Why can’t I have a beer?By: Himani Bakhda
Raj’s friends have been bragging about beer for a while now. He is curious and wants to try one himself. So that he can brag about it back to his friends. He decides to sneak at night to his father’s bar cabinet to try some liquor. What happens next?
Photo: Shutterstock/stockimagesbank/Person in the picture is a model.
I wanted to try
“Son, why are you snooping around in the drinks’ cabinet? These are not for you!” Raj’s dad was a bit surprised to see him there.
“Sorry Dad! My friends have been talking about beer at school. A few have managed to try it. They said it was pretty cool!I feel like trying it myself”, Raj replied a little nervously.
“Raj, that is underage drinking and it is not advisable at all”, his dad said calmly.
“But why dad, I am grown up enough, I want to have some fun too”, Raj said, almost stomping his feet!
“I understand Raj, drinking is indeed fun. It helps you feel lighter. It is said to trigger the release of endorphins in certain areas of the brain, it increases one’s pleasure. When people drink they feel sort of a buzz”, dad replied.
“What do you mean by a ‘buzz’ dad?” Raj’s curiosity was sky high now.
“Well umm… you feel energized and you are your most extroverted self. It allows you to have fun times during your social gatherings too. Especially when you are happy drunk, you can build some fun memories then (perhaps even embarrassing!). You can have a good laugh, some singing and dancing and pull pranks and just enjoy yourself”, Raj’s dad and he both chuckled.
Why can’t I have that fun?
“So dad why can I not have some fun like this?” his questions were never-ending.
“Raj the reason why we have fun while drinking is because we lose control over our actions. This is because alcohol slows down the functioning of your central nervous system. It thus lowers your inhibitions. At your age son, I’m afraid you will not be able to look after yourself under the influence of alcohol”, dad replied.
“But dad, my friends have tried alcohol too. THey seemed to handle it ok! I want to be cool like them”, Raj was being stubborn now but his dad maintained his cool and explained patiently.
“Alcohol doesn’t make you cool Raj. Making a hasty decision of trying alcohol is not a smart choice. Do you remember, when you were in kindergarten or younger, did we ever give you any spicy food? You would not have been able to eat it! It might have harmed you! And look at you now - eating pani pooris like a pro! The same is true with underage alcohol consumption. If not careful, alcohol can harm you and make you vulnerable”, said his dad.
“Vulnerable? How?” Raj was intrigued now.
“As we talked before, when you consume alcohol you lose (some or significant) control over your senses. Your reflexes are slowed down and your decision making ability is affected. This is what makes you vulnerable. With alcohol affecting your body functioning it may encourage you to engage in risky behaviour like, underage rash driving, stealing, getting violent or something else. You might end up hurting yourself”, his dad explained.
“Oh no! I definitely don’t want that for me”, Raj looked worried now.
“Yes! We would not want our dear son to get hurt”.
Can I just try, once?
“Dad, what if I try having it just once with people who already know all about drinking?”Raj’s curiosity was still not satiated.
“Do you mean your friends? I wouldn’t be so sure that they know all about drinking, even if they say so! Although you are not the first person to come under peer pressure”, his dad explained.
“Yes, when friends force you to do something or you do something because you want to appear cool in front of your friends. But remember this Raj, it only takes one mistake to ruin your life and alcohol makes such mistakes highly probable. Almost everyday we read in the news about a car crash caused by underage drinking”, Raj’s dad was serious now.
“I would like to try alcohol for having some fun dad, but I would not wanna get hurt dad”, Raj replied.
“I know boy and that is why we are here to look after you”, his dad said and put his arms around his shoulder.
“Even Kunal was not allowed to drink before a certain age. Your elder brother is now smart and responsible enough to look after himself, so he deserves to have a little fun. And like him when you get older you will yourself understand what kind of drinks you enjoy, what is your capacity of drinking and how to look well after yourself”, his dad added.
“Bhaiya may be 25 but I still don’t think he is smart”, Raj chuckled.
Both of them started laughing at this.
Just a temptation
“Son we love you and we just don’t want you to ruin your life over a petty temptation. You have your whole life ahead of you. At the right age, when you are responsible enough to look after yourself, you can enjoy hard drinks, if you wish so. But do not rush yourself, there is a time and age for all life experiences”, his dad smiled.
“I understand dad”, Raj sounded convincing.
“One more really important thing. There is a law in our country which clearly specifies the age of drinking alcohol. It differs from state to state. For eg: Drinking alcohol under the age of 25 in Delhi, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Meghalaya is prohibited. In some states there is a complete ban on alcohol in states like Bihar, Gujarat Nagaland and Mizoram”, his dad explained.
“Oh dad, I wasn’t aware!” Raj exclaimed.
“But now you do!” his dad laughed and they both hugged.
“Don’t you have school tomorrow? Go to sleep”, dad said, breaking away from Raj’s embrace.
Photo: Shutterstock/stockimagesbank/Persons in the picture is are models.
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