Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not social drinking, it is greedy and desperate drinking culture.

Till some years ago we have never heard of cocktails or liquor being offered in our community during wedding ceremonies and for that matter at any other important celebration. But nowadays a few families have begun to include cocktails. Unfortunately, at such cocktail parties it is noticed that a few members not accustomed to social drinking, drink carelessly, become noisy, misbehave and sometimes create violent situations. Such situations are naturally preventing many others from arranging cocktails at their parties and popularizing this culture, and the family tradition is being quoted in support of their decision.
Many men in our community do consume liquor occasionally within small and close family and friends circles. But when it comes to large scale celebrations; offering drinks is a strong “NO” for them. They enjoy their drinks amidst a gathering of likeminded people.
This article is about some relatives of mine who are desperate to have liquor at each and every community function. It may be associated with any of the several wedding related functions, events related to birth or death; liquor is on top of their mind. They do not participate wholeheartedly in any event; they just wait for their gang of associates to assemble and then run away from the venue, the gathering, and their families to consume liquor. Someone among them volunteers to sponsor the liquor party, the liquor is procured and it is consumed secretly away from the venue in dark areas amidst bushes, behind parked cars or in an adjoining building under construction sitting on sand and gravel heaps. This scenario gives a very bad and sad impression about them. This same group of people at every gathering in the community behaving in this desperate manner for liquor is earning a bad name for them. They may term this partying as social drinking (as depicted in the above cartoon) but the community has begun branding them as drunkards and alcoholics. This is not good for them and the reputation of their families.
My advice to this group or any other group in such a situation would be to meet once or twice a week at some bar and enjoy their drinks, so that at community gatherings they need not crave for booze and run away from the venues. It would be highly appreciated if they begin to behave like every other guest.  
I cannot personally advise them because it would lead to arguments and strained relations; so I am putting it in writing. May be if one of them reads this article and shows it to his group; they may argue among themselves on the contents of my article and come to a wise conclusion.


  1. I totally agree with you. I was chatting with my wife about why many of us Indians often drink too much and misbehave. I remember elsewhere in your blog, you said that "One drink is just right, two is too many and three is not enough!".

    My belief is that people are attracted to that which is considered forbidden. Since in the Indian context, alcohol consumption is considered socially taboo since it has moral associations), this by itself makes alcohol all the more alluring. Of course, this 'taboo' is changing lately with drinking becoming more acceptable, especially in the younger generation. Youngstersm though, seem to drink more to 'make a statement' about how western/sophisticated they are, rather than for any other reason (as if drinking implies sophistication). On my last visit to India in 2010, I noticed that hordes of people were drinking from open containers in front of liquor stores - this too right across from a temple!

    I live in North America (have been here for over 20 years), and I find that recent arrivals from India exhibit this behavior as well, and also feel like they have to drink in secret! I also noticed that once they acclimatize and come to realize that no one is judging them, they seem to moderate the amount they drink!

    Since Americans (and Europeans as well, from what I observed) do not associate morality with alcohol consumption, you rarely find misbehavior in bars. Of course, there are drunken brawls in some bars here as well, but drunken misbehavior is by and large not the norm. I think we Indians have to figure out the difference between drinking and drinking too much!

  2. Dear Mr. Mohan,
    Thank you for sharing your observations and opinions. Your comments are very informative.
    Thank you once again.


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