BENGALURU: I'm turning 30 today, there is no way I would've stayed back in Bengaluru on a dry weekend," says Aneesh Das (name changed), who headed out to Ooty on Friday after work with a group of twelve of his friends. "Those who are voting are joining us later today, and since it is just a six-eight hour drive, we thought we'd go to Ooty, where the weather is also much better right now," he says, adding that he doesn't plan on voting either.
Like him, some others whom City Express got in touch with are planning little escapes to nearby places where they can still get a cold beer to unwind with. In fact, liquor shops were swarmed with people looking to stock up for the weekend on Thursday night. Rohit Arora, a 22-year-old management student at Christ University, says that he has no plans of voting and is getting away for the weekend.
"Every other weekend, we go partying. But due to the elections, we cannot go to any of the pubs or bars we frequent. So we stocked up on a whole crate of bottles earlier this week, and are leaving tonight to a farmhouse near Gokarna," he says.
Goa state of mind
Party state Goa is a bus ride or cheap flight ticket away, and the perfect place to get away to for a weekend of making merry. Sonia Dutta Gupta, a 27-year-old 2D-animator is going to Goa for the weekend. "My sister-in-law has come from Delhi for a few days, and unfortunately, in Bengaluru, we have dry days this weekend. Since we won't be able to vote this year, as we only moved here three months ago, we decided to go to Goa for the weekend," she says.
Similarly, Anshikaa Sharma, a 27-year-old Delhi-based media professional, says that she had heard so much about Bengaluru's famous pub culture that she was disappointed that a family function coincided with the elections on her maiden trip to the city. She is planning on going to Goa for the next three days, and come back and experience the city's numerous breweries next week. "My cousin, who doesn't plan on voting, is coming with me to Goa for a quick holiday. Hopefully, I'll be able to go to a few pubs and breweries that I've heard so much about when I'm back," she says.
With students wrapping up with their summer internships and dreading the start of another school year, some are planning trips to Goa to bid adieu to their summer break. "My friends and I are going to Goa for a holiday.
This is a much-needed break for us. Our offices happen to be closed this weekend as well, so we thought Goa would be the perfect place to head to this weekend. Because Karnataka is dry, it is the best time to get away from the city," says Meghna Bhalla, a 20-year-old student at Christ University.
'No point in voting'
In addition to the dry weekend, some tell us that they have either tried getting their names on the voter list and failed, don't see much of a point in voting, or would rather vote in their hometown.
"When there was a drive in my college, I applied to vote, but my name wasn't on the list. I called to find out why many times, but got no response. So I thought that instead of doing nothing, I'll go for trip to Goa, where I have few friends, and can have a few drinks without worrying," says Aieman Zoha, a student at Mount Carmel College.
Sushmitha Sarkar from Jharkhand, says, "I'm a student, and have been living in Bengaluru for more than a year now. I don't feel like voting here, as I'd rather do it in my hometown. I'm doing an internship right now, and this is the only weekend I can go home and enjoy with my friends," she says.
Poll code of conduct
To ensure peaceful elections, the Bengaluru city police commissioner has issued orders prohibiting the sale and storage of liquor during the elections. Bars and pubs will be dry for more than three days — from 5pm on May 10, till midnight on May 12, the day of voting; and from 6am till midnight on the day of counting, on May 15. He also said that there are no restrictions on drinking at home, provided people don't create a nuisance on the roads and in public spaces after consumption.