Green Shoots II

Green Shoots II – Reformed By The Rod

I am a carpenter. Lack of work opportunities in my village has forced me to take up jobs outside the village. Up till a few months ago, my daily routine was to join my friends on the outskirts of our village, Ramasipur, to play cards in the evening after a hard day’s work in the city.

It all looked good initially. On some days, I would return home with a ‘good win’. But gradually, things started deteriorating. I wasn’t lucky every day. I started losing and to cope with the losses, I found refuge in cheap country liquor.

My debts (in the game) started increasing and I started to lose most of my earnings to gambling and alcohol. Family quarrels became a norm. On several occasions, my wife went to her parental home along with the children. I brought her back every time with promises which I knew I would not be able to keep.
One evening, when we were busy gambling and enjoying alcohol, my wife, along with the Green Gang attacked us with wooden staffs.

It was a bolt from the blue and we had no choice but to run for our lives. These attacks became more frequent in the days that followed. We changed our location every time, but my wife had deputed one of my sons to spy on me and inform her about our whereabouts.

More and more wives joined the gang, leaving us exhausted and clueless. We tried different locations in the neighbouring villages but to no avail. The Green Gang had managed to mobilise women from the neighbouring villages as well.

Finally, about three-four months ago, I decided to quit gambling and alcohol. I was fed up of this cat and mouse chase. Some of my friends like Ramji and Girdhar also joined me. We collectively pledged in front of the gang and our family members that we will not dabble in gabling or alcohol ever again. Initially, it was difficult.

I used to be irritable, wasn’t able to sleep well, and had lost interest in work. But gradually I came to terms with my new life. Now, I am completely cured – a new man altogether.
Now, all of us collectively go to the city for work and come back home on time. Things at home have also improved.

I am able to spend quality time with my wife and children. We (the rehabilitated men) now, help the Green Gang in its cause. We gather at the local tea shop and try to convince others to shun the addiction of gambling and alcohol.