New Year’s Eve: City too dry and too wet

Published: December 31, 2010

Party planners hit by whiskey shortage and bad weather.

LAHORE: A shortage of whiskey and bad weather are hampering arrangements for New Year’s Eve parties across the city tonight.

The price of Black Label, one of the most popular brands of whiskey among Lahoris, has doubled since a consignment destined for this city’s black market for alcohol was confiscated in Islamabad a month ago, said bootleggers. A bottle of Black Label is now selling for Rs8,000-9,000, they said.

A party planner for a ticketed event tonight said that the whiskey shortage is being compensated for with vodka and wine.

“We’ve been getting Chivas Regal [another scotch brand] but that is now running short too,” he said.

A private party organiser said he had cut his guest list down to close family and friends because of the exorbitant cost of alcohol.

A bootlegger who has been supplying liquor to people’s houses in Lahore for 10 years said that alcohol shortages were common at this time of year, but this time the shortage was severe.

“Liquor runs short prior to New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day every year but this is the worst whiskey shortage I have seen,” he said.

An organiser with an event management company that is hosting its first event at a farmhouse in Bedian tonight said that he had asked friends in Islamabad to bring him “the good stuff” from contacts in the capital before the party. “We are stocking up on beer and red and white wine here,” he said.

Another bootlegger said that most customers did not want to buy Russian vodka, since the labels on the bottles were faded and their clients might think the product to be of poor quality or adulterated.

“Most bootleggers in Lahore only sell the good quality stuff because the customers are high-end and experienced enough to tell the difference,” he said.

Heavy weather

Meanwhile, several organisers were forced to make last minute arrangements as the rain, forecast to continue over the weekend, ruined plans for outdoor parties. Salman Ali of Insomnia said he was negotiating with hotels in and around Gulberg to host his party since their plan for an outdoor event had to be cancelled.

Imtisal Zafar of Verve, another event management company, insisted that the whiskey shortage and rain would not affect celebrations of the new year.

Lahore’s event management companies including Sammy PR, Carousel and Manior’s have organised at least seven parties in the city. However JnS, another popular company, has decided to organise its New Year’s Eve bash in Karachi this year.

Parties are also to be hosted at Gulberg restaurants Ciro’s Pomodoro, Verandah Bistro and Cosa Nostra.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2010.

Reader Comments (33)

  • kalim
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:04AM

    City too dry and too wet… lovely line.Recommend

  • Saad
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:06AM

    My only comment… WTF???Recommend

  • Erum
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:35AM

    That’s harsh. Survive on punch and good humor, I guess…. Happy New Year, Lahore!Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:57AM

    Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan…Recommend

  • DZ
    Dec 31, 2010 - 1:34PM

    EXCUSE ME!?!? Why is the shortage of alcohol being portrayed as a BAD thing? What the hell, seriously guys!Recommend

  • Ahmed Waheed
    Dec 31, 2010 - 2:13PM

    Haha what a country!Recommend

  • SR
    Dec 31, 2010 - 2:18PM

    People want to drink -> There is a demand for alcohol. You are nobody to judge. Do not refer to Islamic law because those people might not consider themselves Muslims and do not refer to Pakistani law because well, it also says you should be put to death if you defame the Prophet. Recommend

  • Dec 31, 2010 - 2:25PM

    Oh yes, we were waiting for this article to enlighten us on why exactly alcohol is out.

    I hope everyone ensures they contact the PR firms to get a ticket/pass.Recommend

  • SK
    Dec 31, 2010 - 4:27PM

    awwww ab kiya hoga yaar no black label tsk tsk i guess now the only thing left is to shot couple of thousands rounds i have into the air :( Sigh what a new year!!!

    hahaha Happy new years guys ! and Good luck my alcoholic friends may u never get the chance to taste another sip hereRecommend

  • MuslimBoy
    Dec 31, 2010 - 4:39PM

    Alchahol is Haram in Islam. We should celebrate by eating halva. Thats what all Muslim ppl do. Real muslims im talking about.

    Can i have my halva spiked with sum liquor plzRecommend

  • kk
    Dec 31, 2010 - 5:22PM

    Islamic Republic of PakistanRecommend

  • anonymous
    Dec 31, 2010 - 5:41PM

    wtf!!! shortage of alcohol a gud thing or a bad thing??Recommend

  • Dec 31, 2010 - 5:56PM

    Instead of praying two Rakah Nawafil for a blessed year, we are indulging in all immoral activities. Is this the Quaid’s ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN??Recommend

  • Dec 31, 2010 - 6:22PM

    If someone wants to drink that’s their personal choice, but as per the law at present, alcohol consumption is illegal, and bootlegging is actually a form of tax evasion. Perhaps an emphasis on asking these party planners whether they pay their taxes? Recommend

  • Taimoor Azhar
    Dec 31, 2010 - 7:03PM

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO WRITER AND ALL READERS.Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar
    Dec 31, 2010 - 7:08PM

    Will be interesting to see how many of the mullah brigade log on to talk about how having fun during the few short years of our lives when we can and should will result in Hellfire retribution……..Recommend

  • Baitho Baitho
    Dec 31, 2010 - 7:45PM

    huh, i fail to understand the people of this country.. is this what we call islamic republic of Pakistan ?? and the above article is depicting as this is the worst thing that could happen tonight as the people do not have alcohol to drink..
    interestingly today in Pakistan there was a strike against the amendment of blasphemy law.. and this is what i mentioned there while commenting on that article that peaceful strikes are fine but we need to see first what are we upto? what clause of shariah allow us to drink ?

