Alcohol And Me
Alcohol and Me
How to give up drinking alcohol?
Do just what I did.
I gave it up.
Just like that.
No Fuss, no hard feelings, no withdrawal syndrome either.
Mind over Matter
The main factor in giving up any habit is your Mind Control. May be I should say Control over the Mind. The stronger your resolution, better your control over your mind and more success you will have in implementing your resolution. Whether it is alcohol, cigarette or a drug, it all depends on how strongly you wish to give it up.
Make a Resolution
Once I made up my mind to give it all up, it was not difficult at all. I still have on my bookshelf a few bottles of whisky, two bottles of Champagne, a bottle of brandy, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of jean, one bottle each of Galliano,, Tia Maria and Cointreau plus a few sample free bottles!!!(see the photo)
Test your Resolution
I am not hiding them away from my sight. I have put them on a book shelf in my ‘study room’, where I see them everyday as a stark reminder that once I did indulge in drinking. There are drink glasses alongside the bottles. Any time I wish, any time I feel like drinking, all I have to do is just pick up one bottle, open it, pour the alcohol into a glass and drink it. It is easy. How refreshing that would be !
But I don’t.
I just don’t do that….
Because I have given up drinking.
Of course, I was never a heavy drinker. I rarely drank alone, by myself. I used to drink at home when some friends were invited and when I visited some friend who would offer me a drink or at a restaurant.
Born In Gujarat – a Dry State
You know ?
I did not know much about alcohol until the age of 25.
I was born and grew up in the state of Gujarat(India) which is called ‘Dry’ or ‘Alcohol Free’ state. Mahatma Gandhi was born in this state in the city of Porbandar. He saw many people indulging in drinking locally produced wine. Before independence of India, some of these people would spend almost all of their earnings in drinking. They would drink so much that they even don’t reach home at night and may be found lying in a gutter next day morning. The food in the family was provided by the income of their hard working wives.
So Mahatma Gandhi had started a big campaign against drinking. After independence when the Gujarat state was formed, then the first chief minister of Gujarat, Shree Morarji Desai, who was a strong follower of Gandhiji during and after the movement for independence of India, declared the State of Gujarat as a ‘Dry’ state and imposed prohibition on open (in public) consumption of alcohol. To this day, this tradition continues in Gujarat State.
A trip down south
So I had no opportunity to be introduced to drinking, like it is done in Australia, at the age of 18. Nobody talked about drinking alcohol at my job place either. My first introduction to alcohol was in a restaurant in Cochin, south India, a thousand miles away from home.
Association with Drinkers
Working as an engineer with Jyoti Ltd. Vadodara, Gujarat, India, I was deputed down south to supervise a job in a sugar factory under construction. In the guest house there were two other engineers. They considered themselves forward and very outgoing type. They were heavy drinkers too. Every day dinner time, they needed wine, whisky, brandy or whatever alcoholic drink they get their hands on. Sometimes they would get so much drunk that they would abuse anybody who would come near them and quite often the poor cook became their target. After knowing their habit, right from the first day, I had put my foot down and made them to respect me rather than otherwise. When they get a good quality whisky or wine they would ask me to join them and at least have a taste of it. But I politely and strongly refused.
The sugar factory was being constructed in a remote place, near the sugar growing farms, away from big towns or city. There was nothing there for entertainment. So every weekend we would go to nearby town to see a movie and dine at a restaurant. The company car was available for that. But the closer places were all small towns where you do not get to see the latest movies and all the restaurants were of sub-standard quality.
One week it was birthday of one of the engineers. That weekend we decided to go to Cochin, which was quite far, for birthday celebration. We went to a restaurant which was almost top of the town category. It was also a licensed restaurant. My friends ordered whisky. They asked me if for the sake of celebration I would join them in drinking just this once. They promised they will get me a drink which has minimum amount of alcohol. I couldn’t refuse. They ordered a glass of chilled beer. This was new to me ! I had never seen them drinking such a large glass of drink at the guest house. There was no fridge at the guest house. They explained to me that his was ‘beer’, always drank chilled and had a very small percentage of alcohol. They further guaranteed that I will not feel dizzy after drinking this one glass.
First taste of Alcohol
I had my first sip of an alcoholic drink !
It was bitter. Not what I had expected. But then, I did not know what to expect from the first introduction of alcohol. Slowly and steadily, with the accompaniment of tasty hot snacks like Paneer pakoras and samosas, I finished that glass of beer. It must have taken me a better part of half an hour to drink that glass of beer. During that time my friends had consumed a few rounds of whisky. We had very delicious dinner, saw one of the latest movies and returned to guest house in the early hours of morning.
We did not have another opportunity to go to Cochin during my remaining short stay there and I did not have another drink either. My friends never asked me to join in the drinks again. They felt I had done them a big favour by breaking my vow and drinking for the celebration of the birthday.
My Next Drink
My next drink was in Kolkatta(Calcutta then) more than a year later. I was transferred there by the company to promote business in the eastern region. My job involved negotiating with the consultants and managers of the big government and semi-government projects.
As a part of promotion we would organize a dinner party at one of the five star hotels like The Grand, The Park, The Continental, etc. Specially a hotel with a good cabaret show was more popular. The guests would obviously expect alcoholic drinks. As a host it was difficult for me to keep away from drinking. We would start with beer, then a few rounds of scotch before the dinner. Wine with the dinner and some liqueur at the end. One hotel would offer a Havana imported cigar after dinner. Even a non-smoker would pick up one and put in the mouth. The idea was to keep us longer on the table so we order more drinks.
You can imagine everybody would be pretty saturated with this type of multiple drinks. But it was fun and we all enjoyed it. There was no .05 checking ! However, at that young age, and with the spicy hot food accompanying, alchol did not have much effect on me. I drove home without
The Drinking Parties
In addition, our company’s General Manager from the head office would visit every now and then. It was customary to invite a few VIPs to his hotel room for business discussions. This was followed by a drinking party. We would buy couple of bottles of scotch from outside – the hotel charged almost four times the outside cost. Johnny Walker and Vet 69 were popular in those days. We order some hot snacks from the room service. This would go until midnight before we ordered the dinner. This drinking party ensured that whenever anyone is asked to come to the hotel for discussion very rarely there was a refusal.
Left it all Behind
When I left Kolkatta in 1970 to migrate to Australia, I left the drinking behind.
[Also read http://hubpages.com/hub/Quit-Smoking-Meditation-Way]