Assam man’s tale of booze, blood and business-


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Express News Service

GUWAHATI:  As a child, Sunny Baruah was addicted to the bottle so much so that he would sell his blood to get booze. It took some grit and determination for him to kick the habit. Today, he is a successful restaurateur earning a turnover of Rs 1 crore. 

The Class 10 pass is the proud owner of eateries, Aakhol Ghar and Rogan Josh. Set up on the premises of his house in a posh Guwahati locality, Aakhol Ghar draws hundreds of customers.  Reminiscing the turbulent years, Baruah, 35, says he began as an occasional drinker in Class 7. By the time he reached Class 9, he was boozing on a regular basis quite heavily.

“Problems compounded when my father, who retired from government service in 2007, stopped giving pocket money. This forced me to adopt some means to earn money for liquor. Selling my own blood was one of them.”  Launched in 2011-12 with Rs 50,000 that his family invested, Aakhol Ghar had to be closed down in 2013-14 after he suffered losses. “My alcoholism and failure in business made a girl I liked go away from my life in 2014. Soon, I slipped into depression. One day, I attempted to end my life and next, I discovered myself in the ICU.”

His habit did not change even after recovery. But one fine morning, the question why he survived kept coming to his mind. Baruah felt he survived because he has a purpose in life. He picked up odd jobs for a while and re-launched Aakhol Ghar on August 23, 2018. Success followed and he opened Rogan Josh in February.  “My customers are from government officers to daily wagers. Thirty-two people can dine at a time where food is served only during the day but as hundreds come, they are required to wait for their turn,” Baruah says. 

He has given employment to 12 people and earns a monthly profit in excess of Rs 2 lakh. The eatery serves traditional Assamese cuisines whose quality is a hit. Baruah plans to expand his business and to explore other avenues. “Intoxication up to a point is fine. But someday, every individual realises its evils. It is then that the person has to decide if he should stop it or continue it,” Baruah says in his message to alcoholics.

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