Keeping Up With the ‘SPIRIT’ Glass Not Empty For Tipplers Even on DRY DAYS!
Mangaluru: As the ban on liquor sales came into force on Tuesday 8 May evening at 5 pm due to the State Assembly elections, those looking to party over the DRY DAYS seemed to be unperturbed since according to sources alcohol was still available at some “unknown” outlets. But prior to the ban, for a couple of days the beer guzzlers, wine lovers and regular tipplers were seen shopping in full gear for their favourite booze at their favourite liquor dealers and had piled up enough stock. 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.
As polling day 10 May approaches, a part of Mangaloreans have been left biting their nails. The ‘Dry Days’ (from 5 pm 8 May to 10 May midnight- and again on 13 May the entire day) preceding the Assembly election which is slated to remain in force till the said liquor ban days, literally has taken the fizz out of the City’s part animals. However, some party people have already decided to have a social spree at their homes, inviting friends-having stocked up their refrigerators with their customary weekend beer. But there are some who are worried about having parties at home, fearing that they may get busted by cops for code violations.
“Three dry days in a row is harsh. But we are stocking 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 Vinod, an IT employee while he was loading his car near Kadri.” I really don’t know that banning liquor during elections does any good. It’s a good way for liquor dealers to sell liquor illegally with higher prices, and for the cops to ………-that’s it. Untoward incidents or fights can happen without getting intoxicated too. These bans are meaningless and useless” said Charles, after buying a bagful of “spirits” at Bendoorwell.
On Tuesday, 8 May, one could see a large number of vehicles parked in front of liquor stores, and people in queues to buy their favourite spirits, across the City. ‘Three days’ of ‘Dry Days’, C’mon, give me a break! We are heading to Goa, and also that we are all from Maharashtra we don’t have voting privileges here, so what’s the fun being in this educational hub-Mangalore? Goa, we are coming, baby!” -a medical student with his classmates literally cheered up with excitement about his fun spree in Goa.
For some out-of-state people wanting to celebrate an occasion at a lounge in a City posh hotel, they’ll be stunned when they learn about the dry days. Like a few foreigners staying at Hotel Taj Vivanta were not in a happy mood when they learned they were in a “Dry City” for the next 48 hours or so. Imagine Germans being without BEER even for a few hours- I guess they are also heading to Goa. 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 a few cocktails legally, it does matter.
Weddings, especially those of Catholics, are quite affected because these days Catholic Roce/Weddings in Mangaluru are incomplete with alcohol-and, of course, the consumption needs to be legal. Heard that a Catholic wedding reception supposed to be held in Mangaluru, which was booked last year, had to be shifted to Canacona-Goa, due to dry days here. What of those who do not care about the legality? Not that the liquor consumption is low otherwise, but the election is ‘party time’ in more ways than one: It is political parties that pour out a ‘heady campaign strategy’ enabling several voters to party on free-flowing liquor. Even though the Election Commission has wielded its model code of conduct, trying to play party pooper, parties fully stocked up to add ‘liquid’ appeal to their campaigns are letting liquor flow unchecked. No doubt. liquor will be stocked by the political parties in readiness for the days to follow.
I am not quite sure how much this two-day liquor ban will help in controlling untoward incidents since people have already been stocking up with their favourite booze prior to the liquor ban kicking in. If the administration thinks that closing down liquor establishments for one or two days will prevent untoward incidents like fights, riots, 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 these non-business days.
May it be a liquor ban or no ban, for the common citizen, liquor is 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 raises the political heat and dust, the rest will chill out and take a break from their hectic weekend schedule. But for those party animals or those who don’t belong to the ” Alcoholics Anonymous” group, getting their favourite brands supplied and getting their job done during “Dry Days” is just like a piece of cake. In conclusion, ” Are ‘Dry Days’ only during election time or some religious festivals really working or worth having them, need to be addressed soon by the concerned authorities?”