Kicking a bad habit..!

SOME years ago, the late Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minster had a bad habit of chewing paan! Sitting on the dais at Islampur in Sangli, he had to hear Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit openly criticize him for his tobacco chewing habit.
He did not retaliate. He did not swear vengeance or cry foul. He went home and decided to kick the habit, a habit he had acquired during his college days. There were two things that struck me as I heard the report. One, that he was able to take constructive criticism well and two, that he had the will and the guts to kick a bad habit. I have many friends who either smoke or drink. When I try telling any of them to quit the habit, I know I may lose a friendship. They look at me like ferocious tigers guarding their territory and dare me to come farther. I watch them smoke, I watch them drink and watch a life being wasted.
Years ago a friend of mine did kick the habit. He was an alcoholic and a worse one I have not seen as yet. Time and again there would be a call and I would have to pick him up from some gutter where he had fallen or gone to sleep after a night of drinking. One day he decided to kick the habit. I took him home, and I remember the first night and the terrible eerie animal sounds that came from his throat as he went through his withdrawal symptoms. The next day I put him in hospital. He went through the whole rehab treatment and till date, over twenty- five years has not touched a drop.
Wine women, tobacco, pornography and so many other addictions how silently, effortlessly they wrap themselves around us the victim. The hardworking employee suddenly finds he has to get out every day at five to have his first drink.
At first no one notices, but soon the boss does, colleagues report strange behaviour and a fruitful career gets halted. Families are broken and the gutter is the final halt. Today I address two kinds of people; the ones who are slowly moving into addiction and those who are already addicts.
The cure is the same. Do what the late Deputy CM did. Put a full stop. Throw away the pack, don’t look at the bottle, stop falling for drugs. Ha, what a change there will be in your life. Sure there’ll be withdrawal symptoms, any habit broken brings pain, or it wouldn’t be a habit would it?
But be a man. Stand firm and kick the habit in the gut. And like the late deputy chief look your critic in the eye and thank him for getting you back on track..!

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