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The Decision!

August 12, 2009

It was two in the morning and Cherian was so drunk that he could hardly lift his hands to make another peg. Being an achayan, Cherian took pride in the fact that he was a veritable sponge when it came to alcohol but today, he had pushed his luck a bit too far.

Damn, that bottle just has enough alcohol for another peg. I cannot believe that I have almost finished the bottle”, he thought to himself.

He lit his 17th cigarette for the day, and watched as the white pungent fumes floated about the room. The room had hardly anything in it except for a few clothes strewn about, his laptop and his bed. Even though the room was brightly lit, it was so full of cigarette smoke and reeked of rum that it masked the bright ambience of the room.

Cherian was not a happy man. The world that he had created from scratch, his own world was disintegrating very slowly before his own eyes but he did not know what to do about that.

A software engineer in a respectable firm in Bangalore, he found that he had never felt lonelier in his life even when he was surrounded by people all the time. Unhappy with his professional life, unhappy with his personal life, he found peace in the “Old Monk” bottle that he emptied every single night, thus forcing himself to sleep.

He patiently survived those 8 to 10 hours in office, to reach home and drown his disappointment in alcohol/cigarettes and this vicious cycle had been going on for the past few months but the overwhelming fact that stood out to his close friends was that he had no reason to be so upset.

A good job, a good salary and a family that loved him, his friends kept constantly telling him that he was blessed but Cherian would not have any of it.

As he lit his 18th cigarette for the day, he could feel the surge of nicotine once again hit his brain and realization sunk in that he was turning into a drunkard; a hopeless drunkard and he could only smile about it.

At that exact moment, his phone began to ring and he smiled to himself. It was his friend Ajit calling from America.

Namaskaaram mothallali (Greetings Boss)”, said Cherian trying to sound normal.

There was a slight pause on the other end and Cherian found it amusing that his friend Ajit was searching for the right words to say.

Dai, are you drunk again? Dude, how many times have I told you to keep things in check? You are destroying yourself dude”, exclaimed Ajit, sounding really exasperated.

Cherian had heard the same things from Ajit before and gave out his standard reply, “Aliya, I know that I should not be doing this but the fact as you know is that I am frustrated, frustrated at my own inability, frustrated with the world”.

Cherian knew that Ajit was extremely angry as he had nothing to say.

Ajit, you know about my love failure, about how that girl left me because her parents were against the match. You know about how I loved her with my whole heart. You know that I am incomplete without her. You know that I am not happy in my professional life. So please don’t give me advice. Not now aliyaaaa” growled Cherian into the phone.

Immediately, Cherian heard these earnest words ring through the phone with clarity, “Long ago, I knew a confident guy, who really helped me when I was down at multiple stages in my life. It is embarrassing to see that same guy talk like this, talk as if the world has ended, and talk as if hope had died out. Cherian, I know that you are made of better stuff than this. A bright and happy future only awaits those who take things into their hands”.

And Ajit continued, “If I was in Bangalore now, I would have probably given you a kick up your rear side, but I am not. I have said what ever I wanted to say, the rest is up to you now. You decide if you want to go down this road to perdition or take control of your life. I have nothing more to add as I have said enough about this already”.

With that, Ajit cut the call and Cherian was left all alone to contemplate about his future. With some effort, he got up and in that drunken stupor made his way out into the pleasant Bangalore evening. He felt much better once he was outside as the steady, cool Bangalore evening breeze gently caressed his face.

He took a vow that he would change his self destructive habit, if not for himself, but for his parents. He had to succeed at all cost and prove all his detractors wrong including the parents of that girl, who so badly misjudged and insulted him and with that iron resolve, he made his way back into the house humming a happy tune.

