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Last Updated 02.06.2020 | 8:31 PM IST
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Satyamev Jayate – Javed Akhtar Was An Alcoholic…

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I have a friend who has a wicked sense of humour and is hence immensely popular in our circle of friends. I believe, he has a strong base among his college pals as well. He lives with his parents who seem very cultured and mannered. The reality however is different. The father is a chronic alcoholic who often beats up the mother without any reason or provocation. He drinks much more than his capacity and makes a commotion whenever he returns home, sloshed. From mouthing choicest of abuses loudly at the dead of the night to attacking random people on the streets, he has done it all. Naturally, my friend has been badly affected by it over the years and whenever I see him getting provoked at the slightest intimidation and expressing his love for drinks, I always fear that he might follow his father's footsteps.

I have a friend who has a wicked sense of humour and is hence immensely popular in our circle of friends. I believe, he has a strong base among his college pals as well. He lives with his parents who seem very cultured and mannered. The reality however is different. The father is a chronic alcoholic who often beats up the mother without any reason or provocation. He drinks much more than his capacity and makes a commotion whenever he returns home, sloshed. From mouthing choicest of abuses loudly at the dead of the night to attacking random people on the streets, he has done it all. Naturally, my friend has been badly affected by it over the years and whenever I see him getting provoked at the slightest intimidation and expressing his love for drinks, I always fear that he might follow his father's footsteps.

Alcohol is the root cause of many evils and Aamir Khan in the ninth episode of 'Satyamev Jayate' deals with this persistent problem of India since many decades. The episode began with Vijay Simha who seemed like a gentleman but his story is sure to shock you. He got addicted to drinking because of which he lost his job, cut-off ties with parents, borrowed money for daaru from everyone including his maid and lived on the streets of Delhi for many months. What stunned was how he stopped eating, perspiring and even urinating for days because of alcohol. Finally, he got into a rehabilitation centre and the experiences there brought a 360-degree turn in his life. Vijay is today working at a responsible position in a reputed company, has a beautiful wife and has left drinking forever.

An audio-visual threw light on the fact that hardcore drinking has not only affected the alcoholics but their family as well. Throughout the country, there are cases of people who have lost their lives because of drinking, leaving their wives and children in a lurch. Dr Ashish Deshpande was absolutely right when he said that alcoholism is not a habit, it's a disease and explained how a person becomes a chronic alcoholic and the steps for his treatment. Aamir then spoke about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a very well-known reputed international movement that helps de-addict alcoholics. One of the sober members of AA, Lakshman (whose face wasn't disclosed in keeping with the principles of AA) raised laughs with his addiction story but touched everyone's hearts when he told how his life changed after he stopped drinking. A surprise guest on the show was eminent lyricist Javed Akhtar who also recalled his time as an alcoholic. A shocker!

Few guests on 'Satyamev Jayate' formed a lump in our mouths with their extremely tragic and sorry tale. Samir Anand is definitely one of those and he'll be remembered for years (at least by me) as he recounted how he lost his son, 15-year-old Curran Anand, because of a dangerous result of alcoholism - drunk driving. One must have come across many cases of drunk driving but Curran's case surpasses them all. Truly horrific and I hope Delhi Police and administration take strictest action against the accused!

Drinking, in my opinion, isn't a sin. However, like any other consumable product, one should have it in moderation. Unfortunately, in India majority of the people don't follow the concept of social drinking instead opting to drink till they drop. This was also echoed by Dr Vivek Benegal who explained the vast difference between permissible limit on drinking in India and other countries. Clearly, a change is needed!

This was yet another thought-provoking 'Satyamev Jayate' episode but this one shall have its share of adversaries, especially the alcoholics and regular drinkers. But as Aamir mentioned in the end, don't stop drinking - just limit the number of pegs you take. After all, is it really a good idea to consume half a dozen drinks, puke, wake up the next day with a hangover and proclaim 'Last Night Was Awesome…Hic!'?!

Click here to watch the video: Satyamev Jayate : Alcohol Abuse - Think Before You Drink (Episode 09)


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