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Saturday, 3 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 3: Of Drinks and Mirrors

This year, I’ve motivated my nephew Harsha to take up the November blogathon. He’s put up a post yesterday, about how he went with friends to Pondicherry, expecting it to be Goa of the East, and their disappointment.

As I read along, I feel a tingle of shock at this “….Pondicherry is not a beer place. We finally made peace with this shock and found a rooftop place called Rendevous and settled for wine.”

Who cares about whether Pondicherry is a beer or a wine place? I’m freaking out at my nephew – whom I’ve always assumed to be a teetotaler – saying ‘we settled for wine.’

My mental calisthenics start. I confront myself.

In today’s times, when tossing down a drink must be the norm, how realistic is it for me to want my nephew to abstain?

My upbringing has conditioned me into thinking that consuming alcohol is “Bad.” Over the years, I’ve had friends who drink, and I don’t think any less of them for that reason. Why then can’t I digest the thought of my nephew doing the same?

I think a little more, and hone in on the root of my discomfort. I strongly feel that people born into the Brahmin community are meant to be role models for society. That if we tread the most saattvik and positive path, others will be inspired too. That the saatvikata in society is influenced by how well we follow our dharma.

I cringe every time I hear someone joke about Brahmins who eat non-veg, or smoke, or drink. For I feel we’re being untrue to our path.

There’s something else, too. I’ve been forwarding Harsha’s blog posts to a few others. When they read this post, will they think, ‘See this lady is so pious-like, and here is her nephew saying he drinks’?

Somehow, I read on. In concluding his post, Harsha says:

“As important as it is to see things for what they are, we need to start asking ourselves are my feelings towards certain things or people this way because of who they are or who I want them to be?”

I feel the wind whoosh out of me. This kid in his late twenties is holding up a mirror to his aunt in her early forties! 

Strange are the ways of God. Through Harsha, He’s teaching me about perspectives!

I forward Harsha’s post to my friends as usual.

The next moment, a message from Harsha arrives.

“I hope I didn’t come off as one of the drunks.”

I say, “I did wonder…then assumed you wrote ‘we’ by default.”

But then, I can’t resist and ask, “Did you drink, though?”

Pat comes the reply. “Nope. I’m not sorry to disappoint. Non-alcoholic.”

All I feel is a sense of relief.

Note: If you want to read Harsha’s post, click HERE


  1. Ha ha ha ha... A perfect aunt to a perfect nephew. I can imagine your plight. And his emotions for boldly putting it in black and white...

    1. These youngsters, I tell you, .... 😀

  2. Glad you are a relieve Aunt ha ha ha!
    On a serious note, whoz told us we are role models to the society? It's a legacy that is in our minds I guess coz times have changed and so has our roles in the society. Are we still looked upon or is it a measure that is used for us? I always ask this to myself! Irrespective of the company wether you're made a mockery for not tossing or if we are joked out for tossing.... It's ultimate choice of the individual and principle of the individual that influences and lasts for ever. Perceptions can always perish!

    Thanks, Madhavi Paranjape

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Madhavi. I agree with your point about whether we are looked up to or always being measured. I'm not suggesting we choose a particular behaviour because of how we're perceived by others/society but rather, I'm saying that we must stay true to our "svadharma" out of our own conviction. It's good you raise this point, we now have something to discuss the next time we meet :-)

  3. Also I would point out of the fact that- Pondicherry as a tourist destination always puts our mind for one word alcohol. For some it's true.
    But truthfully Pondicherry is very nice place with blended Indo French culture.
    If I say "my whole family often go there for fun and relaxed time", not because of the booze. It's food, beaches, cost of living etc.
    Visit the promenade beach where time slows down as you walk down the beach road.
    If anyone gets a chance do visit :-)

    Excellent post ma'am. Often wondered whether your state of mind was what my mother had ten years ago. :-D

    1. Thank you, Shivaram,for adding to my knowledge of Pondicherry. I've been there on a fleeting visit during a wedding at Cuddalore. Your description of walking on a beach and time slowing down makes me long to go there again!
      You're spot on likening my state to your mom's 😀

  4. Agree with you on your point of svadharma.. What also bothers me about alcohol is the idea of losing control over one's senses which is considered a pleasure! Literally sighed at the last line:P:D

    1. Me too ! Thank you for the read and comment.


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