Been brought up in a semi-orthodox family I was told that drinking is a sin and its wrong, I used to believe it. With lot of stories where husbands used to beat their wives after their drinking bout, which happened quite frequently in our places and especially to lot of people who were in the middle to lower class of the society, I was of the opinion that anyone who drinks is a bad person, no matter how good the person is at heart or the amount of drinks the person has. Our house maid used to complain about her husband , how he spends most of his meager earnings on his drinks and beats her in front of her children – well, drinking makes a person bad. period. That was my only view. Until, I started working and saw more of the world. Before then, my home, my street, my class were the only world I knew and it was quite a small one. My ideas of right and wrong, good and bad were really very skewed.
My view of drinking transitioned or flip-flopped. Once I started seeing the corporate world, where drinking not only belonged to men. I was rather shocked at first to see women drinking. To see a glass of wine in the hands of a woman wearing a Kancheepuram Silk Saree ( a sign of class and age) , you should have seen my face for the shock it registered. But then once I started to know people who used to have occasional drinks (more of a social drink ) and really see them behave well enough, hell, some even have it during their lunch time and come back and work, I started to realize that drinking (to be a little specific) is not that bad or wrong as long as you know your limits and you don’t harm others. The more I saw of the world, the view expanded to other factors too. In short, I started to realize that things are bad or wrong mostly in relative to a lot of factors. You drink and beat your wife – that is wrong. You drink to either warm you up or have a dizzy spell to make you sleep – not wrong, may be it might not be good for your health, but again that depends on the place and the individual.
There was this incident, where the person I know well enough abused (emotionally and physically) his wife, even though he was a teetotaller and his mother certified him to be a good human being just because he doesn’t drink and refused to believe that his abuse is a bad thing because she was his wife and she was supposed to adhere to every one of his needs, whether she likes it or not. That was when I sealed my belief about right and wrong, at least with respect to drinking. Drinking doesn’t make a person good or bad. Even without it a person can do a lot of wrong. Drinking just increases the chances of it. Its purely upto the individual to use/misuse its effect. After quite a few years later, I really tried my hands on drinks to see how it tastes like. Somehow I never liked the taste of the alcohol, but again, I hear that it is an acquired taste, of which I am not so keen, even though I have tasted a variety of them. And that is where I leave, with tastes and a transition view of it.