Gutteria.

Coincidences never fail to amaze me. Here is another story of a series of coincidences.

I have four lovely Irish ladies in my life. Strictly by order of seniority, they are Grannymar, Gaelikaa, Bernadette and our Princess Eleanor. These four ladies will understand the preamble to this post once they read it fully. AND, Princess, I look forward to a dissertation from you, nothing less.

There is a month in the Indian calendar called Shravan, mid July to mid August when the seedlings are just getting soaked in the monsoon and there is little farm work to do. India is still predominantly agrarian and many of its festivals, religious occasions, etc are built around such idle times to keep idle minds busy and out of trouble.

Instead of getting up to mischief, most people in India observe the whole month of shravan as one of fasting and praying with simple meals and eschewing all intoxicants including coffee tea, tobacco liquor etc. Non vegetarians become vegetarians for this month.

The last day of the previous month Ashadha, is called gutteria day in the Western parts of India because on that day, many worthies will go from bar to bar, drink and eat all kinds of meat, poultry fish etc to their capacity and beyond and pass out in gutters, to start the month of abstinence from the next morning. Now I think that the reader will understand why the English word gutter is used as gutteria day for that day.

Last Sunday I met an old drinking buddy of mine who I had not seen in many years. We used to hoist a few together at the club bar on many evenings. Since I stopped drinking alcohol in 1999, I have not gone to the club bar and so had not met this friend. This meeting was brief as we were at a check out counter in a shopping mall and he said that we must do a pub crawl soon. I did not have the heart to tell him that I no longer drink.

I was explaining this meeting to another friend of mine in a different context, a couple of days later. I explained that Gutteria is a term used in the context of pub crawling. Just to see if any mention is made, I googled for it and lo and behold, I find that Gutteria is a Surname in Ireland!

I am not a linguist and cannot link the three different usages to one another, except for the first two where it is simple. I wonder what the third meaning would be as a surname!

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