Alcohol Addiction


When I reported at Lucknow branch, I had envisaged that I was in for trouble, as the branch was notorious for poor industrial relations. There were so many other ticklish issues, but what I had not envisaged was the problem created by Mr Balkrishna (BK).

He was ten years my senior, but was one grade lower than me, though he was considered as one of the most intelligent officers of the Bank. Subsequent to my posting as the Chief Manager (Branch Head), BK was also posted in the same branch as Concurrent Auditor. Being well connected, he was accommodated there by the Bank.

The top leader of the Bank’s Union was his batchmate and his elder brother was posted in Lucknow as Police Commissioner. His two brothers were also IAS. His family was considered to be an IAS family. Initially I thought that his connections would be beneficial for my business development, but I was sadly mistaken.

BK was spendthrift. He imbibed the culture of spending from his immediate family. He and his wife competed with his other brothers’ families to enjoy equally high standard of living, but his source of income was limited.

To meet his expenses, he started borrowing money from his colleagues including me. He had no self respect, though he was so senior in the service. I think due to these habits, he couldn’t get promotions like his other batchmates.

He used to drink excessively, and sometimes in the office too. I sent him back whenever I found him drunk, and he obediently followed too, but when his drunken behaviour grew intolerable, I met his elder brother and suggested de-addiction therapy for him.

His brother admitted that BK was an odd one out in the family and called him worthless. But he immediately agreed to my suggestion and the next week, he was admitted to a de-addiction centre.

Incidentally, the rehabilitation centre was located in the building of mental hospital. When I met him there, his wife was also there. I met her for the first time, but she was furious with me, as she thought I was responsible for landing him there. Later I came to know that his wife also used to drink.

It was really surprising as to how his children were doing so well in their academics despite not so pleasant environ at home. One daughter was pursuing MBBS, while another daughter was doing B.Tech, and his son was admitted to IIM, Ahmedabad.

BK came out of the centre, but withdrawal symptoms were easily palpable. He gradually relapsed into the former state. But the point of no return reached, when he committed two frauds, one for making drafts for his daughters’ fees and the other for his own consumption.

The amount of frauds was in thousands only, but a fraud irrespective of the amount is a fraud, and viewed very seriously, as the motive itself becomes questionable. It comes under gross misconduct, for which major penalty is inflicted.

There were pressures from different quarters not to take harsh action against him. Some of the colleagues told me that he was threatening to commit suicide, but I stuck to my guns, and as punishment, he was demoted to the lowest cadre. Subsequently, he took voluntary retirement from the Bank and shifted to his native place.


–Kaushal Kishore

images: pinterest

30 Comments

  1. This cautionary story, Kaushal, resonates with me, and the topic is very important to many people who are not even aware that they might have a problem. I made a decision not to drink in my first year of Medical School because students were drinking at the parties to such an extent that they didn’t know later on what it was so very offensive that they were doing that evening. I hated the thought of not being in control of my behavior and since that time I don’t drink at all.

    It is admirable, Kaushal, that you tried to help but you know the saying, you can bring a horse to the water but you cannot make him drink.
    It is a certain anomaly that some children of alcoholic parents turn their backs on alcohol and instead strive to succeed academically but thankfully it does happen.

    Joanna

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Joanna for your thoughtful reflections. Glad to know that you could avoid the temptation. In several societies, controlled drinking is a norm, but in parties, people go out of control.
      During my college and university days I had not come across any booze party, but in service, there were many occasions, and I always preferred lemon-based soft drink.
      BK was senior to me. That’s why I avoided using harsh language, but a time comes, when one has to call a spade a spade. But I really felt happy for their children.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Grace for your analytical comment. I think it was his wife, who could have done something for his improvement, but she herself was not willing to do so. Thank you for sharing your thoughts ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’–

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s just come to a simple statement & that is, “whatever you do, shouldn’t affect(badly) the society or people near you in any way.” Limit is the keyword here.
    We’ve seen many people who consume alcohol on a daily/weekly basis & still are successful in their respective professions. The only diff. is that they have control(mostly western people) over this particular habit.
    ” Later I came to know that his wife also used to drink.” : That was quite unpredicted.
    It’s good that their children are doing good on their own.

    PS: I’m not endorsing alcohol in any way.

    Thanks for sharing, Mr. KK.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have yourself mentioned, “limit is the keyword”. What I was talking about is the addiction, that means continued consumption despite harmful consequences. Private and controlled consumption is not considered bad in any civilised society, even in India. I have seen even women drinking in some parties. So it’s a matter of choice, but again, as you said, within limits. Thank you, Tanishq for sharing your considered view.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ooohn, so sad to see a man of his stature getting entangled in the circles of fraud and paying dearly. ๐Ÿ˜ข Quite sad, but unlikely things just happen in the lives of people. Thank God (i hope) he did not commit suicide. I sympathise with him, but corruption no matter how shallow it is deserves punitive measures to discourage such. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Lamittan for sharing your thoughts. What my experience says is that such emotionless people don’t commit suicide, but compel others to do so. That’s why I was not at all worried about his threat. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’–โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right. That was so bad of him. People should honour the jobs they’ve been entrusted with. It’s so sad that while millions of people wander on the streets looking for the least menial jobs to fend for their families, others have the guts to swindle funds from the companies that sustain their families. It was the right comeuppance for his lack of integrity, KK. I couldn’t agree more โœ…

        Liked by 2 people

    1. You have rightly stated that alcoholism is a disease and it should be treated like a disease, and the family and friends should be supportive too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never been much of a drinker. Robert and I used to share a beer once in a while, but we don’t even do that any longer. Robert says beer gives him heartburn, and I can’t have the carbs. After seven years on diabetes medication, I went on a ketogenic diet and have been off diabetes medication for five years. Drinking is not worth it to me!

    Many people can drink in moderation without harm, but about 10% will become alcoholics. It is very sad how BK lost his livelihood, health, and reputation to addiction. Thank you, KK, for sharing your story. You handled the situation with great finesse. I am glad the children succeeded in spite of their parents’ addiction. โค

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Drinking in moderation is okay, but addiction is not. In fact, some doctors recommend brandy or red wine to old people as a part of medication. But I agree with you, Cheryl, it’s better if we keep it at bay. Thank you for your appreciating the story. I still feel that BK would have got rid of this, if his immediate family had supported in true sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a sad story. Alcohol addiction is a terrible disease. It ruins families and the lives of many who are near the alcoholic. But it can be overcome. I have known people in the AA program who have remained clean and sober for many years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, Anne, alcoholism is like a disease that can be treated, for which the person’s own willpower and family support are the must. In the present case, both were lacking. Thank you for sharing your reflections.

      Liked by 1 person

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