May 14, 2012

Man Down [134/365]

Spot 'the man' in this picture
Man has always been the provider, the hunter and the gatherer.
He gets out before dawn in search of food, and comes home so that his wife and children can eat. He is the strength of his wife, the sole breadwinner of the family and the role model for his offspring.
This was how it used to be when men started living as a family, probably in prehistoric caves and huts.

Thousands of years later, Men have evolved.
Men are no longer the sole breadwinner of a family. He is no longer the hardworking of the two, and is definitely not the best role model for his children.
Across India, there is a sight that is getting increasingly common. Drunken men sprawled on footpaths, in drains, by the sides of roads and every place they can possibly fall onto. But not all of them fall into a stupor on their way home. Nearly every passer-by will see the man down, but not one will come to move him to safety or better still, help him home. But some actually want to make it home by themselves and stagger dangerously into the path of oncoming vehicles. I've once encountered a man who was so drunk that he could not even open his eyes, staggering into the path of trucks and vehicles on a National highway. I stopped to help him get off the road but he would not have it. I finally had to use force and make him lie down by the side of the road away from danger. After more than a minute of struggling to get up, he passed out. That would have not been the last time he staggered. 

What makes a man so addicted to the bottle that he drinks so much and passes out?

A former friend of mine was a very active social drinker. He started when he was still a teen and could handle copious amounts of booze. I could barely handle a glass of wine but he could easily down several bottles of vodkas. I've never understood what made men addicted to alcohol but it could be because the booze made you sound smoother, more slicker, funnier and the life of the party. 
I've never liked the smell or the hangover. But that does not mean I never drank. The last time I drank was 7 years ago, on New Year's eve. I remember I had the mother of all headaches (aka Dante's 4th Circle of Hell) the next day. That day I promised myself I would not drink and I think that is one promise I've kept since.

Every night, as we pass by minor by-lanes and roads adjoining bars, we see men sprawled out with a leg sticking out perilously onto the road, or with their heads falling off the pavement as if ready to be guillotined, in positions and places that he would otherwise be embarrassed of, two things come to my mind.
  1. That's one less husband and father who'll be home for his Wife and kids.
  2. That's one more wife who will worry where her husband is tonight.
But then, this is not something that strikes only the poor and disadvantaged, but the rich and famous too. Come New Year's eve, you'll see men and women sprawled across dance floors and bathrooms just as well too.

Is this evolution?
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