PS: I have changed the name of my friend but this story is based on a phone call I had to make last week. Nowadays, I find that many software engineers are succumbing to the “mid life” crisis at a very young age, in their mid/late twenties. That coupled with the mallu tradition of drinking, unfortunately makes it a deadly combination……

I just hope that my dear friend learns from this character called “Cherian”

54 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2009 2:58 am

    me first! 😀 😀 😀 And well this is by accident….the starting makes this sound like a serious post , be back 😉
    OG: yes dude, serious post 😛 LOL 😛 yes you first!!!!!!!!

  2. August 12, 2009 3:43 am

    Isn’t it so easy to drown ourselves in our sorrow???
    OG: unfortunately yes 😦
    Sometimes I feel we human beings love to take the easy way out but then in times like such it is our real friends who can show us the mirror. And ultimately it is up to us to come out or rot in our self created personal hell.
    OG: well said smita!!!!!!

  3. August 12, 2009 4:01 am

    OG, Cherian is lucky to have you as a friend…I hope he sticks to his resolve and turns his life around…
    OG: me too 😛 😛
    These days with financial security coming so early on in life, the motivation to secure one’s future is not there…My husband’s friend is leaving his job and going to an ashram in India to clear his mind and his body…He is 40, unmarried and has a successful career but is very lonely…He feels if he works in India and is close to his sisters and parents, he won’t drink and smoke too much…This is what he said to me – “Sraboney, if I go on like this I’ll surely die in 2 years”
    OG: hmmmm 😛 he should get married, same thing I told my friend 😛

    • August 12, 2009 9:22 am

      Yes, he should…Over the years he has seen many women but somehow nothing concrete has materialized…Don’t know what he’s looking for…
      OG: hmmmmmm 😛

  4. August 12, 2009 4:07 am

    Your friend is lucky to have you as a friend…
    I have guy like this in my team… sad really.
    he turns up in the morning with blood-red eyes and a hangover.. he is irritable and gets angry very easily…

    how i wish he gets some sense knocked into his head too!
    OG: hmmm, the life of a software engineer 😛 hehehehehehehe
    You also have a couple of awards waiting for you! Pick them up please!!
    OG: thanks!!! I am honored 😛

  5. August 12, 2009 4:46 am

    did ur friend learn from Cherian… did u hear from from after that????
    P.S.: is there any way to show him this post and knock some sense into him?? 😛 😛
    OG: he is fine now……. trying to get his life in shape…….. hmm let us see 😛 nope, will not show him the post 😛

    • August 12, 2009 6:04 am

      he needs some serious counselling… and a couple of tight slaps to bring him back to reality!
      OG: hmmm, i am trying to imagine the scene……. you against the big guy 😛
      hope he sees sense atleast after talking to u…
      once he comes out of his depressive phase and realises his self-worth, the rest will take care of itself…
      OG: yo!!!!!!!!!!! 😉
      cliched as it sounds the fact is: no man or woman is worth ur tears and the one who is will never make u cry…
      OG: hmmmmm, i agree 😛

      • August 12, 2009 9:49 am

        u and ur yo-yo’s 😛 LOL 😀

        me slapping the big guy?? hmm…. ok possible coz he’s drunk and depressed… chances are he wont fight back and he’ll say: see the whole world is against me? women are all bad, including the one beating me up 😛 😛
        i wish those slaps wud make him fight back… then the job is done…
        point being if he cant stand up for himself, no one else will… as simple as that… 😐
        OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛

  6. August 12, 2009 4:50 am

    Everyone goes thorough this phase, I suppose. It is important at that point to have people who can knock some sense into you. I hope he listens to you, OG.

