Monday, September 15, 2008

Smoking

"Smoking is the inhalation of the smoke of burning tobacco encased in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Casual smoking is the act of smoking only occasionally, usually in a social situation or to relieve stress. A smoking habit is a physical addiction to tobacco products. Many health experts now regard habitual smoking as a psychological addiction, too, and one with serious health consequences."-Barbara Boughton

This in reply to all those out there, (and in here!) who have asked me why I'm smoking, and received a dumb look in reply. Firstly, I'd ask all of you who never smoked themselves, not to ask me, or anyone else this question ever. You don't know how it feels, so I'll never sound 'justified' to YOU. But you should read this, hence please do.

Click this.

Click this.

When my lips touched the filter of a cigarette for the first time, I was in class IX. It was the age of experiments. Everyone around me were experimenting with things. My partner at school, Trishita, and her group of friends bought a packet of FLAKE and managed to have one fag each in the school bathroom. I begged them to give me the rest of the packet. They did. And my bathrom at home was my laboratory. Mum thought I was burning love-letters in there. Her nose wasn't trained enough back then to detect the difference in various forms of smoke. Now, it is.Thanks to me.

That was the end of it. I had hardly managed to learn to pull the smoke, without coughing it out at every attempt to inhale. My then-better half freaked out, and coaxed me into donating away the new packet I had asked my partner to buy for me.

Come class XII, life changed, a seven-year relation ended, i.e., my better half's identity changed. Disha was my new partner at school. She shared my flare for going wild. She treated me to a cocktail, and gifted me a packet of Benson & Hedges on the ocassion of her birthday. They were stronger than the cheap FLAKE I had un-successfully experimented with two years ago. Even this time, my bathroom served the purpose. I smoked one whole and went off. It was the first time I was experiencing any form of intoxication. My head was reeling, I couldn't stand on my feet. Every nerve seemed to have gone numb, my vision blurred. Today, when I reflect back on that day, I think I was over-reacting. But Deshraj says, even he had a similar experience with his first cigarette. So, that's how my first successful fag turned out.

I had one more of those B&H, and returned the rest to Disha. The reason is very silly, at least in the present context. I felt guilty. Or, rather, someone succeded in making me feel guilty.

Come December 2007, life took the most unimaginable turn possible. I chose a 5-month long passion over a 7-year long relation. The toll it took on me during the last week, amidst all the pre-board-study load, resulted in me buying a packet of Gold Flake. Everyone far and near started their maiden lectures, but I had learnt to live life for myself by then; I had learnt to choose between what I want out of myself and what others want out of me. However, I didn't need to buy another after all the 10 were consumed.

The passion I talked about a while ago, died out by March 2008. My next purchase of cigarettes, a Wills Classic pack (@ Rs.80), thus happened in April 2008. They happened to be stronger stuff than GF, and I found out why cigarettes appeal to me. The feeling of numbness, the feeling of detachment from the world around; i.e. the cause of anguish it brings, is welcome at certain moments.

June 2008 marked the official end of a 6-month long 'fast-forwarded' story. Since July, I have been buying cigarettes everyday. Everyday. During the initial days, I thought it was just one of those bad habits one wants to cultivate when they leave home. But a month ago, I had 17 cigarettes a day; 6 of them being consumed literally back-to-back (lighting the next cigarette with the butt of the previous). Henceforth, I realised, its an addiction. An addiction to replace any of those unhealthy relations I indulged in all these years. As I already said, as long as I am smoking, I can keep myself detached from the rest of the world, I can numb my senses towards all form of pain, physical and emotional (I remember a particular day when a cigarette relieved me from a stomach-ache resulted from over-eating). One may question the need for this detachment; one may argue that smoking doesn't diminish the cause of pain, so what's the benefit? But, I have discovered that the detachment is a boon as well; if I don't feel any attachment to the cause, I don't feel the pain as well.

Why I chose this day for publishing this post, is that, after a couple of weeks of 'less than 5 cigarettes a day', I have recovered from viral meningitis (but not the incessant and intense coughing I carry almost all-the-year-round since class VII/VIII); I had eight today.

This post deserves a mention of Sohom Chakroborty, a 2nd year guy at my college, who tried dissuading me against smoking by telling me about his experiences with darbs. He says that, for him, having good food is the greatest pleasure on earth, smoking fails to match it. Hey Desh, what do you say?