    think ppl thinkRecommend

  • zff
    Dec 31, 2010 - 10:48PM

    WEIRD WEIRD article. express tribune needs to set its priorities right, otherwise it’l fizzle into the ground. More and more people are reverting back to the ‘original english newspaper’ everyday. grow up et.Recommend

  • FS
    Dec 31, 2010 - 10:50PM

    Haha nice article to close the year. Lack of food, bijli and so why not alcohol? Must be a tough situation without Johnny on New Years eve. But I wish a happy new year to everyone be it with Shehzan mango, Pepsi, or Murree Beer. As for people who mentioned the Quaid – guys you should know better – do enjoy your halwa though! Recommend

  • thinking_tom
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:51PM

    Oh grow up, whoever wants to drink should do so responsibly and that’s the only moderation anyone has the right to demand.
    Those that don’t know this yet, people don’t get drunk instantly on touching or looking at alcohol. If it’s consumed responsibly it’s not harming anyone and is none of anyone’s business. Get over yourselves and get on with life. Jeo aur jeenay do.Recommend

  • Ali Zaidi
    Jan 1, 2011 - 3:39AM

    When will people ever learn?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11660210Recommend

  • MuslimBoy
    Jan 1, 2011 - 3:50AM

    I just got really drunk.
    only if the bottle i bought for 3500 rs would be regulated if would be cheaper.
    Drunk driving home was more fun Recommend

  • Rana Umair
    Jan 1, 2011 - 4:32AM

    I dont know whether its me or is it everyone else who is reacting to this article wrongly :S. I mean i feel that the author is being sarcastic and is trying to imply, through humor, that some people of Lahore are scared that their parties would get ruined because of the shortage of alcohol. I dont think she’s trying to imply that its a good OR a bad thing that there’s no alcohol in the country. i feel its just a humorous article that is trying to articulate that our people are worried too much about alcohol. U can judge it by the heading of the article i.e. a very well thought and a very funny, yet a self explanatory one. Recommend

  • Mullah
    Jan 1, 2011 - 7:39AM

    Everyone talks about having their own choice. Well, choices have consequences.

    Drink-and-drive accidents hit their peak on the Christian New Year.
    ‘Alcoholism’ has become a serious enough problem that psychiatrists are placing rehab advertisements in the papers.
    Millions of Rupees that could have helped our flood victims survive the winter are instead wasted in one night.

    Sooner or later, we are all headed to the grave, where we face the consequences of our choice.

    Hail the Tribune – Uncle Sam’s mouthpiece in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Humanity
    Jan 1, 2011 - 8:56AM

    Myths, hypocrisy, and we Muslims ..

    “Muslims do not kill Muslims. (yeah, right!)”

    “We muslims do not drink (unless it is masked or in a colored glass).”

    “This is not true Islam, (and yet we are adamant to hang people in the name of Islam.)”

    “We will sacrifice our lives for the namoos of the Holy Prophet (saw), while we strip naked helpless women and parade them in public.”

    May we acknowledge our human frailties and leave the judgments to Allah.
    A happy new year to all. Recommend

  • Disco Molvi
    Jan 1, 2011 - 12:07PM

    Do you know that part of tax from the Murree Brewery liquors goes to Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s Bait ul Maal.Recommend

  • Morbid Isolation
    Jan 1, 2011 - 6:02PM

    All you naysayers and religious finger-pointers,the Quaid’s dream was a Republic for Muslims but not an Islamic Republic…there is a difference. Also, our minorities do drink alcohol and guess what? It’s the renegade,extremist MUSLIMS who are blowing up schools,running a corrupt government,manipulating children and abusing women….so for the sake of the minorities,the little bit of white in the predominant green,let’s be a little more understanding. Also,to each his own right? Everybody ‘sins’….EVERYBODY, I believe it’s called human nature.Recommend

  • mp
    Jan 1, 2011 - 7:08PM

    remove religious teachings ,better teach medicine,construction,scaffolding

    read book-introduction to jig and tool design by m.h.a kempster

    have a good relation with russiaRecommend

  • ASQ
    Jan 1, 2011 - 9:10PM

    all liberal minded people saying that drinking is non of ur business i m going to say a simple thing and that is its the law of the country.u can’t go to nude beach with ur clothes on every country has its own laws there is nothing like total freedom in any country.drinking in pakistan is equal to breaking the law so there is nothing much of a difference bw radical mullahs and radical liberals, both r bent on twisting the state authority.Recommend

  • Moiz
    Jan 2, 2011 - 12:33AM

    alcohol consumption for Muslims is against the law. go elsewhere if you want to have a “good time”. one man’s opinion, things(in this case) should stay as they areRecommend

  • JJS
    Jan 2, 2011 - 6:44AM

    The article itself… Ho Hum
    People’s Comments… Priceless!

    I love the way no one wants to peep into their own gireban before passing judgements! We all pretend to be oh so religious & muslims this & Islam that but in reality everyones the same, sinners to the core.

    I believe our religion tells us to correct our own self and be good muslims and more importantly good HUMAN BEINGS, no where does it say judge other around u & point fingers at them. I hate this cliched line but its appropriate; “When u point a finger at others the remaining three at pointing back at you”.

    Stop judging people! You are responsible for your own akhirat not anyone elses! Recommend

  • Amer
    Jan 2, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Just reading the article made me go crazy, who needs whiskey! My brain is going like…$#Recommend

  • MI Piracha
    Jan 2, 2011 - 5:57PM

    serves you right !!!!Recommend

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