| Residents queue up in front of a liquor shop to stock up before Holi on Tuesday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
With each passing day, the state capital is getting drunk before the riot of colours. Slowly but surely. Even the ones who do not drink round the year have decided to gulp down a couple of pegs before screaming Holi Hai.
The youth and the old are fast forming a Holi brigade and making the most of the chance the festival of colours offers. This year, they have chosen whisky over the rest. Shops are crowded. The demand has shot up, and the suppliers have responded promptly.
The shopkeepers are not complaining. This year has already recorded a steep rise in sales.
“The sale (of liquor) has doubled since March 3. The estimated average sale of liquor at each shop on March 3 was worth Rs 1 lakh. On March 4, the figure swelled to Rs 1.75 lakh. On March 7, the sale will be of over Rs 5 lakh at every shop,” Nawal Kishore Singh, the president of Foreign Liquor Retailers’ Association, Patna, said.
The confusion over the date of the festival has added to the frenzy and given more opportunity to the revellers. “The date of the festival is still not clear. It will be on March 8 or 9. We expect the sale to increase because of this,” Chandrashekhar, the secretary of the association, said.
More the sale, more the number of pegs you drink. And whisky has bulldozed its rivals in the race of being the most opted drink. Reason: its effect lasts the entire day.
Anjum Kumar, a resident of Anand Puri, said: “Whisky can be taken slowly all the time. A number of guests visit our home. And we prefer whisky as its effect lasts longer.”
The last but not the least. Krishna Paswan, the assistant commissioner of the excise department, clarified that March 9 will be the dry day.