(Desh refers to Deshraj, one of my best friends, who LOVES food, who LOVES cigarettes as well.)

11 comments:

regular mirror...irregular reflection said...

The robustness of a relation ultimately ended with a transition of desperate smoking where budging the heart in order to detach from worldly ties and emotions is an unique way to LIVE and LEAVE this life...
Good though it being a sound policy to restrict heart's liberal way to march on...
I don't want to become A SECOND JOHN KEATS in this world...I need you till i live...

sohom chakrabrty said...

PLEASE REFRAIN FROM SMOKING...I TRULY ADMIRE THE JUSTIFICATION THAT YOU HAVE BROUGHT FORWARD...I DON'T DENY THE FACT THAT IT HAS BEEN BENEFITING YOU SINCE SCHOOL LIFE...BUT IT HAS SERIOUS IMPACT ON YOUR HEALTH...PLEASE...I AM NOT A TOP NOTCH INTELLECTUAL...BUT KNOWS ONLY TO HELP U IF U COME UP WITH YOUR PROBLEMS...IT IS SAID THAT THERE IS NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE..PLEASE DON'T DESTROY YOURSELF BY LIVING IN THAT FIRE...PLEASE...

Twisha Mukherjee said...

Dear Sohom, I'm not the type who's scared of bad health. Smoking is as harmful as soft drinks are. Science says so. As for my problems, YOU can't help. no one can. only intoxication can. and it does. today and everyday.

Tanmoy said...

I chanced upon your blog from Suvroda's and I was sort of happy to read this particular post. I cannot tell you for how many times for how many years I have been facing this question. It is normally assumed that smokers don't know the ills caused by smoking. Just that perhaps - we should not cause passive smoking!

Anyway, good post because I could never find out the reason why I smoke for nearly 16 years now.

Having said that, it is really expensive where I stay and sadly the packs with depressing pictures!

Regards
Tanmoy

Billy said...

hey thnx for following me. i will set that up soon. meanwhile i have bookmarked you. cool

acidVox said...

graphically original and up-ur-face.... i lyk it ...

its obvious , still i go thru the extra effort of mentioning that i also do the "light the nxt 1 with the last 1" trick..

иik тн3 iиcυbυร. said...

Note:

1. Benson & Hedges is lighter than Flake. Flake being the strongest for me.

2. Smoke a cigarette only when you want to have it, and not anytime. I had made it a habit to smoke one, while I shave, take a bath. And, this habit just doesn't go.

3. Quit if you can.

4. Nicotine is addictive. But, it is not that powerful to give you a high. I'd suggest forget all the rubbish, going numb and things. Nicotine is too cheap to do that magic. You'll fall prey to drugs.

5. Don't compromise with your health.

Cheers !

part21 said...

I DONNO WHAT TO SAY HERE..
FIRST OF ALL ACCORDING TO U..
I DON'T DESERVE TO SPEAK HERE..COZ I DON'T SMOKE..

well it doesn't matters to me..
i just know one thing i hate smoking but thatts just for me.i don't hate it when maah friends smoke..wen maah best friend who is having allergy to smoke smokes..i have never tried to stop him..everybuddy does..and i know if i will stop him he can stop..but i won't..coz its right i donno what it feels like..but the fact is i don' want to know either..its not that i'm a helath conscious..i know i will die soon i suffer from a severe incurable disease..so don expect being scarred of life from me..i just don't feel like i need a cigaratte to get away from the world..coz i just need to think once and then i'm away from the world in maah own world..someone said me that someday i may need a cigarratte to get me backk to reality..but i told no..morever who likes reality..at least i don't..
have a nice time drinking ciggartte..only thing i would say don drink at public places coz many peoples aRE to lott allergic to smaoke..
have a nice time to wahtever u do.

Rene Lacoste said...

Fags and alcohol. I guess there is no waterproof argument against these. Just hypothetical ones-"It is harmful for your health", well, so is going out to the city and breathing! I just don't like being a slave to something...

Stupid Common Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stupid Common Man said...

I know I am late on this one!But I couldn't resist posting on this one...

My first time was with my dad..
In class 2..
I just took a cig from his packet and said "Lemme light up this one for you"...
My dad didn't say anything & I didn't start smoking since then..

Cigs can't get me high, & they are injurious to health,but they are the best relief I have found..

So,both the parties,who smoke and who doesn't smoke,can pretend that they know better..

And being a disciple of cigs,let me light up another one for me..

What can make the world a better place?