Beer on Indian trains

#1 Sep 12th, 2012, 22:12
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#1
Hello,
I have a bit of an odd question - is drinking beer on trains allowed?

Wherever i've been around the world it's been fine and i've heard a few people say it's OK to drink on trains in India. I was quite looking forward to it after seeing this advert! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0U6OAk2r5U

I've also seen a few people say that it is illegal to drink? So which is right?

I'm doing these journeys if it matters:
Delhi - Varanasi
Varanasi - Agra
Agra - Delhi

Thanks!
#2 Sep 12th, 2012, 22:32
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#2
It used to be illegal in the days when smoking on trains was perfectly legal and awfully common. I'm sure it still is.
You say
Quote:
Wherever i've been around the world it's been fine
Does that include the USA? Ever tried opening a bottle of beer on AMTRAK? You'll be pinned to the ground and strip-searched before you can say "Barack Husain Obama".
#3 Sep 12th, 2012, 22:37
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tb1412

Indian Railways have a "no alcohol" policy

I've never seen anybody openly drinking beer on an Indian train and as for a buffet car with draught beer For that matter I've never seen Cobra anywhere in India.

It would be most irresponsible to recommend that you decant your vodka/gin into a Bisleri bottle for train travel so I won't.

The trains are great fun - even sober
#4 Sep 12th, 2012, 22:37
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#4
<cross-posted with Dave just now>

It is not legal, and though fines should be fixed (they're not low), you may well run into a trains cop trying to shake you down for whatever they think you're worth. (It's not at all unthinkable they may have had a tipple themselves, and may then either get very jovial, or not in their most lenient of moods. Chances about 50/50, I'd say.)

I've been told if you put your drinks into a soft drinks bottle or so this should be alright. Says I, but they'll smell you out, no? But I was assured it's mostly a visual thing, you just shouldn't make a display of it.

I always found it a little uneasy, just like sneaking in a smoke in the toilets these days is. I don't know about the higher classes, so whether it might be more acceptable there or so.

Getting stupid pissed I'm sure wouldn't be advised, if only to just survive India, if nothing else. The country is enough of an onslaught as it is.

Keep an eye on what your fellow passengers make of it all, of course, you don't want to sit there and stink up the place and offending people while you're at it. Drinking is not a very passable pastime to many, of various religions or affiliations. Conversely, I've offered people a sip of my whiskey and them finishing it all if they so much as get half the chance
Last edited by machadinha; Sep 12th, 2012 at 22:48.. Reason: edited
#5 Sep 12th, 2012, 22:47
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Socially and legally it is not acceptable to have any type of alcoholic drink (including beer) on any type of public transport (including rail) in India. Even the co-passenger will not tolerate anybody drinking.
#6 Sep 12th, 2012, 23:19
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#6
One can drink quite safely on AMTRAK. I do it at least once per month.
#7 Sep 12th, 2012, 23:46
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I did my masters program from Bangalore and quite a few of my classmates (more than twenty) used to do the ~ two day journey on the karnataka express to Delhi during term breaks (which would be at the end of three months). Traveling sleeper class ; there were three tricks to make the journey more tolerable - antakshari, gambling with cards and old monk (a dark foul smelling cheap indian rum) mixed with any available cola. Half the bogey could smell what was going on, but we never got deboarded. The biryani at Aundh was a great accompaniment (which even i could partake in since I didnt drink, then).

Having said that, it know that it is illegal and I would not advise you to take the risk, but your question reminded me of the long journey and the general bachhanalia going around.
Last edited by vaibhav_arora; Sep 12th, 2012 at 23:48.. Reason: corrections
#8 Sep 12th, 2012, 23:50
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Well Prakaant, it all depends does not it? Once upon a time when India had 200 million people less and 2nd class sleeper was not always packed to the gills like nowadays I travelled between Madras and Calcuta. So I sat with 2 Indian man and after some friendly conversation I pulled bottle of Old Monk and some Thums and cups so we drank it all. While traveling trough Andra 2 soldiers sow us drinking and asked for just a little.It was illegal to drink of course, in Andra even more so, but you see, it all depends.
I did it several other times, always rum, but I have always been careful how and where in the train I did it.Beer? No way, it gets warm anyway.
Vodka in particular is good 'cos it has no smell, pure or mixed.
By the way that Cobra beer spot is crap.First it makes drinking COLD beer in the train possible(where did they buy it) and legal and they all look casualy unaware where they are(all those mini skirts etc)-maybe train was traveling between Bandra and Juhu beach.
#9 Sep 13th, 2012, 00:15
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post old monk (a dark foul smelling cheap indian rum)
Somehow, it was very popular among students, at least during my times. I remember one of my seniors (now a faculty in one of the national research institutes) acknowledging Old Monk in his Ph.D. thesis.
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#10 Sep 13th, 2012, 00:39
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Just to sum-up what has been discussed so far

