Hic, hic, hooray!

Tuesday, 22 June 2021 | Pioneer

The Delhi Government’s decision on reopening bars means that the patrons must share the onus of safety

On the happy occasion of the Seventh International Yoga Day, the Delhi Government provided its denizens an exciting opportunity to indulge in some arm and elbow exercises. It threw open the doors to bars and restaurants serving alcohol with a loud three-cheers shoutout: One for the devotees of Bacchus, the second for the dehydrated hospitality industry and the last (certainly not the least!) one for the Government coffers. As anticipated, the heady news was met with exuberance and welcomed with joyous abandon by the connoisseurs who had literally been staying parched for a long time now. Of course, the booze shops had already upped their shutters but imbibing alcohol with friends sitting at a cool place with like-minded people around you is an altogether different experience. You don’t have to frequently keep running to the refrigerator to replenish the beer or worry about the performance of the ice tray or, worst nightmare, about the kebabs getting cold and limp or running out of stock. The people’s Chief Minister has heard his people’s inner voice and granted them their wish. Of course, the permission comes with certain riders but, still, having a little fun always beats having no fun at all.

So, now, apart from the congratulations, a few words of advice and caution to the spirited revellers. Start small. Don’t let the passionate enthusiasm breach the fine line and cross into the ludicrous and the ridiculous. It has been made abundantly clear that the restaurants and the bars, for now at least, will operate at only 50 per cent capacity, so don’t crowd or hog the place. Let your fellow drinkers also have a fair chance to revel. Go in small groups. Also, everyone would understand if you can’t partake alcohol or the savouries with your mask fastened religiously as per the COVID-19 protocol but please take more than usual care of your etiquettes when it comes to laughing your heart out or coughing or suchlike things. Also, “50 per cent capacity” doesn’t mean that 40 per cent of the inmates can agreeably be found on a single table because it’s a buddy’s birthday. Practise social distancing, please. All the hallmarks of genteel behaviour that you would display in a courtroom, you are expected to observe in pubs and bars, too. The Government has given you another chance, take it with caution. Meanwhile, Hip, hip, hooray!

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