The slave of a liquid

From past many days it was raining almost the entire day and when it was not, the clouds posed the fear of precipitation any time. Like most of the so-called advanced cities, out city too had the problem of water-logging during rains making it almost impossible to commute. Last Saturday too, it continued pouring in different capacity washing out the weekend.

But the Sunday morning was the real Sun-day morning. It gives heavenly pleasure when you wake up on Sunday and see the Sun brightly smiling on you. Going to open ground with bag and baggage to play football or cricked is an added fun. Kids generally wait for such opportunities.

While coming back, I received a call from my colleague’s wife. She told that my colleague is not well and requested me to come to the house in the evening as she wanted to discuss on some serious issue.  I was worried as he has gone to attend an outstation marriage the day before.

I reached their house in the evening as promised as the Sunday traffic is always lean. She welcomed me and immediately started emancipating her anguish with to-the-point conversation, ’Do you know he had a drink yesterday?’

‘Is it? But he had gone out of the station yesterday’ I asked back with surprise.

‘That’s what. He was free there and could consume as per his urge. I have checked with the breathalyser today morning.’ She said with anger in her eyes.

I knew my colleague is a habitual drinker. He has tasted almost all the types of alcoholic drinks starting from the raw to the most refined one. He has been addicted to it for years now and the ill effects of over-consumption of alcohol started showing couple of years back. That time doctor’s had advised him to completely stop the consumption as it had damaged the livers to a great extent and further damage can put his life into the danger zone. That left his family members in a panic situation and to take that seriously, his wife gave him the option of either alcohol or the family.

My friend was also in the state of shock as like other drinkers, he too had over-confidence on his stamina. But the truth was out. He decided to quit and slowly he could recover well. Again, the demon from the bottle came out to drown him into it. He started finding reasons for consuming alcohol. The family members couldn’t realise as he never left any clue. His behaviour used to become more decent after consuming alcohol, his power to argue more logical, his views more vivid and his advices crisp.

After a year during check-up the doctor warned him and told his wife that his condition has exaggerated more as he has not stop consuming alcohol. She was awfully surprised. She understood that, this person will never give up drinking. She consulted the doctor and arranged for a cleansing centre that assured de-addiction. After lots of arguments, he joined the centre. The centre was more like a hotel. They taught self-control techniques, yoga, meditation etc.

It helped him a lot. He came back with face glowing with confidence. He stopped drinking for months and joined the local yoga classes too. But as they say, the habit of drinking is hard to discontinue. Also, the urge to consume alcohol makes a man intellectual enough to discover ways and means to find that claptrap liquid. The urge forces a man to escape the vigilant eyes of concerned members thereby playing foolishly with the trust of family members. And, so the liquid continued to rule the mind of helplessly smart person.

Last month again there was a family health check-up. This time the doctor told his wife, ‘Your husband has only six months as he still continues to consume alcohol. Even a drop is fatal for him now.’ The tower of hope that his wife has maintained suddenly came crumbling down. She couldn’t speak for hours together. ‘How can he be so cruel, so casual, big cheat, a big liar?’ He understood the situation and sensed the temperature. He said sorry and promised that ‘enough is enough’ and he is ready to face any action or punishment she wishes.

Again the hope started building up. She told, ’You need to get admitted to a rehabilitation centre for at least a period of two months.’

‘OK. As you say, let us get the slot and I will join.’ He replied obediently.

She was checking for the slot and for all available slots he had an excuse either of office work, or kids’ exam, or guest’s arrival. Then suddenly this happened. Though my Sunday was sunny, she found her Sunday gloomy. Today she was crying non-stop. ‘This person has crossed all the limits for his bottle.’ She told crying heavily, ‘I am completely broken. Whom to trust now? What to tell my kids? He wants me to purchase coffin for him? Isn’t it frightening? This liquor bottle has eaten up all my hopes. I don’t wish to live anymore. What will happen to my kids?’

I looked at my colleague with disgust. I knew that he will not Disobey my command.  He was sitting with his face down. ‘No more excuses’ I said, ‘you are going tomorrow to the rehabilitation centre and that is final.’

With his head down, he murmured, ‘My daughter is going for outstation trip the day after. I wish to join the centre after that?’

His wife paused crying and looked at me but I had decided that I am not letting this person run away from the treatment.

‘Pack your bags, I will come and pick you up tomorrow. Good Night!’

I came back home. I had always learnt that fire is a good servant but a bad master but I feel that she quite apt for liquor also. Next day we all dropped him to the centre.

Wishing the slave of a liquid a speedy recovery!

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