished in the last five years. He was doing this at top speed because he had other houses to visit. Only after I had downed the entire glass of feni was I able to stay abreast with his speech.
So you see how difficult it is to keep up with our politicians? The only way of living with them is by staying perpetually drunk. That being the case, who should pay for the drinks?

Here’s a suggestion. Since you fellows always talk about state funding for elections how about putting some aside for the booze? Democracy after all, comes with a price tag. And while you are pondering this could you keep the raids on hold?

From a Goan who mixes drinks with politics

Friday, January 13, 2012

One Stray Thought

I have stopped walking, I mean walking for exercise, after I found that my knees are not what they used to be. I started swimming and after two years am realizing that my shoulders are not much better either. I do not know what to take up next.

Meanwhile, my wife, whose hands and legs are intact - she preserved them and only used her tongue for exercise all these years - has started walking after the doctors advised her to rest her tongue and use her extremities for exercise. The slopes of the hillocks near our house are being converted into residential plots and my wife uses the newly laid roads for her walk. (The roads are still there after a year and I recommend the contractor if you have any road work to be done). Some evenings when I am free, I join her and after reaching the spot, sit there on any convenient boulder observing others who come there, till my wife completes her rounds.

I went there this evening and was on my seat observing a boy and girl pair who seemed to be walking on clouds - not on roads and was repenting for never having attempted a walk on the clouds myself, when this young couple with the apple of their eye, the toddler, caught my attention. I can’t guess the child’s age. He must have just started to talk and walk. My children past that age long back and I do not remember at what age children start talking and walking. (My wife remembers these things very well and she guessed the child’s age to be a year and a half).

Anyway, this toddler was happy to tumble along with his unsteady steps, barefoot, and was going on merrily when his mother called out asking him to stop. He stopped and looked at her enquiringly as to what was wrong when she lifted him up and continued to walk carrying him. He started to squirm and tried to wiggle out. He wanted to walk. As soon as she put him down he gave a winner’s smile and started running. She ran behind him caught him and lifted him up once again and the child shouted “no, no, no” and having found no release, started crying his head off. She had no option but to put him down. As he started running once again she turned to her husband and pleaded plaintively “Do something and stop him. His legs are aching”.

The child was happy when he was on his legs. He was crying when lifted to be carried. But the mother was feeling the pain in his legs! It was very amusing.

I remember having read this definition of a sweater somewhere.

Sweater : ‘A garment which children have to wear when their parents feel cold’.

Whoever coined that must have observed a lot of parents.