‘3 Cases Beer, 12 Breezers, 2 Vodka, 2 Scotch’-Tippler Stocking up for 2-Dry Days
‘3 Cases Beer, 12 Breezers, 2 Vodka, 2 Scotch’-Tippler Stocking up for 2-Dry Days. Glass will Not be Empty for Regulars to keep Up with ‘Spirit’ even on ‘Dry Days’?
Mangaluru: I am not quite sure as to how much this two-day liquor ban will help in controlling untoward incidents since people have already been stocking up with their favorite booze prior to the liquor ban kicks in. Next time our district administration officials decide to have dry days, they need to announce or inform the liquor outlets just a few hours before the ban, and not one or two days in advance. If our administration thinks that closing down liquor establishments for one or two days will prevent untoward incidents like fights, riot, restlessness etc-then how about we see untoward incidents in some states where there is liquor prohibition? This ban will only result in some liquor dealers making extra money and some liquor dealers losing money due to two non-business days.
But may it be a liquor ban or no ban, for the common citizen, liquor is always available on dry days – it’s just more expensive. Liquor is available in plenty – all you need to know is a number to call or know some people who can arrange liquor. While the City’s most happening crowd raise the issues either on political or religious, the rest will chill out and take a break from their hectic two days schedule. But for those party animals or those who don’t belong to “Alcoholics Anonymous” group, getting their favourite brands supplied and getting their job done, during “Dry Days” is just like a piece of cake.
Prior to the ban on liquor sales kicking off on 6 am on 24 Friday morning, those looking to party over the weekend seemed to be unperturbed-since they know that alcohol will still be available at some “unknown” outlets. On Thursday 23 evening until closing time of liquor outlets, the beer guzzlers, wine lovers and regular tipplers were seen shopping in full gear for their favourite booze at their favourite liquor dealers and have piled up enough stock to last for a couple of days. Rumours are that a few wine shops and bars have made provisions for their loyal patrons to ensure the cash registers keep ringing through the dry spell?.
This liquor ban enforced by DC Dr Jagadeesha in order to prevent any clashes during a Harmony Rally planned for the weekend, a part of Mangaloreans has been left biting their nails. The ‘Dry Days’ on 24 and 25 February being weekend, literally has taken the fizz out of the City’s party animals. However, some party people have already decided to have social spree at their homes, inviting friends-having stocked up their refrigerators with their customary weekend beer and wine coolers. But there are some who are worried to have some parties at home, fearing that they may get busted by cops for code violations. But Mangaloreans know how to fool the city cops, anyhow- no matter what?
“Two dry days in a row is harsh. But we stocked up well in advance and we know where to find liquor during these dry days. Getting booze on dry days is just a phone call away,” said an IT employee while he was loading his car near one of the liquor outlets. “I really don’t know by banning liquor for the sake of a rally does any good. It’s a good way for liquor dealers to sell liquor illegally with higher prices” -that’s it. Untoward incidents or fights can happen without getting intoxicated too. These bans are meaningless and useless” said Joachim at another liquor outlet while buying a bagful of “spirits”.
On Thursday night, even after the regular closing time of 11 pm at liquor shops, according to sources liquor was available, though not readily, in several areas across the city and at a higher price late night. Owing to the sweltering heat, an employee at a wine shop said that beer has been selling like “hotcakes”, and they couldn’t keep up with the client’s demand. And at some wine stores, customers were charged more than the MRP- but no one cared to argue with the seller because they knew it won’t help anyhow. Even I too got charged extra- Rs 125 for a beer bottle with MRP Rs 115?
While I was at Café-Day, Balmatta, a bunch of guys from Manipal with travel bags walked in and ordered 8 chilled cappuccino coffees. I found out by their conversation that they just had their social spree at another pub located across from this coffee shop, and were heading to Goa. Slowly I too joined in their conversation- Balvinder, an engineering student at MIT, Manipal said to me, ” Weekend without “dine and wine” is kind of boring in Mangaluru, for which we came here. Since there are only a few summer weeks left before monsoon starts where we can’t enjoy, we want to make the best use of the remaining summer weekends. ‘Two days’ of ‘Dry Days’, C’mon, give me a break! We are heading to Goa for the weekend, and the best part is that it is Carnival time in Goa this weekend. What’s the fun being in Mangaluru. Goa, we are coming, baby!”-he literally cheered up with excitement about his weekend fun spree in Goa.
For some out of state people wanting to celebrate an occasion at a bar in a City posh hotel, they’ll be stunned when they learn that it’s a dry day. If you are among those who don’t care whether the celebration is today or tomorrow or the day after, then it may not matter to you. But, for those to whom the celebration is all about today or tomorrow, wanting to consume few cocktails legally, it does matter. The enforced dry days are meaningless when it is not illegal to consume alcohol on these days; it is illegal only to sell alcohol?
Catholic weddings are quite affected, because with just a few days left before Lent, and that Catholic Roce/Weddings in Mangaluru are incomplete without alcohol-and off course the consumption needs to be legal. Heard that a Catholic wedding reception suppose to be held at a hotel in Mangaluru is shifted to Kundapur due to dry days here. Rather than prohibition and dry days (which only serve to fuel an illicit, where liquor dealers can jack up their product prices, a profitable avenue for law-breakers), it’s legal and responsible consumption that the governments need to focus on. Unless, of course, they even bother to address the other directive principles. Consumption of liquor should be monitored and controlled by the government throughout the year and not just during certain celebrations, religious events, elections etc.
In conclusion, “Do you think ‘Dry Days’ really work or is it worth having them, need to be addressed soon by the concerned authorities?” Until then “Cheers!”, open a chilled one for me from your refrigerator.