Thursday, October 10, 2013



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(Flash Point and Fire Point” Method )

It is best not to drink alcohol.

But if you do drink then you must ask yourself: “Why do I drink?”

You drink because you want to “feel good”.

If you drink too much you will get drunk.

When you get drunk you hardly feel or remember anything since your senses are dulled.

But if you get inebriated, in your intoxicated and drunken state, you will make a fool of yourself and you may embarrass your near and dear ones.

And on the morning after, you will certainly feel miserable when you come to your senses from your drunken stupor and suffer the pains of a terrible hangover.

If you drink too little – well then there is no point in drinking alcohol at all

You might as well have some fruit juice or a soft drink or a glass of milk. 

You may find it laughable, but at some parties, I have seen some persons just holding a drink in their hands for keeping up appearances. They do this because they want to project a “proper” image before their hard drinking bosses and colleagues and they don’t want their hard-drinking colleagues and friends to call them a “sissy”. 

There is no shame in being a teetotaller – in fact you should be proud of it

By the way, after over 25 years of “work hard play hard drink hard” living, I too am living a life of sobriety for the last 10 years.

I write this series as I wish to share my experiences with you and enable you to take more out of alcohol than alcohol takes out of you.

So, if you want to truly enjoy drinking, you must drink just the right amount of alcohol that makes you feel good.

The aim of drinking alcohol is to feel high, not to get drunk 

(And, of course, the aim of drinking is not to remain dead sober as a teetotaller, in which case it is a waste of good liquor)

You must feel high but you must not get drunk.

For achieving this delightful “high” state, you must know your drinking capacity which depends on your alcohol tolerance level. 


Well, it was through sheer serendipity that I discovered my drinking capacity. 

This method worked for me. 

To find out whether it works for you, do try it out, at your own risk, and tell us how it worked for you.

You will need the following which you must keep handy on a table next to your chair:

1. A Bottle of Rum or Whisky or adequate quantity of your regular drink (If you drink shots, line enough of them up).

2. A Book

3. Water

Before I describe the technique let me impart to you some “theory”.

If you were a science student you must have performed a chemistry lab experiment to find out the FLASH POINT and FIRE POINT of a fuel. 

You start heating the volatile liquid. 

The flash point occurs when the fuel exhibits a flash. 

The fuel is heated further and the fire point occurs when the volatile material catches fire and starts burning and continues to burn.

Applying the same analogy to drinking alcohol, you can say that your “flash point”occurs when you are “high” (at your flash point you have reached your drinking capacity).

If you keep on drinking then you will reach your “fire point”, an inebriated state of drunkenness.  

Your aim is to remain happily high around your “flash point” and in no circumstances must you cross your “fire point”.

But how do you find out your “flash point”?

Here is the technique of how to “measure” your “flash point” or drinking capacity.

1. Drink a glass of water. This is to stabilize you in case you are dehydrated and get you ready for the experiment.

2. Pour your normal drink.

3. Take the book and start reading.

4. Keep drinking at your normal pace and also keep reading continuously. Take your time, sip your drink and focus on the book. If you finish your drink, pour another one. Keep on drinking as long as you can read easily and comprehend clearly what you are reading.

5. The moment you reach a state where your concentration starts wavering you are reaching your “flash point”

A point will come when you can read the words but you realize that you are not clearly registering what you are reading in your mind. This is your “flash point”.

At your “flash point” you will be in that delightful state of alcohol induced emotional flux which makes you feel “high”.

6. If you continue drinking beyond your “flash point” you will reach a hazy state where the words in the book appear blurred and you have difficulty in reading as your eyes may not focus properly.

You have now reached your “fire point” (alcohol induced intoxication).

7. Once you reach your “fire point” you must stop drinking alcohol immediately.

Now drink a glass of water and relax. 

Soon you will gravitate back towards your “flash point”.

If you continue drinking beyond your “fire point” you will get inebriated and become drunk.

8. Measure the amount of liquor you have drunk to reach your “flash point”.

9. Repeat this experiment a number of times (on different days).

By successive iteration, fine tune the results, and soon you will know your drinking capacity (alcohol tolerance level).


There is a saying: “First you drink alcohol, and then the alcohol drinks you”.

Similarly, till you reach your “flash point” you are the one drinking alcohol – you have reached the limit of your control but you still have control.

Near your “flash point” you will experience the “high” feeling which alcohol gives you and you must stop drinking at once – you will remain “high” for sometime, enjoying the euphoric sensation, and then you will have a pleasant relaxing feeling as the “high” gradually tapers off and this is the best time to drift off into a nice sleep.

Once you reach your “fire point” you will lose control and the alcohol will take charge and it is the alcohol which will “drink” you and you will get drunk.

Let me sound a note of caution.

If you drink frequently your alcohol tolerance will increase.

Increased Alcohol Tolerance means that after continued drinking, consumption of a constant amount of alcohol produces a lesser effect which means that larger amounts of alcohol are necessary to produce the same effect. 

Thus, you will need to drink more alcohol to reach your “flash point” to get a “high”. 

In effect your “drinking capacity” increases. 

As you continue drinking, this has a snowballing effect.

Having a great drinking capacity may be a “macho” thing to boast about and may win the admiration of your friends and colleagues.

However, high alcohol tolerance indicates a propensity towards alcoholism in later years, so watch out.

High alcohol tolerance is not necessarily something to be proud of.

Regular consumption of alcohol will raise your drinking capacity which in turn will tempt you drink more to reach your “flash point”.

And if you continue this habit you may develop alcohol dependence and you may eventually slip into the abyss of alcoholism.

So, if you realize that your “flash point” has increased, abstain from drinking for a few days till your “flash point” falls to a reasonable level.

The less you drink, the better it is for your body, so in fact it is advantageous to have a low drinking capacity.

But then you must remember never to cross your “flash point”.

Avoid binge drinking and competitive drinking which can damage your health.

Like I said in the beginning, it is best not to drink alcohol, but if you do drink, remember, as Winston Churchill once said, that you must take more out of alcohol than alcohol takes out of you.

And how do you do that – well that I will tell you in my next post in this series on the golden rules of drinking alcohol.

Happy “Flash Point”. 

And may you never reach your “Fire Point”. 

Remember: The aim of drinking alcohol is to feel high, not to get drunk 

Do let me know if this “Flash Point” and “Fire Point” method helped you discover your drinking capacity.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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