Total Pageviews

Hand in hand for eternity

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dad's Diary 15 - Himalayan Inebriation

India abounds in Himalayan resorts of various altitudes, shapes and sizes. They have different life styles. But a common enough signature that attracts attention is the high incidence of drinking alcoholic beverages.

One such resort boasted of a politician who reached the pinnacle of his career because of, and not in spite of, his inalienable inebriation. Dev was handsome, charismatic, and sported an attractive flourish of his own in whatever he did.

Dev refused to call himself a bachelor, and chose to maintain his status as 'unmarried.' To him, a bachelor conveyed the idea of one eligible for marriage which he avowedly was not. Again, unmarried should connote that he was married, though unofficially. He did not marry his live in partner so as not to pull her into the “minister today, jailbird tomorrow” kind of political vortex.   

He wanted those of the generation next to call him 'kaka,' and not 'mama,' though both the words mean 'uncle.' He refused to discuss the subtlety behind such an assertion.

One of his inner circle friends later decoded the relational nuances involved. A kaka is father's brother, and a mama is mother's brother. Conceptually, one can forge a fonder relationship with a sister-in-law even if it could spur off qualms of conscious; but for the sister it had to be an unmixed affection.

Photo -
Throughout Dev's tumultuous sojourn from being a trade union leader to general secretary of a political party to a legislator for the state and finally, to a cabinet minister, the bottle was his constant companion. He had no compunction about making it a public affair.

The bottle came under the most intensive scanner during the run up to the last election he fought. The rival candidates filled up the campaign trail with damaging posters and paintings of a sozzled man sleeping in a gutter, and in many other similar poses.

Dev had a tough time controlling his volunteers from tearing off the posters. His instruction was to make sure that the defaming posters remained intact till the day of the polling. “Guard them with your life,” he pleaded. None knew what ace-strategy he had up his sleeves.

This threw the rival camp into utter confusion. Unable to fathom what was going on, they tried to retract. Now the defamed were hell bent on protecting the insulting posters, and the paster were equally desperate to remove them.

On the last day of campaign Dev approached the microphone with a leonine swagger, and greeted the massive congregation.

The gist of the relevant portion of his speech : 'Look around yourself; look at those posters; I have been defamed and insulted for drinking. But I will not apologize. We are the Himalayas; we have a distinct lifestyle of our own. Some overdo it, some don't. I was a heavy drinker when five years ago you reposed your faith in me. Now look at those posters again, and ask yourselves, have you not been defamed and insulted?

Photo - The Himalayan Beacon
Now here is my last appeal: let only the drinkers vote for me; teetotalers vote for the rival candidates.'

Dev won the election by a thumping majority polling the highest number of votes of his career. What better strategy could there be in a constituency where an overwhelming segment of the voters not only drank, but loved to drink?! 



  1. lol Knowing your constituency is important !!! Interesting and amusing..In Massachusetts we had Teddy K. and their were many stories about his drinking, never seemed to bother the voters. Of course he was a Kennedy and as long as he didn't kill someone he would, Oh wait. Never mind!!! :)

  2. Jim thank you so much for coming by and your ever so humorous comment! Teddy K - LOL

  3. I'd vote for him! Hiccup! burp! excuse me.


  4. Three cheers to Dev and Uncleji for this wonderful story.Loved it ....

  5. Excellent story as expected.Uncle again surprised me with his style and words.Loved every bit of it. :D

    When The Heart Speaks

  6. there was Andy Jackson, us Grant, Abe Lincoln. all heavy drinkers, so here to Dev he in good company. thank you and god bless

  7. Politicans and booze go hand in hand!!! While it's tragic if Dev got the job done, who cares. America certainly needs a competent leader, drunkard or not :)

  8. Great to see you back mate. Splendid story in the UK would not be drink but maoning and complaining, that would win votes ;)

  9. My first visit here and looking forward to reading more. You are a very good writer.

  10. @A - I would too
    @Mitr - thanks as always
    @Abhi - Thank you so much
    @ Roy - yes he is, isn't he : )))
    @ David - exactly my sentiments
    @ Charles - thanks a ton - I am so relieved to be back too. Complaining and campaigning go hand in hand everywhere I think. LOL
    @Andrea - thanks for coming by! This is a story written by my Dad actually and yes he is splendid isn't he? : ))).

  11. Not only that, but to point out all the mudslinging that went on around him. I'm assuming he did none of his own, or at least very little.

  12. Welcome back,Kriti,and Uncle..staying here,and I am unaware of Dev's story..thanks for this one..

  13. Tapas,
    So nice to read your stories again. It has been way to long Sir.. At least he was an honest politician, which is more than I can say for American candidates...

  14. Hello Kriti -

    In America, we would experience a similar result. I enjoy reading your post. :)

  15. Enjoyed this post! India has the most amazing stories tucked away.

  16. LOL, that's dear old Darjeeling for you...and I'm so glad we have such a wonderful writer to bring those stories to life!! Loved it!! :))

  17. That was a smart strategy. Lovely tale Kriti.

  18. @Anna - you got it. Thanks a ton for coming by.
    @Alpana - you are most welcome darling
    @Jess - we have our share of dishonest politicians too. Actually that is the majority : ). Thanks for coming by love.
    @Mari - thanks a ton!
    @Lavina - it does doesn't it. Thank you for coming by.
    @ Swati - exactly my sentiments
    @Priya - LOL

  19. @ Sandy - I would too - thanks for coming by : )

  20. Politics and Honesty is a far distant these days.... Enjoyed reading it.

  21. Yes Savira - it is and what a topic to be honest about. Honesty as a strategy can be quite risky though. THanks for stopping by.

  22. Dev sounds too familiar!! Thanks for this post,uncle. This brought back the only line that i associate (funny!!) with a happy drunk: 'koi cha ma sita khelney?'(literal translation would be: is there anyone who wants to play with me?).Of course that would be a highly intoxicated man challenging anybody on the streets.

  23. Ha ha prats - I give you comment of the post! Dad had a hearty laugh too. Thanks a ton sathi for coming by..

  24. good morning kriti and family just stop by to say thank you and god bless

  25. Roy - you really are the sweetest - Thank you!!

  26. Very Intelligent appeal to drinkers. I definitely support ;-). I am thankful to you for your sharing such a good and interesting massage .......

  27. @he he Manoj - I am so glad you liked it. THanks for you comment!