My brother was a drunkard. I remember that in my childhood, my brother used to drink a lot of alcohol. And after drinking, he would abuse the other family members. He would break things lying around in the house. All the family members thought he was bad. So much so that even his two children did not like him. When he broke the utensils, the family members reprimanded him, but I always took his side. I would tell my family members that they were wrong and that he was right. Let him break the utensils; they are not more valuable than him. I was the only one on his side, and the rest were against him. My brother never said anything to me, but many times he would hug me and start crying.
He used to collapse
This went on for 15 years. By then I had started working and lived quite far away from the village. Many times, I received a call from my village saying that my brother had collapsed after consuming alcohol. I would drive my car for 200 kilometres and bring my brother home. Very often, I admitted him to a hospital hoping that he would stop the habit of drinking, but he could not give up alcohol. I always felt that something was lacking in his life. Otherwise, nobody is a bad person as such. He was not a bad person at all. He was pure-hearted, never lied and was not dishonest.
My sister-in-law gave me inspiration.
He would drink even with those who were considered as untouchable and backward. If anyone came asking for something, he would never refuse. And family members hated this habit of his. Now according to the rule, even I should have hated him as the other family members did, but I did just the opposite. Usually, no one shows any sympathy towards a drunkard, but I was toeing the opposite line. I was breaking the rule. I was testing new possibilities. I think I received this training from my same brother’s wife. We were poor, but we broke the little furniture that my sister in law brought home after her marriage.
She was an amazing personality
Table and chairs were broken in a year or two, but my sister-in-law never spoke a word about it. If not, you may have seen how women don’t allow anyone to touch their belongings. She was very hard-working, did all household chores and never complained about work. She would send me to school only after giving me breakfast and tea. In the evening, seeing me coming from afar, she would keep my tea ready for me. She was moving away from the rule or the line, and from it started a new process, a new reality started emerging, and maybe that is the reason I was able to think about something for my brother.
Meantime, I got an interview call.
I felt I owed a lot to my sister-in-law and I had to repay that debt. I had to join the two links. One fine day, I was called for an interview while I was working far away in Punjab. I told my brother to give my roll number to an MLA who was a friend of mine because I couldn’t come so far. It was so because in India it is believed that you can’t get a government job without the blessings of an MLA.
A minister’s approach was must.
My brother had a friend who was a drunkard just like him. All his friends were drunkards. When my brother told him to accompany him to the MLA, he said nobody would pay heed to the MLA, as he was merely an MLA. Instead, he asked him to give the roll number to his friend who was a minister.
Break The Rule doesn’t mean irresponsibility
They both went to the minister, gave my roll number to him and subsequently I got the job. Later on, I felt that had I given my roll number to the MLA friend of mine and that I would never have gotten the job otherwise because my relationship with the MLA was superficial. Now, the brother who was illiterate and a drunkard and who was not respected at home had changed my life. When you break the rule, a new history is created, new avenues are opened, many new experiences are formed, and then very happily you move ahead in this journey of life. Breaking the rule doesn’t mean that you break it irresponsibly.
Breaking means trying options
It means that you acted moving away from the norm and breaking stereotype since you had a better option. If you just toe the line and behave exactly how society expects you to behave, then you won’t achieve anything new. Then you just get what you have always been getting. Today, my brother drinks less and doesn’t fight. All three brothers have been living
together for 40 years now. Together we are teaching the same good values to our children. We are not imposing good values as values cannot be imposed upon anybody.
Don’t repeat, rather create
Let’s just say that the children are observing every move of their parents and the same values are getting incorporated into them automatically. Children learn by imitation. You may hear about lakhs of discourses, hundreds of rituals being performed but the society is not going to change because you are only repeating experiences that are centuries old. You are just toeing the line. The society will change only when there is love, peace and happiness in homes.
Try new possibilities.
It’s only when every member of the family takes new decisions and creates new realities, when we can influence each other positively and when we work moving away from the crowd. Only a layman can bring about a change in your life. That’s how the society will change. The man is his own medicine, possibilities exist inside human beings, and only the other person has the potential to change your life. All these religious saints are artificial flowers who can never add fragrance to your life.