    Quirky Indian
    OG: everyone goes thru this phase, but his phase has been pretty long 😛 I also hope, he listens to me

  7. August 12, 2009 5:39 am

    People who have friends like you are blessed, Ajit. You are a gem. Just the other day, Indy girl and I were saying the same and now this post. Unpretentious and genuine! May you always remain like this. 🙂
    OG: hehehehehehehehehhe 😛 and indy madam agreed with your assesment??? ROFL 😛 let her comment here……….. 😛 ROFL!!!!!!!btw, Thanks for the kind words
    I hope Cherians of the world realize that in reality they are blessed and they just need to crawl out of the shell and reach out to people who love them. They haven’t faced real trouble. You are right about Software Engineers. I think the pressure is getting on to them esp. in the families where both are SEs and pressure of starting a family, managing home, long work hours. But still finding a solution is more important than just giving it up.
    OG: well said Don Sols, yes, let us hope that all the cherians especially my frd finds the solution 😛

    • August 12, 2009 6:01 am

      BTW Kislay suggested a new name for our gang so soon you will see Indyeah-Soli-Kislay the 3 Slick army. 😈
      OG: hahahahaha, a simple name change will not change your fortunes…………. 😛 vims and me are ready for the battle

    • August 12, 2009 7:14 am

      what are you doing Sols?
      you want him to get a swollen head or what?

      * frantically making plans to get OG back to earth*
      OG: hehehehehehehehehehehehe 😛 a confession is a confession 😛 OG is stuck firmly on earth 😛 he has not gone anywhere 😛

      • August 12, 2009 9:46 am

        Indy, he also read what u commented on my friendship’s day post… u have double trouble!!!

        • August 12, 2009 11:44 am

          OMG! he did?
          sheesh! why cant people stay out of old posts I tell ya! some people na!

          PS:- Ash I am having trouble commenting on yours..its taking AGES to load 😦
          OG: ROFL 😛 yes indy!!! I read it :mrgreen

        • August 12, 2009 11:46 am

          Could you shift to WP too? 😀
          just a suggestion 🙄

          oh! okay 😛 if you cant then can you keep the comment page as a separate one?
          if its okay with you(not the pop out one though coz that is troublesome too)

        • August 12, 2009 6:30 pm

          i know… everyone’s been asking me the same thing! i shall be moving in a li’l while. in the meantime, yes i shall take ur suggestion to move it onto a separate page… 🙂

        • August 13, 2009 7:34 am

          @Ash:- if you don’t want to move to WP , try using haloscan for comments, you don’t need to sign in to comment in that 🙂

  8. August 12, 2009 5:59 am

    Ha good boy! At least some one working against the government – trying to stop people from smoking and drinking(I think the government should abolish all other taxes , am sure they make a lot out of these two alone , but lets leave it for another time).
    OG: hahahahahaha 😛 good one 😛
    Anyway when I am depressed , I write poetry , its my drug/addiction or whatever… 😛
    OG: and you write some great poetry man….. does that mean, you are depressed all the time 😛 ROFL
    And good thing you don’t want a friend smoked like that chicken(Indi see our man is becoming a complete veggie !) ..
    OG: yes yes, complete veggie now 😛

  9. August 12, 2009 7:54 am

    Echoes the situation of many youth in our society.. finding solace in booze n bongs which only worsens matters. Hope your friend returns beck to senses.

    All the best for your efforts.
    OG: yes dude and this is prevalent in Kerala a lot……….. binge drinking, Thanks

  10. August 12, 2009 8:51 am

    Cherian is certainly lucky to have a friend like you.. I do hope he comes out of this soon.. He needed your words to shake him out of his state. It does seem quite common, you know, people getting frustrated and depressed.. I am not sure if it is only with SEs though.. I think it is true of any high pressured job. A friend of mine, who is a doctor took time off work as she was feeling really stressed out.
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 yes smithus…….. agree that with high pressure jobs come greater problems 😛
    As for drinking – it has become a trend.. people think it is ‘hip and fashionable’ to drink. I am fine with social drinking, but when it becomes a ‘crutch’ – it gets dangerous.. Yes, he should get married – but when he feels ready for it – not as a ready made cure for his ills – that could back fire…
    OG: hehehehehehehehehehehehehehe 😛

    • August 12, 2009 9:47 am

      yea that could be like a relationship on the rebound… which will do worse damage
      OG: hmmmm 😛

