This past week, dear reader, I wrote a post about Goa. As for so many other right minded folk, Goa for me is a place I go to every now and then (but never too often) for spiritual enlightenment.
It is a place to recharge one’s soul, it is a place to replenish one’s mental fortitude, it is a place to lose oneself in – but I digress. The reason I bring this up is because the column as it appeared on the website carried an embellishment that I didn’t, if I’m to be perfectly honest, care for.
Right at the end of the column appeared the following line:
The Consumption (sic) of alcohol is injurious to health. Pune365 strongly discourages the consumption of tobacco and alcohol.
Now, the line puzzled me. It befuddled me, it left me agape, and it left me, not to put too fine a point on it, confused. It wasn’t out of place, in the sense that if Pune365 were to be opposed to the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, it was entirely appropriate for them to have put that little disclaimer at the bottom, since the column was about the consumption of alcohol.
On the other hand, how could the column have been about anything but the consumption of alcohol? Keen nosed bloodhounds that you lot are, you must doubtless have spotted the conundrum yourself.
How, you must have asked your clear-eyed logical self, can Ashish possibly write about Goa without writing about alcohol? It’s like a Prime Ministerial speech that doesn’t begin with “Mitron”, or an Australian cricket team without sandpaper. It could happen, in other words, but it wouldn’t seem right.
And what made the whole thing all the more puzzling was the fact that I know for a fact that Pune365 isn’t against the consumption of alcohol. In fact, on the spectrum of To Imbibe Copiously Or Not, Pune365 stands proudly on the former end. Or at any rate, my editor does. I can personally verify this, having walked into his club optimistically, and having left it decidedly misty optically.*
So what, as the Americans say, gives?
I posed this very question to my editor, fearing a puritanical turn for the worse had come over him, but he was, thankfully, quick to assuage my doubt. He stands with me, shoulder to shoulder, on the issue of the downing of beers. The more we down of ‘em, he reassured me, the better life gets.
Indeed, I replied, raising a metaphorical glass in complete agreement. Then why, I querulously queried, the disclaimer?
And can you guess, dear reader, the raison d’etre of that sentence at the end? It is, so I’ve been reliably informed, a requirement of babudom. Any article that mentions alcohol or tobacco need necessarily carry a message saying that the stuff is bad, positively harmful for health, and that you’d do well to steer clear of it. Even if, as in the case of last week’s column, the entire column is about how a beer (or ten) in Goa is heavily recommended.
Ah well, consider yourselves warned, you guys. Consumption of alcohol is indeed injurious to health.
Especially an ice cold one.
And definitely ten of ‘em.
*Not, I confess, my own. But too good to have not worked it in there, wouldn’t you agree?
#Editors Note: Pune365 supports the freedom of expression. It is finally about taking things in the right spirit and spirit we have in copious amounts…
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime