Get ready for lawless Shimla on New Year’s eve

Once again all you decent people hold on to your hearts on New Year’s eve in Shimla , Manali and other hill stations of Himachal Pradesh , and get ready for the annual punishment , the annual insult !

Get ready for the noise , the chaos , the bands of shrieking drunken young men driving like mad men on the Kalka-Shimla road or jostling and harassing the crowds on Shimla’s Mall and the Ridge .

Get ready for the overpowering smell of reeking liquor in the cold winter air . In short get ready for a fight with these unruly men if you’re brave and reckless .

Get ready to ruin your evening once again , walk home in frustration and anger and wonder what you have done to deserve this , year after year .

A warning , if you’re with ladies , be prepared for a worse evening as these hooligans will shout even more at the sight of a woman on the streets .

And don’t expect the policemen to help you . Forget it , the cops like always will just stand by meekly or look the other way.

They won’t even stop these lawless men from drinking openly on the streets , usually unheard of in Shimla .

For decades now the cops have been instructed by the top police officials and the government to be gentle with excited new year revellers .

After all we must play good pahari hosts and promote tourism , how else will the state get revenue .

So what if many of the tourists choose not to behave like civilised people on new year’s eve . So what if many of these brats come here only for a day , often only for a few hours.

So what if many of them don’t spend a pie here . They fuel in the cars from the neighbouring states . They even carry cheap liquor and packed food with them .

Many don’t even hire a hotel room . Shopping in Shimla is the last thing on their minds .

When they have left they only leave behind , garbage and bad memories for the local and the decent tourist .

They remind me of the western movies . Lawless bandits trotting in on horses into a quiet Texan town some 150 years ago .

Then they walk into a bar and an inn , glare around to see if any of the locals is looking for a fight . Then they simply just fire in the air and shriek like ruffians .

They know the sheriff of the county and his men will not have the guts to take them on , besides for some absurd reason the sheriff has been told to be nice to the guests !

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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