Unintended consequences.

“Talk to me…I’m your Mother” has a story that needs to be read by a larger audience.

I have some experience of exactly what must have gone through Mother’s mind. I have also had the experience of finding out the aftermath after some impulsive act that had unintended consequences. Let me share one of the latter.

When I was in Tirupur, there was an occasion when one very drunk man came to the factory gate and wanted to meet a woman worker, who he claimed was his wife, who was on the day shift. The security personnel were having a very hard time getting rid of him while ensuring that the lady was not disturbed. To his misfortune, at that particular moment, I came to the gate from another location and seeing the ruckus manhandled the man and threatened to call the police and sent him on his way. I felt very good about the experience, imagining myself to be a saviour of that poor lady. My good feeling was short lived when next day I was informed that the previous night had seen the husband murder the lady in a drunken rage for not having come down to meet him at the factory gate.

The next story is more recent. I helped a family locate and send an alcoholic son to a rehabilitation center. The lad was there for six months and showed every sign of full recovery. He came out and for the first few days nothing untoward happened but he relapsed and got drunk again. He further started off on some hard drugs as well which the family eventually came to understand he had learned about from other inmates in the rehabilitation center. His addictive behaviour caused a lot of problems for the family till just a few months ago, when he finally decided that he had enough and with the help of AA and NA sobered and cleaned up. That is the background to the point of the story.

When he had started drinking heavily, his family, as many Indian families do, thought that the best thing to do for him was to get him married so that he would know what to do with his spare time. I was against the idea and warned them that the chances were that the unsuspecting girl would suffer. Unfortunately, my misgivings proved to be true and the bride was very much affected during his worst days pre and post rehabilitation.

Lessons learnt the hard way!

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