India - drunks and their antics (Tamasha)!!

 Drinking alcohol in India has been around for centuries, many Indian states were  dry  a few decades ago and now many states have  made alcoholic drinking legal.  Now, drinking alcoholic beverages is more common in south India than in the north. It has caused  social problems of all kinds.  When in sober, the Indian  drunks do funny things that either make you sick or give a good laugh. Read the following  few instances.

Drinking liquor

Bartering rice for toddy, Tamil Nadu style:

Barter between rice and toddy, Tamil Nadu-Kerala state boder
Along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border areas, countless Tamils cross the border  to  be in Kerala to buy  a bottle or two of toddy (Kallu) available in many toddy shops dotted close to the  state line. Tamils do not pay liquid cash, instead  follow the oldest system of buying - bartering.  They buy  a liter of toddy from a Malayalee  by way of bartering with just 2 kg of rice got  free or subsidized  under PDS from the Tamil Nadu Govt. Rice is in great demand in Kerala. Reason: TN government closed  as many as many as 536 hard liquor shops in Tamil Nadu where toddy is already banned long ago.  For the habitual liquor freaks this action by the government is quite disturbing. Being smart as they are, they need something alcoholic to wet their dry throat. The alternative is to go for Kallu.   People, who are  fond of  high alcoholic liquor, have to be content with Kallu, local toddy which does not have high percentage of alcohol to make them feel sober. In Kerala liquor shops are  strictly regulated by the government to boost sale of toddy. ''Be content with what you get'' is the motto of the  habitual  drunks of Tamil Nadu living near the Kerala border.!
Intoxicated cop:

Kerala, drunken cop's concert.

At Karukachal (Kottayam), Kerala : Holiday partying  had  landed a cop in  serious trouble in Vakathanam, close to Kottayam town in October 2017. A driver/cop at the police station after a musical in the toddy shop had experienced  hangover after downing several bottles of toddy. In a tipsy mood his creativity went overtime and started thumping the desk hard and at the same time singing solo to his heart’s content like a lady rookie singer say,  soprano.  His high pitched nonrhythmic, irritating  voice  caused more heartburn than entertainment to  the customers, shop workers and the owner. 

The horrible singing at high pitch continued unabated, unfortunately the people in the shop  had nothing on hand to plug their ears because the cop's bad singing was worse than a donkey  given a couple of good bullwhips. The  toddy shop manager and other folks  were sick and wary about his drunken euphoria. Upon asking him to be silent by the manager, the cop got angry and  felt his ego had been  trespassed. Not to be either  intimidated  or insulted, later the cop went to the shop manager's house  at night to continue  his solo concert - katcheri. This time his tongue became nasty and wagged aimlessly spewing out filthy words. The cop  bathed the manager  with  a barrage  of expletives and invective, not minding the ladies in the house.  Pushed to the fag end of his patience, the manager contacted a senior cop in the police station over the phone  and told him about the  antics and misconduct of a public servant who was supposed to protect the interest of the society. The higher-ups in the police department got wild  and took disciplinary action against the  cop  for his indecent behavior in public.

Drunk driving:

In July 2018 on the week end  near Adyar bridge,  Cheenai city, Tamil Nadu the police had been stopping the  passengers cars  and motor bikes  for drunk driving. Caught in the routine check was a   24-year-old man.  He was in a drunken state  and an unexpected thing had  happened in a jiffy no body could think off. To  avoid being caught by the cops the man  jumped  off the Adyar bridge into the Adyar river below. He  could not be traced  for a pretty long time till following morning both  by the
Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS) and police force. Divers and fishermen were part of the search. The search went on in the night with heavy-duty search light. 

According to police,  the man  was riding a motor bike “with his friend on pillion.  The police team caught them and asked the rider  to blow into the breathalyzer.  The reading confirmed that he was heavily drunk and he had downed a quarter bottle of alcohol. When the policemen asked him to produce the driving license,  he told them that it was in the bike. “He then suddenly turned around and jumped into the Adyar river  with his pillion rider much to the shock of the policemen.  They escaped uncaught and un-traced.
 Dancing drunk:

Haula dancing
If you happen to be a woman driver, be  careful when you are caught in a traffic tie-up in your city.  Sometimes, unexpectedly, you may be confronted with a bunch of tipplers who, in a drunken stupor,  may entertain or embarrass  you  with a weird dance recital in front of you  on the street with  lewd, smutty gestures. A young woman in Mumbai had a similar disgusting  experience. 

While stuck in a traffic snarl in a busy road in Mumbai on a Sunday evening  in November 2016,  a 33 year old cafe owner had a harrowing experience.  A group of drunk men harassed her.  She was  driving on the way to see her friend and go to church. When she saw an  auto rickshaw inching  ahead in the wrong direction, she got out of her car and told the auto driver to follow the queue as every body does. As she was telling the auto driver  to  go back, to her dismay,  a car had just  moved in close to her  in the wrong direction. Sat inside  the vehicle  were six men in a drunken state. No sooner had she told them to move back and drive in the right direction, than they yelled at her and had let lose a cascade of expletives. Not content with this, one man got off from the car and began to dance with vulgar gestures. The other drivers near-by could not do anything about the dancing bear. The lady driver being smart, took the picture of the number plate with her mobile phone  and tweeted her friend to inform the police.  The cops who noted down the number plate,  responded a bit late due to heavy traffic. By that time except the driver,  others in the car gave a slip. The cops asked the driver to get the man who danced nicely with wrong gesticulation  before the lady.  As the fatigued woman was  in the traffic for more than 3 hours, she preferred to go home soon instead of making a police complaint.  The drunks and the dance walla got a break with a severe warning.
Liquor drinking on the increase in India:
Believe it or not south Indian states, about five years ago accounted for  60% of alcohol consumption of the entire country. Presumably, they take refuge in alcoholic beverages to subdue their frustration and ennui.  Taking into  account their population of only 22-23% of the national population, the figure  is too high to give a spin in your head.   Alcohol expenditure went up  at a gallop to Rs.193 billion in 2013-14 from Rs.137 billion in 2012-13, clearly showing the upward trend of  drinking culture in  Indian households. An average Indian household is reported to have  spent Rs.713 on drinking

in 2013-14.   According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 30 per cent of India’s population consumes alcohol regularly.  Yet another sad story is the percentage of under-15 boys who have not had alcohol has gone down from 44 per cent to 30 per cent and for girls it has decreased from 50 per cent  to 31 per cent.

For the brewers,  south India may be an haven  as the market size of alcohol is the  largest in southern states at Rs.109 billion accounting for 60 per cent of alcohol consumption in India. This may be an indication of the mindset of the people who believe  socializing with  alcoholic drinks is not looked down by the conservatives in the society. The teenagers who  socialize  also drink liquor in spite of  parents' warning. That  school students  bring liquor to school is a  sad commentary.   Along with social drinking comes an array of  societal problems such as domestic violence,  divorce, murder, street violence, brawls 
As for  average expenditure on alcohol, Keralite households spent the highest  at Rs.4,206 per household on an average - five times the alcohol expense of an average Indian household.  Consequently this state is facing a host of social problems rising road accidents, marital breakdowns and alcohol related diseases. Now, alcoholic liquor is very much limited in this state that encourages toddy (percentage of alcohol is just 2% to 3%).
The state of West Bengal accounts for the lowest average expenditure  at Rs.64 per household in