1. It is illegal to drink while travelling in an Indian train; however, it does not mean that people (among those who like alcoholic drinks) do not drink during their train journeys in India

2. People (read it as Indians) have invented quite a number of ways to dodge the law and ensure that they are not caught on the wrong side of the fence. Some of the most commonly employed methods are as follows:

1. Mixing rum (mostly dark) in to a cola bottle in a ratio of 1:5

"Please remember that it is illegal to drink in train but not illegal to board a train in drunken state. So a lot of people are full to the brim at the time of boarding and reek like an old cask. So, the smell of alcohol doesn't necessarily mean that some one is drinking and you can easily carry out your operations under this camouflage"

2. Mixing gin/vodka in a juice bottle

"This is a relatively foolproof method. I once even heard that there was a juice shop near Old Delhi Railway Station, which specialized in preparing a perfect vodka-juice mix. You just needed to give the shop-owner a bottle of vodka (180 ml) and he guaranteed that no one would be able to detect the presence of alcohol by smelling the juice-mix."

3. Old hands strictly advice against drink beer in train

"Heavy beer bottles create logistics-related problems and also get warm very fast. Empirical records suggest that even the over-performing air-conditioners of the AC coaches are of no help in this regard. Although, latest technology (in the form of canned-beer) has come at the rescue of beer-aficionado and has been able to address some of their concerns"

4. Of late, quite a few people carry miniatures while travelling in a train.

"These small bottles are easy to carry and create an aura, which discourages the fellow passengers to register a complaint against you"


Few thing one needs to take care of are as follows:

1) Ensure that there are no ladies in your section of coach

2) Look for like-minded fellow travelers to make them partner in crime and minimize your chances being reported to the law-enforcing agencies. But this needs some level of expertise.

3) Look for weaknesses in ticket-checker. If he seems to be susceptible to the vices (read it as alcohol) of this materialistic world, then it will make your task easy

Hope this help

PS: Please abide by the law and do not drink while travelling in a train. If you are reported then you will be in a real trouble, spoiling your entire trip.
#11 Sep 13th, 2012, 01:06
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#11
I have been offered beer on a couple of occasions by the stewards themselves when I have travelled 1AC - most recently on the overnight Jammu Mail to Delhi.

It seemd to be a bit of a regular side line for them. When the train stopped at the next 10 minute halt (Jalandhar if I recall) they dashed out of the station and returned with two ice cold beers hidden in a pillow case straight from the beer shop!

Having said this - on the two occasions this has happened it has been when I have had the entire cabin to myself, so even if it is a quick extra buck for them (They doubled the cost from the beer shop) they did seem to have a sensible approach when offering this service. They were very accommodating, asking which brands I preferred!

I can't see either they or I getting away with "operation cold beer" during daylight hours however!
#12 Sep 13th, 2012, 01:57
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photofreak View Post 1) Ensure that there are no ladies in your section of coach. .
Why? Is there not enough to go around? Or you dont have those tiny umbrellas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photofreak View Post 3) Look for weaknesses in ticket-checker.
How am I supposed to do this now? I'm not a doctor ...
#13 Sep 13th, 2012, 02:03
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golghar View Post Does that include the USA? Ever tried opening a bottle of beer on AMTRAK? You'll be pinned to the ground and strip-searched before you can say "Barack Husain Obama".
There's plenty of beer on CalTrain, which runs special trains to SF Giants' games.
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#14 Sep 13th, 2012, 02:44
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They must be off-limits to "underage" persons. What's the drinking age in California?
#15 Sep 13th, 2012, 09:41
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post Why? Is there not enough to go around? Or you dont have those tiny umbrellas?
Well that would be quite a fun/adventure running from coach to coach, looking for "unpopulated" areas, such as near the rest rooms , just to have few sips.

Well if one has reached such a stage then why even bother about tiny umbrellas, just carry a certificate from a doctor that you need 60 ml/120ml (or whatever) of alcohol to get a sound sleep


Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post How am I supposed to do this now? I'm not a doctor ...
I guess it would not require a medical degree. I suppose it comes with experience.
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