Addictions

Post the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, there’s been a lot of discussion on drug addiction and junkies.

Let me confess here that when I was growing up, I too had an addiction — to the betel nut! Since it was used for poojas, we always had a supply. I don’t know exactly how I got into the habit of popping one every time I went into the kitchen. So much so that my mom actually had to hide the bottle! The addiction soon disappeared through sheer self-control. That made me somewhat aware of how easy it is to get addicted to something, how much it takes to get over an addiction, and how easy it is to fall into the habit once again. Luckily for me, it was not a very harmful addiction, and it didn’t last very long.

One of the best articles I’ve read on addiction is this one by Russell Brand. One can’t even begin to imagine the rollercoaster ride junkies have, up one moment, down one moment, both loving and hating it. And those who’ve come out of it appear to be walking on a tightrope, for they could slip any moment and plunge back into the abyss of their habit.

In the movie Hasee Toh Phasee, there is talk of the character played by Parineeti being a (recovered) drug addict. She is also shown behaving strangely after popping what are supposedly anti-depressants, though she is aware of its effects and side-effects. The way this entire aspect of her character has been glossed over is, in hindsight, a bit disturbing. There are a couple of stray comments when the sister says that she can’t be trusted, and when she is denied money for her project on suspicion that she will use it for drugs. However, most of this is shown as being comical while the more serious aspects are not touched upon.

It is probably too much to expect a mainstream rom-com to treat this subject more seriously. But as a friend pointed out, when she was growing up, practically every serial appeared to have a drug addict and they were shown in such bad light that she and her friends were scared off drugs quite effectively. Contrast this with a pretty girl who pops pills AND gets the guy, and the ground gets a little slippery, doesn’t it?

There is still much to understand about the nature of addiction. But I guess this is one area where “learning through your own mistakes” is best avoided!

Update: In case I’m coming across as an old stick-in-the-mud where the movie is concerned, I actually liked the movie. 🙂 It was a refreshing change and I quite enjoyed it.

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