A Happy Accident

The Times of India reports:

Booze flowed free for over 100 villagers, including women, who partied hard after a truck carrying foreign liquor overturned on NH-5 in Jajpur district.

Most of the villagers, who are daily labourers, had not tasted foreign liquor and the orgy left them intoxicated. While several people skipped work the next day to sleep it off, as many as 10 villagers were admitted to a hospital after suffering severe hangovers. They were discharged after preliminary treatment.

I have no idea why ToI is describing what seems to just have been a drinking binge as an orgy—but never mind. Apparently, the truck “was loaded with 1080 cartons, each of which was packed with 750 ml bottles of whiskey and vodka.” No mixers. Imagine the fun.

I wonder if some of the people who got drunk silly actually didn’t like the booze much—so much booze is an acquired taste, after all—and forced themselves to drink because it was foreign booze, and so it must be good, and they didn’t want to waste this opportunity. I had that experience as a kid when I tasted champagne for the first time. I hated it, but was trying to psyche myself to enjoy it because it was, after all, champagne. I have also never quite developed a taste for whisky, and the expensive Scotches that my good friend Prem Panicker offers me when I’m over at his place are, well, wasted on me. All I know about single malts is that they’re not ready for commitment yet.

But anyway, what a fascinating story. And what a great premise for a novel. A truck full of foreign booze overturns in rural India. Villagers gather, much drunkenness and catharsis ensues, their lives change. If I had had unlimited time and unlimited energy, I’d certainly write this one. Such it goes.