By Udara Soysa –
Alcoholism in Sri Lanka is a real issue affecting the lives of thousands. Drunk on alcohol and arrogance many in road treat others with contempt and sheer disregard. Uncle Nihal who accompanied his family to Nuwara Eliya is such reckless individual.
I parked my car in a narrow car park which had minimum space in a small restaurant in Nuwara Eliya – then entered uncle Nihal with his two watti ammas.
“How dare you park near our vehicle – get it out,” he screamed with an over powering alcohol breath.
I was about to take my very first bite of the food I bought. The drunk uncle Nihal screamed non-stop.
I held up the situation for few minutes trying to recollect what exactly is going on – I calmly explained to the gentleman that he has enough space to get into his vehicle.
“You are disrespecting me and you are breaking the law,” he screamed. I explained to him that I am am a lawyer and no laws had been broken and he had more than a feet between cars. In his drunk state he insists that I should move the vehicle out despite him having ample space to move his.
I held my ground for few more minutes before his crew started jumping into the fray. Two ladies jumped onto the scene which resembles a scene from pettah market which indeed even put the most foul mouthed vatti Amma to shame.
Shortly the entire crew of drunk uncle Nihal had joined the fray with F bombs thrown all around the place.
A humble brigadier of Sri Lankan army intervened the situation by moving his Ford truck outside clearly space for myself to re-park the vehicle.
“I won” grinned the drunk uncle Nihal. All he wanted to do was to disturb myself from eating since he felt that I parked the car too close to him.
Drunk minds are not rationale I realized – but this episode made me realize the existence of a group of people equatable to scum of earth who have no humanity upon few sips of alcohol. The saddest part is not such drunkards but the family members who enable such rowdies.
I called the police during the episode but I could not get through – maybe I should had been persistent. I was tired from driving from Haputale to Nuwara Eliya with my wife and didn’t want to push further: I believe that the authorities need to address the issue of alcoholism among drivers to ensure that such happenings will not continue.