  11. August 12, 2009 10:43 am

    HHHmmm!!!! mmmm mm mmm mm mmm mm mm m mm mmm mm mmm mm !!!!
    OG: sheri aliyaaaaaa 😛

    • August 12, 2009 10:54 am

      ROFL 😀 Same mantra everywhere 😛

    • August 12, 2009 10:51 pm

      Translation for this : Sigh !!! Finally a serious post and I cant write anything worthwhile !!!
      OG: hahahahahahaha 😛 thanks for letting us know 😛

  12. August 12, 2009 10:53 am

    Lucky him to hv u as a friend OG! There cn be friends who cn sit n give him company n their sorrows too 😦

    Glad to know he is trying to be back on track! It hurts when I see a boy/girl ruining their life all for one person when their parents, family n friends had been with them all those yrs 😦
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 I know………and thanks!!!! appreciate it

  13. August 12, 2009 10:55 am

    cherian is really lucky to have friends such as you OG.
    what you said is very true. S/W engineers are succumbing to the “mid life” crisis at a very young age.
    hope your friend gets out of this sooner…
    OG: I also hope the same thing 😛 and yes, S/E are in great problems everywhere 😛

  14. August 12, 2009 11:42 am

    May we all be blessed with such friends who can make us see all that we are missing in life when we are on the slippery path to becoming cherians .
    OG: yes indy!!!!!!! completely agree!
    He is blessed to have you as a friend OG.
    And I think his friendship and his gestures for you long back that you have written about …have come full circle..and now its your turn to pull him up .
    OG: ROFL 😛 yes!!!!!!!!!!
    God bless him and *touchwood* for your friendship:)
    OG: God has to bless him, he is my friend 😛 hehehehehehehe
    I believe that he will come out of it.
    yes, I believe in it completely:)
    OG: thanks for the vote of confidence 😛

    • August 13, 2009 7:39 am

      /* May we all be blessed with such friends who can make us see all that we are missing in life when we are on the slippery path to becoming cherians . */

      OG sprinkles some akshadai on everyone’s head!

      I believe that he will come out of it.
      yes, I believe in it completely:) */

      Ha optimism 😉 Well thats something we all share 😀

    • August 13, 2009 10:59 pm

      ROFL? ROFL? 😈
      WHat was the ROFL for? you devil! 👿

      I swear it is not your friend but you who needs help! 😛
      let me refer you to a good psychiatrist as early as possible 😆
      quite possibly we may have to save Cherian from you 😆
      OG: hehehehehehehehehehehehehe 😛 that ROFL is because, you are only one who picked that up …. that he has helped me in the past 😛 and ROFL coz, my frd cherian also spotted that when I made him read this post 😛 yes, I also need halp!!!!!!!!! 😛

  15. August 12, 2009 5:49 pm

    Your friend will make a full recovery with friends like you around him machi… 🙂 he will be back to his own self and see you as the old cherian… one thing I like to say to you is, never let him to feel like he is alone… I am sure you are doing that 🙂
    OG: yo 😛 but distance is unfortunately a problem 😛

  16. August 12, 2009 6:34 pm

    Oh I really hope he does. And you are a good friend OG. Keep at it.
    OG: yo 😛 thanks!

  17. August 12, 2009 10:48 pm

    Aliyaa, I know this is a serious post. But I just got my mouth piece back and I tell you, it was damn suffocating !
    OG: hehehehehehehehehehe
    You would have to do something to stop Solilo from using all that beer on her hair !!! If a phone call from you would work, I would pay for that !! 😀 😀 😀 😀
    OG: ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jokes apart, I appreciate your efforts aliyaa. I still dont understand what makes people to start such habits when they are sad ! I have heard a lot of reasons, rather excuses, but everything sounded crazy ! Cherian is wasting his whole life because of some girl whom he probably knew only for a couple of years. He is too selfish that he isnt thinking about his parents ! I hope everything gets rectified soon. Otherwise, he is another wasted living being !

