Chaos continued across city on day two of liquor shops opening for business as tipplers formed long serpentine lines and totally ignoring the social distancing rules. While many shops downed shutters by late afternoon, many continued to operate till night as they were diligently following the "token system", a directive of Mumbai Police.
In some areas, the police had to intervene and force-shut the shops as tipplers eagerly waiting to get their fill of liquor, paid no heed to all norms and thronged upon the shops.
Surprising was that at Chembur near Dinar wineshop, a few local residents showered petals and flowers on tipplers, just to embarrass them.
However, the eargerness to get their share was so much that people did not mind waiting for hours in a line. "I am waiting for the last two hours now but my number is yet to come. I won't mind standing here for some more hours but will surely take a good stock along," said Dhiraj Patil, a resident of Govandi.
Old and young, everyone could be seen waiting outside shops for hours but not all could go home with their favorite brand as many had to return empty handed. "I was in the line for nearly three to four hours this was because many a youngsters came in middle and broke the rule. My number was about to come in a few minutes but by then the cops came in and thrashed everyone," said a nearly 75-years-old customer, who was standing outside a wineshop in Chembur.
"I think there must be reservation kind of thing for senior citizens like us, who need booze. Now, I have to continue my (liquor) 'upvaas' for one more day," the man added.
Interestingly, some tipplers had brought their female friends or wives along, in a bid to get some relaxation of standing in line. "Many women came to us requesting to go directly to the counter. But we asked them to join the queue," said a constable, who was on bandobast near Ajanta Wineshop at Chembur.
At Goregaon's Gokuldham Market area, one of the 40 persons standing in the line was seen with a gunny sack. On being asked, he said, "I have been waiting since 90 minutes in the line. The wine shop owners are selling liquor bottles at higher prices. I want to buy extra bottles and sell it in my area and make an extra buck."
While many a shops were seen defying rules there were few like Raj wineshop in Soon-Koliwada, which diligently follows the token system and served only those having a valid token.
At Santacruz, tipplers queued up outside two shops on SV Road near Khira Nagar, initially following the rules, however, as the day progressed, crowd management became as task and police had to intervene to maintain social distancing norms.
(With Inputs from Ronald Rodrigues and Sachin Gaad)