Saturday, 7 October 2017

The Journey of a Teetotaler

One can define 'teetotaler' as a ‘perennial party killer’ and ‘the chakna eaters’. Every human, with or without feelings, starts out as a teetotaler. Not sure about Sid Mallya though, but it holds true for the rest of the humanity. Highly misunderstood creatures in my opinion, the odd ones out in almost every reasonable group. Add the attribute of being a vegetarian and you’ve just turned yourself into a social stigma. Being such a misfit, how on earth do you justify your place in the society ?

The Beginnings ...

Engineering colleges are the breeding ground for some of the most path breaking cheating methods and alcoholics. That degree is one the most difficult period of 4 years (or 5, 6, 7 years in some cases). It takes a toll on your human-like qualities. The best way to deal with it, is to surround yourself with a few final year students (from Mechanical Engineering preferably). Begin by offering to fund the purchase of Lays and Kurkure and you might be able to lay hands on a few sips of free beer.

The first drop of beer touching your tongue brings out your vows to never let another sip of that god-forsaken taste down your throat again. But the downhill road that is B.Tech, beer becomes your Tropicana. Be it the inevitably disappointing semester results, a new half or full girlfriend, a bad breakup or the celebration of your maiden coitus, beer is the way to go.
It’s precisely due to such a versatile use of beer, it’s also known as the 'chai' of alcohol.
One has to be a stone-cold maniac to survive the kick-in-the-nut called engineering without enjoying a drink or two thousand.

... The Parties ...

The ordeal brings us to the word ‘party’ which is just an out-of-dictionary synonym for alcohol. It’s code-word for ‘bhand hone ka time aa chuka hai’. At such an event, alcohol is sacred. There will be humans whose only motivation to stay at a job they hate is the quarterly company funded ‘party’. The revelation that a teetotaler walks freely at such a gathering fills them with fear. It enrages the community who then go on to form a protective circle around the ‘chakna’ with a commendable unspoken coordination. You’ll be shooed away from the ‘chakna’ counters because nothing irks an ardent beer consumer than seeing the chakna vanished.

There comes a moment your cover is blown away and your identity as a teetotaler is no longer a secret. You’ll be looked down upon the same way a Chris Nolan fanatic looks at a Salman Khan fan. The waiters feel disgusted as you open your mouth to order a cold drink. The subsequent parties will have you in the spotlight until you finally crack and order a drink. A real one.

... Eventually

But one day you may finally give in to the peer-pressure and have a real drink. It will come as a surprise at how conveniently you’re accepted as part of the brotherhood and treated like a real person. Down the road you’ll get to know how much you can drink while keeping the contents of your stomach in your stomach. There will be a night of you vomiting your ass out in a commode in some corner of the planet. It is then that you are a rightful member of the society and not a mere social stigma with hands and legs and a waste of a mouth.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

One Less Stranger

It's your turn to read a part of the chapter in class, aloud. As the sudden mention of your name forces you back to reality, taking a break from your daydream, you have no clue why the rest of the class is staring into their books with such devotion, or at which part.

The teacher is getting restless. The book is not interesting enough anymore as you've started attracting attention. You could feel a fit of laughter rising in everyone throats. The class clown already has prepared a few darts of mockery to throw at you that would endear him to the masses.

Mercy from strangers is a luxury on your first day at a new school, or life. Your legs, that once plead allegiance to your body, refuse to fight gravity as they begin crumbling. You somehow keep standing, now in everyone's line of sight.

She turns back, her finger points at an unfamiliar spot on a page. She looks at you for a split second, with a definite amount of pity and turns back to face the teacher again. That was your cue to begin reading. The book, the chapter were interesting again. With the loss of a disgruntled class clown, you staved off a mishap, for a little while at least.

There was no exchange of "Thanks, you're welcome." There was no gratitude expressed. There was no gratitude expected either, even as she risked the teacher's fuming stare.

It was the beginning of a friendship, that was to meet an abrupt, unfortunate end one day.
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