I met Swarnapala* on the 103 bus last week while on my way to visit a preggy friend. He came up to me, grinning, and assured me that he was still guzzling his daily kassippu... "sometimes only 2 bottles Nona, but what to do... cost of living is going up."
Some of you may remember me moaning about him... this is the guy who turned up at our casualty in the wee hours of 14th April - the Sinhala Hindu New Year... the sort of festive season that only the obsessed and the unlucky hang around the hospital (myself belonging to the second group). His New Year resolution was to give up his habit of drowning his days sorrows in 2-3 bottles of moonshine and he had landed at his mother's place at an auspicious hour in order to be away from temptation while going cold turkey. Unfortunately, alcohol withdrawal delerium set in... he had a seizure, fell into a glass cabinet, split open his head and developed an intracranial bleed that needed immediate neurosurgery.
When I clerked him later that morning, he was lying on a gurney, feeling very sorry for himself. He had ample time to figure out the how's why's and wherefores of what happened to him... and lay there, covered with blood, quietly determined to start drinking again as soon as he got out of hospital.
This is the most skewed argument I have in favour of boozing.
*His real name is much nicer