Here’s how his father’s briefing on alcohol helped him assert his ‘choice’ at freshers party

Gaon Connection has collaborated with the World Health Organization South-East Asia (WHO SEARO) for a social campaign – ‘Meri Pyaari Zindagi’ – a series of audio and video stories that aims to raise awareness on alcoholism and its effect on both physical and mental health. Here's the story of a youth who was not sure if he could resist a drink at the freshers party — and that's when his father offered friendly advice. Here's how it helped.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: December 26th, 2021

Donning his black shirt that he had planned to wear at his college’s freshers party, Aditya was eagerly getting ready for the much awaited event which was supposed to mark his initiation into his college life.

It was an event where he could present his guitar skills, make new friends and  develop a bond with his seniors — which was crucial for him to join the college band.

Finally he was all set to attend the party and told his father that he was about to leave. But before he went out, his mother had a concern to discuss with him.

This audio story is a part of a series titled Meri Pyaari Zindagi, which is a collaboration between Gaon Connection, India’s biggest rural media platform, and the World Health Organization Regional Office for South East Asia (WHO SEARO) for a social campaign to promote awareness about the ill effects of alcohol.

His mother signalled his father to discuss the matter. 

“We need to talk about something,” his father told him. The confused teenager asked if he had done anything wrong, following which his mother asked him directly — “Will alcohol be served at the party?”

He was visibly uncomfortable at the question but made no attempts to deny that alcoholic drinks were indeed supposed to be served at his freshers party.

Also Read: ‘Sharaab cheez hi aisi hai, na chhodi jaaye’: Neelesh Misra pens a powerful poem on alcohol abuse — WATCH

Seeing his discomfort, Aditya’s father nonchalantly told his mother that it is obvious for alcohol to be a part of the freshers party.

“We used to have it in our college parties as well. Have you tried it before?” the father asked.

“Not so far,” Aditya said.

Sensing that his reply in no way denied the possibility of him consuming liquor at the party, his mother shot back immediately. “Not so far meaning that you will be drinking, right?” she said.

Aditya couldn’t formulate another response anymore.

Peer pressure

Aditya told his parents that he is looking forward to developing contacts with his seniors at the party and drinking alcohol with them will be vital in doing so.

His father understood that drinking alcohol was more of a peer pressure-induced activity for his son than a personal wish.

“I still meet my college friends. I still meet them regularly and I was actually very popular with them at college. The reason why I was so popular was because I never drank,” the father told his son.

Also Read:  Alcoholism can be conquered and here’s ‘how’ Bhushan did it

What followed was a detailed session of a father telling his son about the harmful effects of alcohol.

Finally it was time for Aditya to go to the party venue and it remained to be seen if he would drink at the party or stick by his father’s advice.

But how to say no 

Upon reaching the party venue, the teenager was immediately offered a peg. “This one to our guitar boy Aditya,” announced a senior.

Aditya’s response was quiet but resolute. 

“Guys, I don’t drink,” he said. 

His response didn’t do well with his seniors who took his refusal as an offense. They even asked him how he wishes to compose music without enjoying alcohol.

“I wish to become a music director. It’s a creative occupation. To me, creativity thrives in freedom and alcohol addiction enslaves a person,” he said.

His words seemed to have an effect and nobody pestered him further.

Also Read:  ‘Meri Pyaari Zindagi’: Gaon Connection and WHO’s joint campaign on alcohol abuse