High on spirit

And so it tumbled out… the skeleton in the closet. Hooch, lovingly called bangla, gulped 32 lives in. Basirhat, New Barrackpur, Barasat and several other places pulsating with hooch factories had to be closed down because of public resilience. They have been thriving undaunted and with the alleged hafta paid to police they knew they can get away with anything and everything. The toll this time was probably too colossal and thus became focal point of public outrage. Well, this was not the first time when people who had gone to a hooch stall to celebrate, to relax or just to quench their thirst for alcohol had fallen prey to spurious liquor. One of our colleagues, while passing a broken hooch stall near Mechua, in a richshaw asked the rickshaw puller about the situation. The man, after blurting out few news bites, narrated how he had once survived such a situation. It so happened that he along with his three other friends had gone for a picnic. They got hooch and this man was sent to buy some snacks to have the liquor with. So, the rickshaw puller left them with the bottles on promise that they would not start drinking until he was back. But, by the time the rickshaw puller came back his friends, they had already drunk from the bottles. They were found unconscious. On being taken to the hospital they were pronounced brought dead. One wonders, would the authorities never wake unless a toll reaches such a height?

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