What does it take to buy liquor in Kerala? Little did I realize the “what” till I went shopping on 21st August. One of the foremost things you need is strong legs. Then, you will also need patience in abundance. There is a very long queue in front of the liquor store. So, you will have to wait for your turn. For this, you require both strong legs and patience.
It also helps you to note down the rack on which your precious poison rests if you are purchasing the less popular brand. One of my friends with an exquisite taste wanted Haig. Popular and desired as it may sound to you, it is definitely not very well known here; at least not in the beverages store near Pipeline junction in Palarivattom. The person at the counter was speechless after hearing the word “Haig”. A disaster was quickly averted by pointing to the rack behind him showing him the exact location of the “Haig”.
Avoid purchases after sunset. It isn’t bad to shop for liquor in daylight. In fact, the state exchequer is always happy when the sales figures arrive after the festival season comes to an end. In effect, you are contributing to the state revenue. Remember the taxes are taken forcibly from you. Here, you are making the state self sufficient on your free will and with a happy mind. At the same time, please avoid buying from Chalakkudy at any time of the day during the festival season as the highest sales of liquor was registered here. They sure know how to have a gala time. The problem is neither the residents of the Chalakkudy nor the shops there. The problem is you. Your legs and patience might fail!
Planning always help. If you plan well, then you could stock upon the liquor without any difficulty. You can easily identify hours or days when these stores are less crowded and plan your visit accordingly. When there are less people around, buy more as you don’t have to bear the cross of keeping the fellow liquor lovers waiting. You may still need to find the location of less popular brands yourself as drinking a particular brand of poison is your choice and not the choice of the person at the counter.
Transporting liquor from other states, where there are options to obtain it without strong legs and patience, is not planning. I retract. It is planning. But some have a very narrow point of view and term this as smuggling. Most of these narrow minded people wear khakhi apparels with a cap and also display stars over their shoulders. These khakhi wearing breed do not possess a sense of humor. Be forewarned!
To give you a sense of what transpires in front of liquor store, please see the picture. This was taken in front of the beverages store near Pipeline junction in Palarivattom.