“That’s a good book” Lulu, my parrot said. I was reading ‘Nashayatra’ by Tushar Natu when Lulu flew in, perched on my shoulder and ‘spied’ on me and declared his verdict on the book.
“Yes, it is.” I replied. “Tushar, the author was addicted to ‘ganja’, brown sugar, liquor and after a few years and relapses came out of it finally. He now runs a drug de-addiction center near Nagpur.”
“Did you ever have a vice?”

“Ha ha. I did not have a vice like Tushar. But I used to smoke three packets a day for a few years. Wills Flakes it was.”
“And you gave it up?”
“Yes. I did.”
“I started feeling that I will contract cancer someday. The effect of the ads was slow but sure. So I stopped enjoying smoking.”
“Did you smoke Ganja or those substances?”
“Never. I have had a secret desire to drink ‘Bhang’ on Holi, but I am also afraid of it. I saw one man in the college canteen who was completely lost in his own world! Friends told me that he had consumed Bhang. Losing control over oneself is not good.”

“Students induslge in substance abuse?”

“One Professor told me that more that 60% would have ‘tried’ it at least once!”

“Oh! Shocking!! But you did enjoy your drink, right?”
“Yes Lulu. I had my first sip of beer when I was in college. When you do that, you feel you are grown up finally, and have graduated from boy to man!! Ha ha!! And then a friend tricked me into having a Feni. I realized what he had done, but since I was tricked, my conscience was clear!”
“That’s interesting, man! I know you did not stop there.”
“I enjoyed my glass of beer always. As a young man I used to gulp six bottles of beer. But all that is a past. Now one glass is enough. Even then there are surprises.”
“The Company Doctor asked me during my routine medical examination if I drink. I replied truthfully mentioning one glass of Beer on a Friday evening. The Doc wrote ‘Alcoholic +++.’ I was aghast; I asked him how he could write that – he said it was none of my business! Phew!”
“Ha ha. But everybody who drinks experiences some embarrassing moments.”
“Oh, plenty! I once put seven Gins under the belt and rode my scooter seven miles to home. When I got up next morning, I decided never to drink and drive. I have observed it till day.”
“Was this before marriage or after?”
“Obviously before marriage.”
“And after marriage?”
“Nah! There is no way you can continue drinking after marriage. Getting married is like going to de-addiction center!”