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Getting hooked on #narcotics
substances can be very dangerous. They destroy lives, minds and souls. The sale
and consumption of illegal narcotics are rampant across the globe. The first
time I had a narcotic substance was in Patna, Bihar where I started my career
in 1987. I had some #bhang
mixed with cold milk and a dash of syrup.
Bhang is a
delicacy in many parts of India and it is put in sweet lassi or buttermilk
during festivals like Holi. It is derived from the #cannabis plant
which is often referred to as weed, grass, pot or hemp. Bhang is the leaf of
the plant while substances derived from the flower are more potent.
I enjoyed it a
couple of times but promised myself that I would never touch it again in my
life. The two times I consumed it with milk, I felt was flying and I could not
stop laughing. It gets kind of uncontrollable. Someone who begins to cry after
apparently cries for hours at a stretch.
journalists all over India, being part of the first drive of a vehicle or a
press conference is akin to consuming a drug. I have seen auto journalists
queuing up to get hold of a gift after a press conference. That included
Editors, senior correspondents and even the junior ones. As for first drive
invitations from vehicle manufacturers, it’s worse than drugs. And so hooked
are seasoned auto journalists today to this habit, that they cannot do without
their quota of free air travel, free 5-star hotel stays, free food and wine,
besides free expensive gifts.
I have also been a
victim of the OEM largesse. At one time I too was hooked pretty badly to this
very potent and dangerous habit. More than a year back I had made up my mind
that I would not be accepting first drive invitations to far off lands- because
it involved a lot of freebies thrown in from auto OEMs. The least a journalist
or media house can do is, as an acknowledgement, mention the freebies that have
come their way from OEMs.
Almost a year back
I announced through my social media account that I was not going for first
drives and rides by OEMs. I refused all invites that came my way. It did not
affect anyone but I got nightmares of sorts. Not that I missed those freebies,
but I sorely missed driving and riding new vehicles. I started getting
withdrawal symptoms, like the way a narcotics addict feels after he or she is
forced to give up the drugs they love.
I went back on my
promise and started accepting the first drive invites from OEMs. It was back to
drives, back to free plane rides and taxi rides, free 5-star hotel stays, free
food and wine, free gifts, et al. I tried telling my audience about the
freebies that came my way. As an old school journalist, my heart was bleeding.
Now I have taken a vow again, and I know how difficult it’s to kick the old #cocaine
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