A teenage nephew, in all his innocence and driven by a desire to understand the ways of his uncle asked him: Uncle, tell me which is the best time to consume the heady stuff? Not to be outsmarted by the youngster, also not to sound harsh, the good-natured uncle hinted to his nephew to get it right away, if he can lay his hands on it, without bothering about the time suited to blow away the blues of life. The liquor producing industry and the Excise Department in the government are indebted to the kind of uncles featured in the foregoing narrative, not only for including their preferred brand in their daily diet but also opening the young minds to explore the world with all its good, bad and indifferent avenues of enjoyment. It is upto the gen next to tread cautiously in their journey from a state of consciousness to one of the blissful sub-conscious.
Mercifully, citizens in Karnataka, if they desire, can possess specific quantities of liquor without licence under Karnataka Excise Rules 1967, including toddy at one end of the rung to Foreign Liquors (both Indian made and foreign made) at the other end. There may not be any other law in the State or the country setting a more puzzling task than to the law-keepers to implement this volatile rule as it were.
The self-appointed good samaritans in society pleading with people at large to abstain from drinking to be healthy and avoid economic hardship to themselves as well as their families on one side and the governments, including the Karnataka Government, seem to be engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts with the latter frequently issuing new licences in hundreds to open liquor shops across the State. The international fellowship, Alcoholic Anonymous (AA), founded in 1935 in the State of Ohio, United States of America, with the primary purpose of helping alcoholics to stay sober and also help other alcoholics achieve sobriety, is required to go about its mission incognito. The small group of the AA fellowship in Mysuru, committed to alcohol de-addiction, reportedly meeting occasionally in St. Philomena’s Church premises, has its task cut out, particularly in dissuading the rustics who face a greater load of life’s blues than urbanites.
With the elders vanishing from the typical family unit, their sons and daughters, barring exceptions, have to take the tricky prescription “To avoid hangover, stay drunk” with a pinch of salt.