It makes little sense to live in a place where whether you should drink liquor or not is determined by a majority that is susceptible to brainwashing.

This is a rant. I hope that better sense prevails and people who are clamouring for closure of liquor shops spare a thought for people like me, who like their drink. To discard the role of alcohol in one's life by summarily dismissing it as a social evil sounds sort of grandstanding to me. Liquor may have been the secondary cause of many families’ ruin, the primary being man himself, but that doesn’t mean that the whims of a majority can be thrust upon a minority that has had no part in the downfall of man. I mean, it was not liquor that abused man, it was the other way round; how can liquor be held responsible and accountable for the folly of man? In Tamil Nadu, liquor has been transformed into an emotive issue, primarily because of its ready availability and the susceptibility of the commoners to gab. Most of the outlets that sell liquor here are allegedly owned by political heavyweights and the fare they sell is particularly substandard, but that doesn’t stop them from making public speeches harping on the ills of booze. The way out is very simple: stop marketing poor quality liquor. Once the State-owned TASMAC stops selling cheap and suspect quality liquor, the social evil that has destroyed many a poor family can be uprooted and disposed of. All the government has to do is to ensure that only high-end liquor is marketed by it and all issues would be solved. However, solving a problem robs politicians of the chance of highlighting it.

Anyway, the rant was made possible by the chance discovery of a premium liquor shop in the heart of the city. After many years, I finally got to see top brands occupying the shelf and waving at me greedily. Alas, liquor, like petrol, is heavily taxed in India. The government wants to make us believe that the high taxation is for our benefit. Be that as it may, finally there is some respite in Chennai. My main grouse with the city was the non-availability of good beer here. However, the new outlet is a game changer of sorts. Have already stocked up for six months. Such outlets are the way out of the political impasse liquor has dropped the government in. If all the shady shops are replaced with premium ones, the ease of buying liquor would take a hit and consumption would come down by itself. However, if my stint at a newspaper had taught me anything, it’s this: no politician wants to solve an issue, for if it’s solved, they would have precious little to peg their campaigns on.

Drank a beer and read a book. Such a nice combination. Whenever I imagine myself parched for a drink, I think of the scene from The Shawshank Redemption, wherein the main protagonist arranges a small beer party for his convict friends. The hot afternoon, the sweat dripping down their brows and the bleak prospects of freedom; all forgotten for a moment when they were guzzling beer. Of all the drinks in the world, I’m particularly partial to beer. Somehow, it makes me feel better and aids in concentration when taken in reasonable amount. Anyway, Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco is one brilliant book. I’m sort of becoming a fan of Eco's and am planning to buy all his books. Maybe, when Duke's all grown up, I’ll have more time than now to read books. Duke has a wire loose, I believe. Whenever I’m around he would neither pee nor poop, but the moment I’m gone, he embarks on a journey aimed at christening all the rooms in the house. The grown up Caesar is also not giving a good account of himself in this instant episode. He’s competing with the little fellow in peeing contest. Need to tell him off or else I would be good only for cleaning up after them. Anyway, it’s too late and I’m too tired.