During one of my trips to my village, I happened to attend a community gathering. During casual conversation with villagers, the host treated us to some homemade ara. However, I was impressed to see that some of the people I had known drinking during my earlier visits were not drinking during that gathering. As a matter of courtesy, I asked the host if the people had stopped drinking ara. If they had stopped drinking, people certainly had become wise. To my utter surprise, the host told me that most people had stopped drinking ara but have started drinking beer. In fact, it had become a fashion for people to drink beer . However, what concerned me was that the switch from ara to beer was not supported adequately by income. If little money that they earn are spent in paying for beers, it doesn’t make any sense at all. Many villagers had credit with the shops and it was mostly of beer. The village Phajo was known to be one of the voracious beer consumers. He had to be treated with beer wherever he went to perform rituals and he was performing rituals almost everyday around the villages. Looks like the thieves are having festival everyday in eastern Bhutan.


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