Hey… leaders, leave our booze alone!

There are some deeply tragic occurrences that engage and enrage me on a very personal level. For example, wet socks. But what got to me recently was a move so senseless, so unexpected and so absolutely ridiculous that it makes me want to stab all and sundry with a dagger fashioned from the bones of the cutest LOLcats you’ve ever seen.

You know what I’m talking about. Simi Garewal is back on TV.

OK no, scratch that. While Simi’s resurgence may be attributed to fearsome ambition and a private cryogenic facility, it’s hard to find a basis for the Maharashtra government’s attempts at pissing all over our bar stools.

It began with a 40-60% liquor hike and was followed this week by the raising of the minimum drinking age (for hard liquor) to 25, because God forbid a 23-year-old gets drunk on whiskey and does something stupid, such as publicly admit his love for ‘Summer of ’69’.

At 26, I’m thankfully above the minimum drinking age. Even then, I technically need a permit and am not allowed to buy more than 1.5 litres of booze a week. For events that require copious amounts of alcohol, such as a party, or piloting a Kingfisher flight, I must notify the authorities well in advance and obtain special permission that is granted only after completion of a ritual virgin sacrifice, to be performed at counter no. 3 in the presence of ‘Thorwade saheb’ who is available only between 3.15 and 3.20 p.m on dates that are prime numbers.

To put things in perspective, the minimum age for consensual sex in India is 16, thus giving kids a headstart in the competitive MMS industry. It is actually easier for people to make little human beings, than it is to legally buy a drink. (Of course, to be able to afford that drink, one needs to sell the aforementioned little human)

It’s quite depressing. A bottle of Kingfisher at my seedy college bar now costs 180, while a Carlsberg costs 210. Remember, this is not a high-end establishment – we’re talking about a bar where the in-house entertainment involves throwing peanuts at the resident cockroaches.

People have already been forced to switch to cheaper brands such as Alcazar (Russian for “Distilled from the pus of Satan”) I mean if I wanted to drink like a hobo, I’d go back to college.

Also, as if dating wasn’t expensive enough already, now you have the added pleasure of paying for a political placebo. Having said that, it’s all worth it when towards the end of the night, she leans in close and looks up with those expectant eyes, and at that moment you just know, deep in your heart, that come what may, she will throw up on you.

While the reasoning behind a small hike would’ve been understandable (“Quick! The Centre’s looking! Stop having sex with builders and do something!”) the fact that we were hit by a 60% hike leads me to believe one of two things: Either our state is more broke than we’d previously imagined, and short of selling it to Mukesh Ambani as parking space, this was the only option available. Or the alcohol reserves of the world have suddenly run out, and we’re sourcing all we can from Charlie Sheen’s bloodstream.

These are tough times that demand sacrifice. The solution is right in front of us: A hunger strike, spearheaded by a man who is respected across the country, a man who has touched countless lives, a man often described by his followers as God – Dr. Vijay Mallya. I’m in. Let’s make it a BYOB (Bring Your Own BabyToSellForBooze)

(Note: This is my HT column dated 5th June 2011)

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14 responses to “Hey… leaders, leave our booze alone!

  1. Ashish you echo the thoughts of an entire generation. Respect!

  2. Tushar’s neighbour is just mad with power.

  3. “It is actually easier for people to make little human beings, than it is to legally buy a drink. (Of course, to be able to afford that drink, one needs to sell the aforementioned little human)”

    One als0 needs to be fairly drunk to reach a state where you voluntarily want to make a baby. So I’m suspecting a covert reduce-the-population plot in this price-hike.

    PS: Why am I ‘Verily Venerable Veda’ on your blogroll? I know I’m mere months away from 30, but sheesh.

  4. hey nicely written article as always.i m sure engg college students cudnt agree more.

  5. Fuck.
    You know how to make people laugh. 🙂

  6. Mallya would say “All those kids coming from maharashtra to bangalore for drinking get 50% off on drinks”

  7. Marriage is legal at 18. And now drinking 25 onwards. Did our politicians never have stag parties? Great post, as usual.

  8. Apparently what the administration desires is that you get married at 21, have a couple of kids in the next four years and after that… booyah!!! its time to party hard and take lite! I mean, only losers take the wife and kids concept seriously while the real winners are passed out and discovering what a hangover feels like (at 25) 😡

  9. And here now we have the Karnataka Govt opining that the legal age for girls to pursue a love marriage should be 21. Marriage at 18 is OK only if it isn’t love marriage. Only for girls mind you http://in.education.yahoo.com/news/yedumailtoday/hc-feels-18-too-early-girls-fall-love-20110607

    I’m sure some lawmaker is some other state of the country is now thinking of how to upstage both Maha and Karn in making an even stupider law. All these State Govt are just trying to one-up on each other I tell you!

  10. I hope this rule is only for the state of Maharashtra!!! My entire campus will walk into the sea if something like this happens…Dry days are days of panic attack already here!! (here = Pondicherry!)

  11. Ah, luxury of being able to legally buy alcohol! Tell that to people of Gujarat and they will die of happiness even before pouring a shot of Chivas Regal on a hot summer afternoon.

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