10:33 AM

I woke up a while ago. Had a late night last night and had way too many carbs and some other things that I can’t talk about on a public forum, lest I am called an alcoholic. I remember I had a fitful sleep and while sleeping, I had way too many thoughts running in my head. I don’t remember what those thoughts were, to be honest, but they were there for sure.

Anyhow.

So, morning pages.

I want to think talk about loud about alcohol. And what makes people want to get intoxicated to be able to have a good time. Thanks to my parents, I have sort of hated alcohol. I don’t know when they planted this abhorrence to alcohol but with time and with experience, it has only grown stronger. I have seen way too many people lose control to a point of losing valuable things (including their reputation). I have seen them falling in gutters. Puke like they were gutters themselves. Spewing their bowels in their beds, on their clothes, and at places they were at while getting drunk (I have puked as well on at least two occasions that I can remember). Getting into drunken arguments that have no basis. Lose inhibitions and morality and take decisions that they’d regret later on.

I have never ever understood this.

Neither have I understood this need that people have for letting their hair down. And needing alcohol for that. I know it’s primal that we want something to latch onto, something that makes us feel connected to others, something to help our bodies move and pump the adrenaline. But why club it with alcohol? I am sure great music can do that for you. Runners get a high after they’re back from their runs. I get super happy and trippy when I’ve had a great conversation. Some people love what they’ve created. I am not sure what drug, what spirit can give you the high an empty road gives you! The adventure in knowing new things, the exhilaration of opening new doors, the kick of creating the new in itself is high like nothing else.

No, I am not making a case for prohibition. I’d never stand for prohibiting anything ever. I am merely lamenting at my inability to understand people that need alcohol.

Yes, I have had alcohol. A lot of times. But almost every time, I have done it to “fit-in”. At the request of people I care for. At the behest of people that I don’t want to disappoint. At my own insistence that I need to indulge in the act of drinking to give company. No, they are not to blame. I am. While others may have asked for it, I did it of my own free will. And almost every time of these almost every times, I have stopped at one or two.

This self-imposed limit is what I find missing when people want to consume alcohol. This self-control is what makes alcohol a bitch in my opinion. This is where I want to question the ones that get drunk often. When they’re sober.

Oh, of course, there are good things that come out from indulging in alcohol. The company becomes vibrant, the conversations go beyond superficial levels, you make friends that last you literally a lifetime! Lol I am the last person that should talk about how to make friends.

Moving on.

So yesterday, while getting drunk (lol). I had this brilliant conversation with this lawyer about egos. He practices civil law at a court in Goa. He mentioned that 70% of cases wouldn’t even exist if people kept their egos in their pockets. He said more often than not if people sit and chat and talk about their issues out, they would need courts. If they empathize with the other party, hear them out, they probably will never fight. Of course, if someone is being unreasonable, you can’t help matters. If someone does not want to keep their ego aside and try and resolve things, you can’t avoid arguments.

But more often than not, if you keep your ego in check, you can do a lot more things.

That’s a lesson that I am taking away from last night. The more I think about it, the more I realize that almost all the negative experiences I’ve had in life (including disagreements), they’ve escalated because the egos came in the way of resolution. In fact, I was to talk to shop with Nikhil and I almost took it on my ego that the 25-year old does not see the world the way I see it and thus must be wrong and thus I can’t work with him. But then once I apply the ego lens and the opportunity lens, I see my folly.

Moving on. The other epiphany that has happened is that the businesses that cater to “sins” seem to make the most money – food (gluttony), fashion (vanity), gambling, alcohol, tobacco et al.

So yeah. That’s for the morning pages.

And, here’s a free-writing piece for #book2…

Jails are not the places where you make friends. You make acquaintances. Or you make families. Well, you cant make families really but you become a family. You look out for each other, keep each other’s backs and if one of you fucks up, you excuse and continue to patronize. Don’t all families do that? Don’t the patriarchs patronize the awry ones and let them run amok?

Raunak did not realise this first time he was put up in a lockup. You cant blame him. He was all of 14 and thus too young to know of the worldly ways. And he was put in a lockup in direct line of sight of the station incharge. That one tiny mercy, more of an oversight by an orderly, of not locking him up in the darker parts of the jailhouse is what probably kept Raunak alive.

The next time he was sent to jail, he was not as lucky. But then he was neither young nor inexperienced the second time around. At 21, he was a full-blown man and he had survived in the slums of Delhi. These slums are nothing like the ones dotted large cities. In Delhi, each day is a battle to survive, and the “tu jaanta nahi mera baap kaun hai” attitude coupled with inherited bravado makes fatal fights as commonplace as a cow shitting on the road.

The first time Raunak saw a fight where someone was killed was next to a thela where he was having his lunch at. Two boys, not much younger than him were exchanging blows. One held onto a piece of rock and the other was using a metal plate that he had somehow snatched from the thela that Raunak was having his lunch at. The blood was flying off in all directions and the thelawala continued to whip rotis and curries with the indifference and nonchalance of someone that’s been around too long. If he did look up to the fight, it was to check if he could still reuse his plate once one of the kids had died.

This very fight almost got Raunak his second ticket to jail, if not for the thelawala. The boy that clutched onto the stone had died and when Raunak tried to intervene, the thelawala stopped him in his tracks with a knife to his neck. Raunak could not comprehend the swift transformation of a gentle road-side ordinary cook into a mercenary wielding a knife. He told Raunak plainly that in these slums, people settle their matters. Raunak asked him with his eyes that if people are to be left alone, why is the thelawala stopping Raunak from breaking the fight.

Raunak had to intervene though. There was no way he was not going to. He asked the thelawala to allow him to save the young boy from dying. Thelawala was unrelenting. Raunak had to intervene and he found trapped himself between his ethos and the knife to his neck.

Damn. Not happy with how this has come out. Need to work harder. Tomorrow! For the time being, lemme talk about what I was trying to do here. It is this – I was trying to establish Raunak’s character as a toughie that stands on the side of the right. The right that you believe in and what I believe in is different. Raunak is my attempt at creating an alter-ego and establish a character that stands for what I think is right. I must say that I have another character in the book that stands for the other right. Someone who’s my anti-thesis. And Raunak’s. Hope I can get that going.

Time to get out and get going.

Fuck this took almost two hours to write. Started at 1030 or so. It’s 1210 as I am hitting the publish button. Need to wake up early from tomorrow on.


PS: When I say sin, I am not the one to qualify those as sins. I am merely going by the traditional definitions of sins that I’ve read while growing up.

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