    Kaamakshi poyengil pottedaa..dhey varunnu Ulpalaakshi ! 😉

    OG: aliya classic!!!!!!!! that is whay I have been telling him all this time 😛

    • Solilo permalink
      August 13, 2009 4:09 am

      Ha..ha..ha.. How is my Beer on my head troubling you? Mmmmmm…mmmmmmmmm….mmmmmmm? 😆

      • August 13, 2009 7:23 am

        I really dont have a problem if beer is on or inside ur head 🙂 But it smells so bad. I am jus a lill over concerned about the fellow human beings who stay with you 😀 😀 😀 😀

        • Solilo permalink
          August 13, 2009 7:32 am

          But you don’t know what fellow human beings feel. 😉 I think Beer smells great.
          OG: it is just barley water 😛 😀

  18. Solilo permalink
    August 13, 2009 4:17 am

    Drinking is the main problem of almost entire Malayalam film industry. Recently couple of actors and directors passed away and they were either heavy drinkers or chain smokers. Even Padmarajan and Bharatan passed away so young and both were heavy on ‘naadan’ and smoked like chimney.
    OG: not only the film industry………….. normal mallus drink 😀 and righly said abt padmarajan and bharatan

  19. August 13, 2009 6:45 am

    hi machi,

    You have been awarded:

    Please accept it 🙂

  20. chewmysambhar permalink
    August 13, 2009 10:58 am

    I thght it was some detective thriller…he he he
    But nice write up:) When one of my friends’ had this love failure stuff and started puffing goldflake, I advised him to look at other super woman in the city. If one goes, one comes:P:P:P:P
    OG: good advice 😛 you gave your frd…… and detective thriller??? OMG 😛

  21. August 13, 2009 11:49 am

    Hope he finds his peace soon 🙂
    OG: me too 😛

    • chewmysambhar permalink
      August 14, 2009 9:45 am

      you aren’t at peace then? Love failure for you too o?:P
      OG: hehehehehehe, multiple times 😛

  22. anishthomas permalink
    August 13, 2009 12:35 pm

    what 2 say aliya …these are the part of life……we have to move on with our life and time will heal all the wounds(i can say that…coz i have broke up(reason is same as your friend’s) with my ‘ex’ all most 2 years back, after some beautiful moments in 3 years ………there is no point in worrying or depressing about past, thinking abt a gal,and boozing and fagging abt that,….we have to move on with our life and also think abt our parents who took so many pain to brought us up…..i hope U’r friend will understand this point soon 🙂
    @ love failure…..tell him there are lots of fishes in the pool….so today jessica.a…tomm..Monica and go on 😀
    OG: yo dude 😛 agree! best of luck for your future 😛

  23. Pal permalink
    August 13, 2009 1:00 pm

    Very nice story, OG. For a change, a serious post, and a very good one at that. Just that young people these days have too much of everything and they are therfore bored of life too easily. A kick in the rear, exactly like you have said, and that will bring them back to reality. Grab your life in your own hands and get moving!!! Hope your friend does it. And yes, he certainly is lucky to have a friend like you 🙂
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 yo 😛

  24. craftyshines permalink
    August 14, 2009 9:18 am


    my reader is not updating ur posts….

