If someone says do you “Drink”, it means the liquid that intoxicates. The sign board “Don’t Drink and Drive” means the same. Otherwise, everyone drinks something or the other including water. Sometimes a person after having enough lassi (buttermilk) also feels drowsy, and thinking becomes slow. People say drinking Toddy is like getting on a white horse. Drinking is considered as wrong in some cultures and religious faiths. Myself coming from Telangana State in India, it is a culture, especially in the rural areas. Traditionally the Toddy (Palm Wine) was the primary source of drink. It is a natural and pure drink extracted from trees. It is called “Kallu” in Telugu, which is white in color, tasting sweet and sour. It is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of Palm trees such as the Palmyra. Myself coming from Telangana State in India, it is a culture, especially in the rural areas. Traditionally the Toddy (Palm Wine) was the primary source of drink. It is a natural and pure drink extracted from trees. It is called “Kallu” in Telugu, which is white in color, tasting sweet and sour. It is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of Palm trees such as the Palmyra (Thati Kallu) and date palms (Eetha Kallu). There is a particular community called “

There is a particular community called “Gouds or Goundla,” or in General, the collectors are called “Kallu Geetha Karmikulu,” or Toddy Tappers. They traditionally collect Kallu every day morning and evening and make it available to the villagers. People collect Toddy by climbing the Palmyra and Date Palm trees. Palmyra is one of the tallest trees. They had been collecting Toddy from some of the trees since generations. They know the exact taste of Toddy from each tree. Climbing trees is the most difficult task, which they have learned with practice. They always wear a ‘Budda Gochi” or small lion cloth for convenience to climb. They tie a thick rope around their waist the tree. This rope has rubbers too for increasing the friction. By pushing the body away and lifting both the feet to a higher hold they climb and by doing the reverse, they climb down. A small ring of rope connects the two legs for the extra grip on the tree trunk. The toddy is always tapped from a place just below the crown of the tree. They go with a sharp blade made up of iron and clay pots. They make a “Geetha” or Line exposing the sap near the neck of the tree. The sap is directed into the empty pots, with small guides. The pots are tied to the tree. The plants which are in a farmers field, he would let the people harvest, they would give the landowner some part of Toddy as share. Rest they would sell to others in the villages. In the past Toddy was never sold for money, the farmers shared part of their produce after harvesting for the Toddy served to them throughout the year. The bonding between the consumer and the person serving was lifelong. In the past toddy was sold in earthen pots specially designed with a wide bottom and narrow neck. I have seen mostly, Toddy sold in the glass bottles (called Kallu

Drinking is considered as wrong in some cultures and religious faiths. Myself coming from Telangana State in India, it is a culture, especially in the rural areas. Traditionally the Toddy (Palm Wine) was the primary source of drink. It is a natural and pure drink extracted from trees. It is called “Kallu” in Telugu, which is white in color, tasting sweet and sour. It is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of Palm trees such as the Palmyra. Myself coming from Telangana State in India, it is a culture, especially in the rural areas. Traditionally the Toddy (Palm Wine) was the primary source of drink. It is a natural and pure drink extracted from trees. It is called “Kallu” in Telugu, which is white in color, tasting sweet and sour. It is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of Palm trees such as the Palmyra (Thati Kallu) and date palms (Eetha Kallu). There is a particular community called “Gouds or Goundla,” or in General, the collectors are called “Kallu Geetha Karmikulu,” or Toddy Tappers. They traditionally collect Kallu every day morning and evening and make it available to the villagers. People collect Toddy by climbing the Palmyra and Date Palm trees. Palmyra is one of the tallest trees. They had been collecting Toddy from some of the trees since generations. They know the exact taste of Toddy from each tree. Climbing trees is the most difficult task, which they have learned with practice. They always wear a ‘Budda Gochi” or small lion cloth for convenience to climb. They tie a thick rope around their waist the tree. This rope has rubbers too for increasing the friction. By pushing the body away and lifting both the feet to a higher hold they climb and by doing the reverse, they climb down. A small ring of rope connects the two legs for the extra grip on the tree trunk. The toddy is always tapped from a place just below the crown of the tree. They go with a sharp blade made up of iron and clay pots. They make a “Geetha” or Line exposing the sap near the neck of the tree. The sap is directed into the empty pots, with small guides. The pots are tied to the tree. The plants which are in a farmers field, he would let the people harvest, they would give the landowner some part of Toddy as share. Rest they would sell to others in the villages. In the past Toddy was never sold for money, the farmers shared part of their produce after harvesting for the Toddy served to them throughout the year. The bonding between the consumer and the person serving was lifelong. In the past toddy was sold in earthen pots specially designed with a wide bottom and narrow neck. I have seen mostly, Toddy sold in the glass bottles (called Kallu

