How are Chennai tipplers ripped off by a con man during the present Corona lock down?

drunkman, shutterstock com
The entire world  being in the grip of  novel corona  virus  with various countries facing so many serious social, health, financial and other issues on account of total lock down or just  lock down of cities, towns and districts, not to speak of  disposal of dead bodies coming out of the hospitals  daily despite  lack of space for burials, the rich drunks in  Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu, some how manage to get liquor to quench their dry throat  from the smuggled stuff out of  the Govt. Liquor Shops.  In a total lock down situation,  for the so called elite drinkers  from rich families who go to expensive bars and drink to their heart's content in a nice ambiance, it is hell being home in the late evening. The closure of Tasmac is blow to this breed of regular drunks. 

Obviously, the habitual drinkers are quite desperate for drinks to subdue their frustration. Feeling high is a way of getting rid of ennui. In many corona affected countries,  the family members are in pain and grief over the unexpected death of their loved ones, in particular, senior citizens either due to lack of access to health care centers or self-isolation. The other problem is lack of coffins and space for the burial of corona affected bodies. if there is a burial, relatives are allowed to watch it from a distance. It is pathetic and heart-rending story across the world.

In the case of rich family members of Tamil Nadu, they  are  more concerned about the alcoholics in their families  than the impact of novel corona in their neighborhood.  Before the lock down  announced by the government, these liquor freaks  shelled out quite a large amount and and took back home enough liquor bottles to fill in their daily needs. Since PM Modi had extended the lock down  period further across the country  up to 3rd of May in view of  gradual spike in  infection,  these affluent  drinkers are frantically in search of liquor, something like a horribly thirsty man looking for a glass of water in the Mojave desert of California or in the parched desert of the Rann of kutchi in Gujartat.   This extension of lock down  period has a heavy blow on their head  and left them in a lurch, now; they can not access the expensive
liquor shops to meet their needs. All Tasmac branches in Chennai and through out Tamil Nadu are closed keeping in mind the social distancing
Bogged down by the unprecedented desperation to lay their shaky hands on their favorite brew, with empty bottles at home,  these tipplers were on the look out of some source where they could get the liquor close to their heart.  In the  ad on the Internet from Elite Tasmac shop, Annanagar, Chennai, they saw a silver lining in the cloud, a sort of blessing in disguise. The Ad mentioned that they could get their liquor needs in bulk in the comforts of their home  from them  on  line upon 50% initial payment  through ''Google pay'' and the rest upon  home delivery. The cost of  one quality liquor bottle varies between a few thousand rupees up to Rs. 20,000. About 50 of the elite members sent the 50% advance immediately to get the brew quickly. Only after a few hours, they  realized their 'mistake made in haste' that they had been taken for a ride and somebody hard their head scalped thoroughly- much worse than the scalpers of Hopi or Navajo Indians of the US.  The caller was not from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, but from some place  in another Indian state - Odisha.

There is a saying in Tamil  ''Naandu kozhuthal  vaalayil  erukkaathu'' meaning ''if a crab becomes fat and bulky, it won't stay in the burrow''. These rich people have no concern about the hardship and difficulties poor and middle class people are facing  daily during the lock down. These status-conscious people are neither worried about their own financial future nor the health and wealth of the nation,  and where we are heading in the middle of novel corona crisis. While their focus was on how  to wet their parched throat, our doctors and medicare staff  across the nation are sweating it out like sweat-hogs in the hospital ever facing covid -19 infection.
As for the intelligent white collar cheat, he used his diabolical brain to exploit the weakness and stupidity of the drunks in Chennai. No burglary, no mugging, no chain-snatching and above all no violence. This small online illegal operation for a few hours or so would have netted him a bundle. The funny thing is the tipplers were ripped off from a remote place  and they can not seek the help of the police. The only consolation is the cheat never made them bare every thing to get a bottle, but for their under garments!!
The unfortunate fact is in the case of poor people who can not get the liquor due to closure of Tasmac  in Tamil Nadu so far six habitual drinkers lost their lives. Driven by desperation to get their daily dose to get high, they tried  aftershave lotion to varnish  and mixed them with cold drinks. Tamil Nadu is one of the states with the highest alcohol consumption and the government-owned TASMAC has monopoly in liquor distribution and sales.  Though private de-addiction centers like Mindzone and Tamil Nadu Association of Clinical Psychologists (TNACP) have also offered free psychological support for alcoholics and those suffering from depression in times of COVID-19,  people addicted to drinks face an uphill depression and uncontrollable craving.
Polimer News, Tamil Nadu :April 16, 2020.