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     Volume 6 Issue 47 | December 7, 2007 |

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View from the Bottom

Charioted by Bacchus and his Pards

Shahnoor Wahid

Bacchus is often shown riding a leopard, wearing a leopard skin, or in a chariot drawn by pards (panthers).

It is said that “More people were drowned by Bacchus than Neptune.” Hmmm, that speaks for what men have been doing for centuries when their women were under the impression that they were washing the temple of Zeus. Now, before going into my little story, here is a short preamble on Bacchus. The facts have been taken from Wikipedia.

“Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficial influences. He was also known as Bacchus and the frenzy he induces, bakcheia. Bacchus is the patron deity of agriculture and the theatre. He was also known as the Liberator (Eleutherios), freeing one from one's normal self, by madness, ecstasy, or wine. The divine mission of Dionysus was to mingle the music of the aulos and to bring an end to care and worry. There is also an aspect of Dionysus on his relationship to the 'cult of the souls', and the scholar Xavier Riu writes that Dionysus presided over communication between the living and the dead.

"In Greek mythology Dionysus is made to be a son of Zeus and Semele; other versions of the myth contend that he is a son of Zeus and Persephone. He is described as being womanly or 'man-womanish'.

"The name Dionysos is of uncertain significance; its -nysos element may well be non-Greek in origin, but its dio- element has been associated since antiquity with Zeus (genitive Dios). Nysa, for Greek writers, is either the nymph who nursed him, or the mountain where he was attended by several nymphs (the Nysiads), who fed him and made him immortal as directed by Hermes. Or both.”

Well, for my friends who are perennially thirsty and thus in very good terms with the Greek god of wine Bacchus, here is an intoxicating news item. Whether the news is intoxicating or they will become intoxicated after reading it is difficult to resolve at this point. Let me present the news item first. The interesting news is, to satiate the ever-thirsty throats of our friends some hotels in Singapore are offering endless rounds of drinks for USD 31.

A feature article by Huang Lijie of The Straits Times in the August issue goes like this: “For as less as US$31 you can now drink as many glasses of wine, beer and hard liquor. It might sound too good to toast to, but three such 'Alcohol Buffet' have already popped up in hotel lounges at the Pan Pacific Singapore, Marina mandarin Singapore and Carlton Hotel since October this year. Without the promotions, the same amount of money will only fetch you four drinks at the most. While the Pan Pacific and Marina Mandarin see from 15 to 50 buffet guests a month, as many as 25 customers can be seen revelling in spirited indulgence on weekend evenings at Carlton Hotel.”

Obviously, the buffet was introduced as a business promotional gimmick by the hotels, but since the idea was found to be catching on, the authorities are now considering the prospects of extending the offer for an indefinite period. So, my friends who go to Singapore every time their children sneeze will now have more reasons to visit the beautiful city. For those who drink, happy drinking.

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