In the past toddy was sold in earthen pots specially designed with a wide bottom and narrow neck. I have seen mostly, Toddy sold in the glass bottles (called Kallu seesalu), such as reused beer bottles. Ironically in the past, it was sold in the reused Glucose glass (saline) bottles too. Toddy also has sugar, some people say the old man requires glucose, it means toddy. Some old people with arthritis walk straight with confidence after consumption of some Toddy. Now-a- days saline comes in disposable plastic packets. The nickname of Toddy and other beverages is “Mandhu” It means medicine in Telugu language. The doctor prescribes for one’s health, and the other is self-prescribed by the people for their mental freedom and happiness. Too much consumption of anything would finally lead to consuming the real medicine prescribed by a doctor.

Eetha Kallu is very sweet and less intoxicating. Whereas, Thati Kallu is stronger (sweet in the morning, becoming sour to bitter-sour in the evening) and is highly intoxicating. People enjoy Kallu right at the trees where it is brought down. They drink out of leaves by holding them to their mouths while the Toddy tapper pours the Kallu from the Kallu Muntha or Buddi (Toddy pot). There are different types of toddy (Kallu) according to the season. Especially the toddy tapped during the summer from the male Palmyra trees is called “Pothuganti Kallu”. Toddy is considered to cool the body from heat so there is more consumption of Toddy especially during the summers. The people suffering from Jaundice also consume Toddy as part of traditional medicine treatment. There is more demand for the Toddy in summers, so there is plenty available. The villages might have less drinking water but the Kallu is plenty in some villages. When just collected from the tree fresh, it is very sweet and nice. It ferments and turns into alcohol with time. The toddy collected consumed within 12 hours is good and has the effect of alcohol on the people who drink. These days adulterated “Kallu” is being sold which also leads to addiction. When people stop consuming such Toddy they go insane. It is also called “

When just collected from the tree fresh, it is very sweet and nice. It ferments and turns into alcohol with time. The toddy collected consumed within 12 hours is good and has the effect of alcohol on the people who drink. These days adulterated “Kallu” is being sold which also leads to addiction. When people stop consuming such Toddy they go insane. It is also called “Mandhu Kallu”, again calling the adulterated material also “Mandhu.” This is because the demand is more, and there are few trees to meet requirement. To tackle the situation, the government has introduced the “Indian Made Foreign Liquor” and encouraged the National and International brands entry into the rural markets. This system controlled the adulteration, but many people dependent on the decentralized traditional Toddy Tappers lost their livelihoods. The government considers. Consumption of liquor of any kind is bad, campaigns against its consumption. And at the same time facilitates its selling through licenses, with a high percentage of tax. Therefore the habit of the people is a source of revenue for the government. Sometimes it is calculated that the source of income to the government from the sale of the liquor in a village is more than the total subsidies and freebies that the government gives to the same villagers. In that case, why Milk is never stopped from going out of the village. For the benefit of the farmers, the government could have levied a higher tax on the consumers for the benefit of the farmers. So that at least some milk the farmers could have consumed.

When relatives come home they are served Toddy has honor. I was ten years old when I first tasted the Toddy. It happened that my family visited our relatives in the village Pulmamidi. They brought the Toddy for the adults. They were kept in a place which is used for storing the onions called “Ulligadda Mande”. It is a hut like structure created with the dry sticks of pigeon pea plant. It is very cool inside. I and my “Alludu” (cousin sisters son) were alone sitting in that place, as all others were busy. He has shown me these Toddy bottles stored there for cooling it was around 4:00 pm. He said its taste is like sugar water and good to drink. I tasted a little bit, and it tasted so good. Soon, I have completed drinking three bottles, that is about two liters. I felt drowsiness and soon fell into deep sleep. I am not sure what happened next. In the midnight, I called and woke up my mother telling that I am hungry. My mom said that I was in a deep sleep after consuming the toddy. They brought me home in a bullock cart from the field. First time in life drank so much that I was knocked.

