Delhi Musings: Prices of all fluids are up save liquor

With AK now focusing on Gujarat, a dry state, one wonders how he will cover the budget deficit on account of subsidies he announces there

Long queues outside a liquor shop in Delhi
Long queues outside a liquor shop in Delhi

Giraj Sharma

Delhi has had major changes in how liquor is sold. Dilliwalahs, after suffering from a longish period of non-availability of their favourite brands of liquor, have got some brand new liquor stores to pick their khambas and addahs. These new stores are bigger and better than the liquor vends we had earlier.

Interestingly, these new stores have started to offer some crazy discounts so much so that Delhi cops had to step in to control the crowds that converged on to these stores to pick up their poison at attractive rates. The state government also announced slashing off number of dry days and restricted the total number of dry days to just three. This is a huge drop from 21 dry days earlier - days when a drive to Faridabad, Gurgaon and Nodia didn’t seem too bad for the spirits.

One should not insinuate this to be the intent of the Delhi government to get Dilliwalahs drunk – they are high on life any which ways. The fact is that the government wants to up its tax collections to meet its increased expenses or perhaps this is one way to cover up for the subsidies our man AK has offered in his quest for power.

News is that soon some banquet halls in Delhi will also be granted licenses to serve liquor to guests. This is really a welcome move as Dilliwalahs had become sick of the practise of ‘car-obar’ where the car’s dickey had to be turned into a bar for most weddings and functions at these banquet halls. It was also embarrassing to make one’s younger cousin run up and down repeatedly to fetch ice, soda and glasses from the party hall with the car parked under a non-functional street lamp and with some strays for company.

Revenues from the licenses to banquet halls will square up a portion of the subsidies that got our man 62 seats in the Delhi Assembly. We may call it CM’s ‘spirited revenue innovation’. With our man AK now focusing his energies on the Gujarat elections one wonders how he will explain covering the budget deficit on account of subsidies that he announces there. Gujarat continues to be a dry state and no one dare try changing it.

The meat ban hoax

Politics in the capital city has become one big sham. And it is not just our man AK but others who play up their games too. We had the Mayor of one of the municipal corporations claim that there is a ban on sale of meat during Chaitra Navratri – those nine auspicious days for Hindus. The claim was denied by the civic body stating that they had not ordered closure of any meat shop in the city.

While it caused some confusion on the ground and a few meat sellers presumably closed their shops out of fear – the Mayor got eyeballs and was trending for a few hours on social media platforms. Anything goes as long as it can be milked for political mileage. Luckily Dilliwalahs are now immune to such mechanisms of our political class.

Time to take out bicycles

Most Dilliwalahs ignored the Mayor’s claim and were busy posting memes of that Canadian actor who had posted in 2012 about how it was time to clean up one’s bicycles since the petrol prices were on the rise. They wanted to check what he is doing now with the petrol prices crossing Rs 100 a litre (it was around Rs 74 per litre in 2012).

Even The Kashmir Files actor Anupam Kher was not spared for his concerns about his driver when petrol prices shot up in 2010. Folks wanted to know the well-being of his driver now. Someone was heard asking out aloud if Mr Kher’s driver was being taken care of by that freshly minted millionaire Vivek Agnihotri?

Liquor is the only fluid whose prices are moving south in the state of Delhi. Petrol and diesel prices are at an all-time high. And then is the price of nimboo-paani that moved up too as lemons are selling around Rs 300 a kilo in the capital.

Suddenly Dilliwalahs have stopped using that proverbial phrase ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ and replaced it with ‘when life gives you lemons, save those lemons for another day!’

(The writer blogs at Views are personal)

(This was first published in National Herald on Sunday)

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines