This scene was played out in Gandhi Nagar, outside the liquor outlets (I think there are no fewer than three liquor shops here, two in the premium category). Demonstrations like these are common in politically active Kerala, and I was walking past without paying attention when my ears pricked up. They were shouting slogans against alcohol. The woman with the microphone led the sloganeering — and it was an impressive performance. She addressed those who drank alcohol as “kudiyan,” i.e., “drunkard.” The “drunkards” could be seen entering and leaving the premises, studiously ignoring the demonstration.
The woman asked rhetorically, “Do you want alcohol?” and answered the question herself, “No, no, I don’t want alcohol!” The others echoed whatever she said. As I walked out of earshot, I could hear the feisty woman with the microphone shouting tauntingly again and again, “Drunkards, drink milk!”
I wondered what had caused the woman with the mike to become such a passionate anti-alcohol crusader. Was her father or husband or brother an alcoholic? I wondered about her back story.
Also see The Last Bar Standing.
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