Heard about the term VOMITORIUM?
Rome had conquered the known world and opulence led to decadence. Excess of wealth took consumerism to an extreme. What happened may shock you.
The Romans would throw up lavish meals. Gluttony was the order of the day. After imbibing the drink & consuming the food, the Romans would vomit it out in the Vomitorium, so that they could gorge on more.
That brings us to the 5th Challenge – Avoid intoxicants for 41 days.
My dad was a half bong. Being brought up in Calcutta, he had developed the habit of eating cigarettes (cigarette khaben). Cigarette is a staple diet in Bengal along with rooti, bhaat (rice) & maach (fish). This ‘bhadralok’ would smoke about 3 packs a day. My mom complained that she had married an astray. No amount of sermons worked on
The sermons were:
i) 3packs per day x 365 days x 40 years, works out to half of Bill Gates fortune.
ii) You need to improve your health (he died of COPD in 2016)
iii) Try using patches, lozenges, awareness programs (even Mukesh failed) and acupuncture. He tried them all, none worked. He even tried hypnotism as a last resort.
Dad used to quote Georges Carver, ‘If God wanted man to smoke, he would have turned the nose upwards, so that it would work as a chimney’.
Only God could come to his rescue. One day he announced that he was going to take up the Ayyappa Challenge. No one believed that this steam engine could stop puffing. HE DID!
It was not a gradual day by day reduction. It went down from 30 to 0 in one single stroke.
Why did that happen? – My dad did not require any NLP tools and pleasure or pain techniques. No resolution is worth a dime. Dad formed the habit of making it & keeping it, because he linked it to a definite purpose. He surrendered to the power of Ayyappa.
It was not a logical decision but an emotional one. It was a force that would guide him from then on wards forever. He woke up as a different man in a different world. From that day he didn’t surrender to his likes and dislikes. He became their master.
I wish to bring to light two incidences about the dangers of alcohol. We at Trichy Plus, do CSR activities all year round.
We worked with a school in Somarasampettai, at the outskirts of Trichy. The children of the school were bright & inquisitive. We took an instant liking for them.
Many of these students confided in us that they had no parents or just one parent.
The Headmaster later disclosed that about hundred out of the nine hundred children had lost at least one of their parents.
The reason – suicide. Most of the parents had hit the bottle. They would pull a fight with each other, late in the evening. In a rush of blood, they would go out into the field, pull out a particular weed and pour its milk into their ears. Death was instant. They claim that Kalavani (a Tamil movie) has highly influenced them.
In the second incidence, Savvy & I counseled all the students at a polytechnic college last year. They shared about their hardships. All of them faced acute water shortage in their respective villages. Families found cultivation not feasible.
Every village has a TASMAC (liquor) shop in its vicinity, thanks to the diligent effort of the state government. Men spend the evenings over here, working tirelessly to fill the state’s coffer.
We then understood how alcohol gnaws at the very fabric of our society.
Case study on how corporates see it – Philip Morris, the cigarette giant did a cost benefit analysis on smoking in Czechoslovakia. (Source – Harvard Law)
I have tabulated the report below. This study dates back to the seventies.
A tabular column is equivalent to a thousand words.
My classmate in Engineering was a chain smoker and tippled at the drop of a hat. When I got into an argument with him over his habits, he would bring Winston Churchill to his defense. He would state that there was a correlation between smoking and cancer. And smoking had not yet proved to be the causation of cancer. Churchill who smoked the Woraiyur cheroot and drank of whiskey and champagne live to the ripe age of ninety.
It was difficult to argue with my friend. He expired last year, fifty two years young.
Would you now like to take up this detox challenge and avoid all intoxicants for the next 41 days? Would you like to start your journey inward?
That’s the Ayyappa way!
Shiv signing off from S & S Family First