Wet days in December

Tuesday, 29 September 2020



Wet days in December

Swapnil Bharali | December 10, 2018 11:30 hrs

Well, it’s the wedding season and so, time for celebrations. All weddings in the city witness months of rigorous planning so that these significant milestones in any family remain as memorable events for both the hosts and the invited guests. Specific dates for the various wedding rituals are decided way in advance and guests are invited accordingly.

Whether we like or not, discuss freely or discreetly, the cocktail party has become an important ritual – or rather, an intricate part - in the modern weddings of the city. And why not? Guwahati is known for its capacity to guzzle and we at G Plus have done stories upon stories stating facts and figures of liquor consumption by us Guwahatians. In this context, the sudden announcement of dry days for whatever reason of local or national importance by the administration is akin to throwing a spanner in the works. Things go haywire for the hosts who suddenly become unsure whether to stick to the plan of holding the cocktail and thus do something illegal or cancel it outright and thereby make the event that bit less memorable.

But then, just to clear up the confusion to the extent possible, the rules state and I am quoting verbatim from the The Assam Excise Rules, 2016: “No sale or consumption of liquor in any “ON” and “OFF” licensed premises shall take place on Dry Days … The licensed premises shall remain closed and no business shall be transacted on … dry days.” However, if a cocktail party was already planned at a licensed premises – say a hotel or a club of the city - and its date earmarked to guests, the government provides for a “one-day permit” that is issued by the excise department and which can be taken just to ensure that the happiness of the hosts and guests does not turn sour.

This provision however, does not feature prominently in the rule book. Nor does it say explicitly whether liquor consumption at a private residence on a dry day would also mean breaking the law.

Also, there is no clarity on whether the licensed premises mean the whole hotel or club or just the demarcated area where the bar is located. 

Well, dry days or otherwise, December is here when Guwahati is thoroughly wet. All we need to do is enjoy responsibly.

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