The majority of the old generation people had the habit of drinking toddy. Men drink more than the women and almost more regularly. Children don’t drink, and they are discouraged. Men visit the “Kallu Compound” a place where Toddy is sold and also interact with friends. The eateries are mostly sold by women. No person ever misbehaved with the women selling the eateries in such a place. They had lots of respect for them too. They sell items which are not found elsewhere, such as very big size papadalu, Ulvalu, Bobberlu, Chudva, Mirchi bajjilu, boiled eggs, etc. The items being slightly spicy were always tasty I always loved to eat those items. For nearly all kinds of occasions or events, drinking is common. The birth and death of a person is also an occasion to drink. The happiness is an obvious reason to celebrate. On the day of the death of a person, people cry so much in sadness. To forget the sorrow, some of the relatives offer the Toddy to the bereaved family members. It is called “Chedu Idavali” or lose the bitterness. During happy occasions, the host provides the Toddy, and during the sad occasions, the guests sponsor the toddy to the family members. There is a festival called “Bonalu” celebrated in reverence to the goddess Durga. Sacrificing the animals and offering the toddy is common in many temples. They pour the toddy before the entrance gate of the temple, called “Saka Petadam”. It is an offering to the god. They also let the sacrificial animal also drink some quantity of toddy before sacrificing it in front of the temple. The agriculture labor called for work in one’s field is often given daily wage and also one bottle of toddy. This is a common practice for both men and women laborers. They say only by drinking they could get deep sleep and forget the pains of a day’s hard work and be prepared for next day’s work. I met an old couple involved in pottery in Peddamaduru village they cook their evening meal by 4:30 pm and consume the fresh Toddy and sleep before 7 pm. They woke up early morning by 5:00 am. This routine was good for their health and lived happily and making pottery even in their 8os. In the rural villages, both women and men work equally. Sometimes women work more than men. Toddy is a family drink in our families, especially among older generation people. Except for children and few adults, everyone drinks Toddy. In quantity, women won’t drink much and as regularly in comparison with men. Sometimes a son drinks and takes Toddy to the aged parents. It is a kind of respect and honor. Recently Toddy is replacing the Beer and Whisky. It is a burden on the people and also not so good for the health of the people consuming. It benefits only the multi-billion liquor barons and never address the social and local environmental issues. After drinks, I saw women speak on par with men. They talk with an open heart even with their husbands, and there is no hatred in their minds. The jovial mood of the whole family makes a day complete with some toddy. In villages, every occasion is cherished with drinks and made memorable.

For nearly all kinds of occasions or events, drinking is common. The birth and death of a person is also an occasion to drink. The happiness is an obvious reason to celebrate. On the day of the death of a person, people cry so much in sadness. To forget the sorrow, some of the relatives offer the Toddy to the bereaved family members. It is called “Chedu Idavali” or lose the bitterness. During happy occasions, the host provides the Toddy, and during the sad occasions, the guests sponsor the toddy to the family members.

There is a festival called “Bonalu” celebrated in reverence to the goddess Durga. Sacrificing the animals and offering the toddy is common in many temples. They pour the toddy before the entrance gate of the temple, called “Saka Petadam”. It is an offering to the god. They also let the sacrificial animal also drink some quantity of toddy before sacrificing it in front of the temple. The agriculture labor called for work in one’s field is often given daily wage and also one bottle of toddy. This is a common practice for both men and women laborers. They say only by drinking they could get deep sleep and forget the pains of a day’s hard work and be prepared for next day’s work. I met an old couple involved in pottery in Peddamaduru village they cook their evening meal by 4:30 pm and consume the fresh Toddy and sleep before 7 pm. They woke up early morning by 5:00 am. This routine was good for their health and lived happily and making pottery even in their 8os.

In the rural villages, both women and men work equally. Sometimes women work more than men. Toddy is a family drink in our families, especially among older generation people. Except for children and few adults, everyone drinks Toddy. In quantity, women won’t drink much and as regularly in comparison with men. Sometimes a son drinks and takes Toddy to the aged parents. It is a kind of respect and honor. Recently Toddy is replacing the Beer and Whisky. It is a burden on the people and also not so good for the health of the people consuming. It benefits only the multi-billion liquor barons and never address the social and local environmental issues.

After drinks, I saw women speak on par with men. They talk with an open heart even with their husbands, and there is no hatred in their minds. The jovial mood of the whole family makes a day complete with some toddy. In villages, every occasion is cherished with drinks and made memorable.

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