Booze for Ride in Rainy Stroll

Vijay Hashia
While moderate and occasional liquor consumption is not universally condemned, but the detrimental effects from its excessive intake are. Bihar’s CM Nitish Kumar, views alcohol primarily as a law and order issue and the door-to-door survey on public sentiments regarding prohibition seems more of a political manoeuvering than a genuine reconsideration of seven-year-old liquor ban. State of Kerala, on the other hand, recognizes its broader impact on revenue, expanding the concern beyond public health. Here is what this author recently encountered and views about.
As I embarked on my usual fine evening walk, the heavens opened up, transforming me into a silhouette of liquid grace. Heavy downpour cascaded me, adorning my form like celestial pearls, while the primal forces of nature wove its symphony of chaos and serenity.
Caught in the midst of deluge, I stumbled upon an unexpected sight-a besotted, paunchy figure lay sprawled in the middle of the road, a victim of his own indulgence. The besotted paunchy in an inebriated state that had wallowed in the swill and had laid on the middle of road under downpour could not get up despite own several attempts, and finally, with the support of a few passersby, was eventually moved to a nearby ramshackle shelter adjacent to the liquor shop, where from he must have exited.
In the midst of this interlude, I too sought refuge under the same crumbling roof, its leaks and feeble walls offering me scant defence against the relentless rainy winds that assailed me completely. Desperation compelled me to navigate a crowded space in search of much safer corner but in vain.
The rain intensified around in more chaotic symphony, as pickup autos rushed by, the drivers seeking refuge in the nearby liquor shop, oblivious to my plight. In the meanwhile, the inebriated paunchy nearby was helped with water by stranded men, advising him to retreat back home but to no avail.
My new sports shoes, worn only a number of times, were soaked through, my feet feeling the undercurrent, as if I were wading through a pool. The front portion of my pants clung to my skin, damp and uncomfortable. Frustration and desperation gripped me as I watched auto after auto pass-by, their drivers more interested in their own pursuits than in offering me a ride, most of them halting and sneaking into the booze delight of the nearby liquor shop.
A glimmer of hope appeared in the form, an another empty auto passed by, the driver stopped in front of the liquor vendor, where nearby I had taken refuge. Seizing the moment, I took a daredevil chance and jumped into the auto vehicle. The driver, irritated by my intrusion, protested, “I’ve come for booze. I won’t go anywhere else.”
Desperation fueled my resolve, and I made an audacious offer, “Do you want free booze? I’ll give you some, if you drop me home, just two kilometer away.” Surprisingly, he agreed, and relief washed over me. The auto roared to life, and I found myself on the way home through inundated roads.
I thanked the auto driver for having acquiesced to retrieve me from the deluge and heavy rain onslaught. Desperate for solace, I scavenged a nearly empty bottle, an old leftover relic from my friend’s indulgence. I carefully added a splash of water, sealing the cork with utmost precision, and veiled it under the layers of old newspaper to evade driver’s prying eyes.
The driver expressed his heartfelt thanks, his demeanor radiating genuine appreciation for my ingenuity of free booze offer for a free ride back home, seemed to me, akin to a politician’s quid-pro-quo for votes.
In the end, I couldn’t help chuckle at the absurdity of the situation. Sometimes, it takes a daring gamble and a stroke of brevity to overcome the challenges, even in the midst of a chaotic downpour that a left over booze splash from friends could rescue me. And so, with a mix of relief and amusement, I settled back into the comfort of my home, grateful for the twists and turns that had led me safely through the heavy downpour and storm for a free ride and a free booze.
You may try the trick if you are caught …