Celebrating onam with liquor in true Kerala Style
Malayalis have endorsed liquor as their best companion in their happy and sad moments and no celebration can be complete without a peg for any native of Kerala. It is paradoxical to note that Kerala, which takes credit for being one of the most literate States in India also tops the list of the highest per capita liquor consumption in the country. The state-owned Kerala State Beverages Corporation Ltd, the sole distributor of IMFL ( Indian Made Foreign Liquor) records an all time high in its sales during Onam, Christmas and New Year.
Bars in Kerala remain open 7 days a week ( except the 1st of every month and a few red letter days like Gandhi Jayanthi) from 9 am to 9 pm. The moment shutters open, the winding queues start taking shape outside liquor stores. Bars fill the Government coffers as it earns millions of rupees as revenue, which will go up many times during festival seasons like Onam and New Year.
Now that Onam is only a few days away, all the State run BEVCO outlets are fully stocked with all the popular brands of drinks to cater to the revelers who wish to have a kick. Last year, the beverages sale set a record of sorts in Kerala as the alcohol sales touched a record as Kerala consumed liquor worth a staggering Rs 143 crore, which does not include the sale of liquor through private bars.
This year too the Bevco is hopeful of keeping up with its double digit annual rise. Apart from the authorised Bevco outlets and bars attached to hotels, gallons of spurious liquor too will flow to Kerala across the borders to quench the undying thirst for liquor of Malayaless. It seems that when it comes to buying their favorite liquor brands, recession and rupee value depreciation never comes to the mind of Malayalees!