“This is the look you get from your friends, when you tell them you have given up alcohol!!”
Just two days ago my friend Nandu had the above picture and comment on his Facebook page.
Nandu and I had a further exchange as follows:
Me : Is that how you reacted on hearing about me going off the good things of life?
Nandu: In one word ? “YES”!
14 years ago today was the last alcoholic drink that I had. Before that, suffice it to say that my transportation was known as the car with the bar. My life as also the lives of my close friends and family members revolved around plans for the next drink together. I am out of those circles but they continue in the same vein and I am sure must have reacted the same way as Nandu when they came to know that I had stopped drinking alcoholic drinks.
This is the occasion to share the story behind how that came about. Prior to that, in November 1998, I had become a vegetarian, again much to the shock of all who knew me. This happened because I had by that time already got deeply involved with matters spiritual and it was pointed out to me that it would help my progress if I became a vegetarian. Among the people who were stunned by my becoming vegetarian were my god son M and his wife my god daughter in law V. Both used to delight in spoiling me with non vegetarian food either in restaurants or cooked by the latter in their home.
22nd May is M’s birthday and I had got both M and V over for lunch to my place where I had arranged for a birthday cake and a lavish lunch spread to celebrate the big day. I had my usual Gin with Bitters while the others had soft drinks. V was quite touched by the celebration and after lunch went all maudlin and just made a passing comment that she liked everything about me except that I drank alcoholic beverages and said that I would be a better person for her if I stopped.
I was already faced with another problem that I was battling with at that time and was contemplating stopping anyway and this just spurred the implementation. I told V that I would henceforth not drink alcoholic beverages and that was that. As I write this, both M and I celebrate our birthdays, he his natural and I my teetotalling life.