    I MISSED THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    😥 😥 😥

    i was wondering how come i am seeing u commenting but no new post…thot u must become busy again…and i come here and ….



    now i will just visit here directly….
    *uses colourful langue with reader*

    okie….will go read now….both posts!
    OG: damn that reader 😛 😛 😛 😛

  25. craftyshines permalink
    August 14, 2009 9:32 am


    oh no EOG…i hope ur friend is better now? pliss to do a follow up…i wanna know…pliss! i have known friends in similar situations…so true what u wrote, at such a young age they succumb to pressures…
    OG: much better now 😛 thanks!!!!!!!
    hope he pulls hiself himself…and he is blessed wih all that he deserves…health, happiness and love
    hugs to ur friend!

    now, EOG…..wait…let me tie u to some furniture…..there, all set…

    LOVE U EOG!!!!!!!!!!
    u really are a soooper friend to have..what u did for him, ur words…it was such a right mix of concern, reprimand and logic!
    OG: ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😛 hehehehehehehe 😛
    he’s helped u in ur dark times, and God gave u the chance to help him out in his time, and u’ve done well!

    am glad to know u! 🙂
    *crafty knows even to this confession EOG will give her tongue wala smiley*
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛
    😆 😆

    touchwood to ur friendship!

    OG: hugsssssss 😛

  26. craftyshines permalink
    August 14, 2009 9:41 am

    EOG, i needed separate comment space for ur writing skill…

    *crafty has not yet untied EOG’s hand from furniture, now tightens the rope*
    OG: ROFL 😛 yeah yeah 😛 still tied up 😛
    this was a beautiful narration, detailed just right, and very good use of “less is more” i mean, not too many details, just right to get the essence, the emotions, to paint the scene as the reader wants to!
    not many can do that! i fail miserably! 😀
    *a bit jealous*
    OG: thanku Thanku and you write brilliantly as well
    and EOG, those two lines….shocked me…

    The world that he had created from scratch, his own world was disintegrating very slowly before his own eyes but he did not know what to do about that

    he found that he had never felt lonelier in his life even when he was surrounded by people all the time

    EOG, that was me, and i felt jolted to read it here, like this, suddenly, that too at ur blog!
    yeah, friends are a boon, esp friends like u.
    OG: hmmm, but you have your BF to take care of things right???? 😛 so how can you feel lonely
    i’m lucky to have a few who saved me from drowning me, just like u did for ur friend!

    gee…good thing i am medically allergic to nicotine and can’t stand alcohol! 😀
    OG: good for you 😛 seriously!
    hugs!!!! loved to see this side to ur writing!
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛

  27. thethoughtfultrain permalink
    August 14, 2009 12:34 pm

    That was lovely words Ajit. It is so rare that in this busy world, friends coax each other to stand up on their feet again. I admire both you as well as Cherian. I do hope he picks up his life and move on.
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 Thanks! I also hope that he gets back to his usual self

  28. August 14, 2009 2:31 pm

    Love your posts about your friends and real life… I am sure you can and have made a difference. I have a very successful friend who’s going through a tough time right now, luckily he is married having a family helps, having friends like you also helps. My best wishes to your friend Ajit.
    OG: thanks IHM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😛

  29. August 16, 2009 12:41 pm

    What a great friend you have been I think
    seen a lot of people drown in their drink
    tell him all bad times will go when you blink
    till he realises this you need to be his shrink.

  30. August 17, 2009 7:49 am

    abhinava post agatya 😛

  31. August 17, 2009 3:36 pm

    Hi i read your post its very nice and wonderful…
    so i add u in my bolg list and can u add me in your blog list…

  32. August 18, 2009 6:56 am

    That was a very sad story, but hope was shining towards the end, as your frnd has decided to make life better for him.

    Please take care of your frnd – call and give him support.

  33. August 20, 2009 6:47 pm

    while in college, there was this girl who tried to drink poison in her classroom because some goon rejected her. this is what one of our professors had to say – “pillere, mandatharam onnum kaanikkalle. always remember- there are plenty of fishes in the sea”
    there was a brilliant post on the same subject recently –

  34. Happy Kitten permalink
    August 25, 2009 10:09 am

    think i am late in commenting.. but let me say that this Cherian is lucky to have a frnd like you who has his feet firm on the ground…hope ur frnd has come around to his senses..

    but binge drinking is becoming a fashion among the youth and more so in Kerala.. can I safely 🙂 put the blame partly on our Mohanlal?

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