Rummy addicts from Chennai speak on overcoming habit

Chennai: Tamilarasan (30) is unemployed. While this does bother him, he is unable to do anything about it, as for most part of the day and night, he is hooked to playing Rummy online.

He has been an addict for eight years, but thankfully, feels its high time he gives up on the habit.

It all began when he came to Chennai from his native in Vellore, in search of a job and saw a friend playing.

“It was initially a hobby, but it caught on,” he says. Now, he wakes up in the mornings and plays the game all day.
Getting a job would help me stop this by 50-60 per cent. But I won’t be quitting completely,” he admits.
So has he earned a lot of money over the years?

“It is a 50-50 case. I have earned and lost as well. If I am employed, I may earn Rs 15,000 a month, but if I play well, maybe in a few days, I can make the same money,” he explains, adding that there have been incidents where he earned a huge amount through the day, but lost it the same evening.

Tamilarasan is an addict, who knows the solution to his problem.

There are also players like Vishwa (22) and Prakash (32)- brothers from Kovilambakkam, who have the habit under control.

“We are five brothers who began gambling at home. Some of us later switched to playing Rummy online,” says Vishwa.

“Once on a trip from the city to Tiruchi, Prakash and I played for nine hours at a stretch. At home, we sit next to each other and go on a gaming marathon, from the night till the wee hours of the day,” he adds.
After a point, Vishwa began realising the value of money.

“To those addicted, I would say, the key is self-control and understanding that money is valuable. If you are hooked to the game, stop crediting money for the game in the app. In between each session, take a break. Put your phone away and walk around a bit, this will ease your mind from taking hasty decisions. This will also help you stay connected with your surroundings,” he states.

Are you an addict?

* Identify the problem. If you are disconnecting from the world and focusing only on the game, you could be addicted.
* Declare publicly that you have an addiction. Commit to someone that you would try stopping. Maintain accountability.
* Delete the game from your phone and find something else to pass time.
* Know that you do have the power to change your behaviour.
* Find a support system. There are many off and online groups which offer help.

Naomi N