Last week has been a lot of travel for me… One of the hops I had was at hometown.  I only had time to visit my parents for a few hours. As we were talking about some family related matters, my eyes fell on the iPad.  

As I picked the iPad,  my dad thanked me to have bought it because my sister stays occupied all  day with it.  It was his dose of sarcasm for me… Deep within I wondered if I made a mistake, I bought it for my mom and not my sister … 

It was evening and was time for me start…  I wanted to setup my mom’s account for the ipad, as I was browsing through the apps, my eyes fell on some games my sister has downloaded, I started to play. I am not at all a pro at games, but since I’ve played these earlier I was able to solve some puzzles easily.  

My sister said, “Why don’t you download the games on your phone, after you are back from work, you would start reading. Anyhow you don’t watch TV as well, it would be a good recreation to play for sometime”. “No, I won’t download any games and I really don’t want to”, my reaction was almost immediate, she frowned with a startled look on her face.  I locked the iPad, threw it on the bed, picked my bag and started walking towards the gate.”

My thoughts were particularly disturbing me, I was worried about my sister all the more as my past rekindled back. I boarded the bus and in no time the past started a playback….

It was 2010 or so… I was working in Bangalore… I clearly don’t remember if my work load was less or I was not finding any thing interesting to do, there were two games I used to play. I was crazy, like that’s the first thing in the morning, my break time deed, the last thing before sleep.. I used to play even when I had to cook or while eating, weekdays, weekends, well it never mattered. Those days the mobile phones were not so powerful, so I had to use laptop to play.  The burden of carrying the weight of laptop also was absolutely fine, my obsession was so much.  

One day, one of my colleagues asked me what in the game is so interesting that keeps me hooked. All of a sudden I felt ashamed. There were so many thoughts rolling over.  “Why have I become so addicted? What on earth was I doing? How can I be so irresponsible and not value time?” I am sure would have wasted few 100 hours of lifetime on completely useless, worthless games. 

I had serious guilt of what I have been doing. I don’t know, I really don’t know how I got addicted to those games. What is important was not ‘how‘ but ‘why‘? The revelation hit me hard, I am trying to kill my loneliness with those games. As they say, “an empty mind is devil’s workshop“, since I have moved out of my city, my friends, my usual badminton routine, morning jogs, I had to do something to fill that time, but disgustingly I chose gaming. That was quite a shame.. 

I realized how addictive I can be to something that can keep me hooked, can make me forget my present purpose to get carried away. I found my biggest weakness, Addiction. Every opportunity I encounter creates the fear of addiction, it can be an object, pet, books, junk food and hold on, I get addicted to people too! There are some good addictions and not so good ones… 

I have very little control over myself (some people who know me would think this is so untrue) 😛 . I am known as strong willed and determined person, in reality I am weak and that constant fear makes me or rather warns me to stay in my limits … I have some principles set and make every attempt to live by those. Because of the fear of addiction, I cannot afford to miss on life. Reading books is a good addiction but only when I choose to read good ones. So, it’s the choice that makes the addiction good or bad. Too much of anything is bad.   

When in doubt I ask myself two questions:

1. What is the gain if I choose to do it ?

2. What is the loss if I don’t ?

In practice, I try to keep it simple… One of my dear friend made an offer few months ago. She said, “Hey, there is vodka at home. Anyhow we are meeting tonite, my family is out of town. Don’t think otherwise, I know you don’t drink, but do you want to try ?“. I refused her offer in a polite way but I know the truth. If I ever agree to taste it and happen to like it, that’s all.. I am over and done. I might end-up being a drunkard. If I share the reason to her, she may easily be able  to convince me, that’s when principles come to rescue…

Fear shall never stop us, fear is that caution to give it a thought and proceed. The consequences may differ based on our choice, but it is our conscious choice.



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