It takes a very brave man to admit to having been a fool and idiot in his life, but that is exactly what India’s poet laureate Javed Akhtar did on an episode Aamir Khan’s talk show, screened locally on Star Plus on Top TV.
In keeping with the theme of the show titled Satyamev Jayate (Truth Will Triumph), the acclaimed poet participated in a segment on Aamir’s show devoted to showing up the evils of alcoholism. He confessed to having been a serious alcoholic when he was 26 years old, finishing a whole bottle every day for nearly 12 years.
“I started with my friends in the film industry when I came to Mumbai and became an assistant director and it became a habit. First there was no money, but when the income started coming in, I started drinking more,” Javed said as he explained the reasons for people taking to drink.
“There is glamour in drinking which attracts young people. This was perpetuated by the young actors in our films who sang songs on screen while drinking. But liquor is not like it is portrayed in films. The reality is that people who are intoxicated come across as fools, idiots or both. There is no glamour to it,” Javed said to loud applause from the studio audience.
Javed said although he is humbled when people come to him today and commend him for being very wise and intelligent, he always questioned himself that if this was the case, why he did not have the wisdom to give up alcohol for so long.
“It is now 21 years that I have not touched alcohol, ’Javed concluded as he advised youth not to believe that they would appear more adult by taking to drink.
“You will only make a fool of yourself,” he advised.
Shows such as Satyamev Jayate with Aamir Khan and The Best of Koffee with Karan, in which Karan Johar interviews celebrities from Bollywood, feature on Star Plus and Star Gold on Top TV.