Tuesday, January 14

I quit smoking three times today!

Cigarette, the minute I mention it to someone, they go crazy. ‘You smoke?!!? That’s so stupid and irresponsible. How can you smoke?! You will die.’ Almost everyone says this same gibberish. There’s just too much negative publicity smoking gets. Everywhere you go you can see people giving you sermons about smoking and its dreadful results, ‘you’ll get cancer’, ‘you’re going to get killed’, ‘don’t stand in front of me and smoke, I am the most pious person and I consume only the freshest oxygen and I drink water that comes directly from the Gangotari’.

Smoking sure kills and I have no facts to prove otherwise, no motives as well. But you know what the deal is, rash driving kills, unhygienic food kills, stunts on bikes kill, being irresponsible kills, messing with the wrong people kills, drowning kills, crossing the road like a dimwit kills, cancer kills, sharks kill, a coconut falling on the head kills, heart attack kills, everything kills. We are all slowly and steadily decaying anyway. Soon, we will be set on pyres or cremated or just left out in the cold with nothing to look forward to in blissful peace and tranquility. We all are going to be there someday, maybe I, a smoker, would go some years ahead. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re doing something better with your life just by not smoking. I have seen people get drunk and create a ruckus and when I offer them a smoke, they refuse with that polite smile of their all-knowing self, ‘Vineet yaar, I don’t smoke, it’s not good for our health.’ Right! 

I’m not defending smoking here. We all know it has nothing good coming out of it. What I’m trying to point out here is the sheer hypocrisy that you get to notice the minute smoking is mentioned. I have a friend, he's a staunch Hindutva supporter, whatever that means, he believes in the ideals set by Lord Rama and stuff like that and he once told us when we were having a real comfortable conversation late into the night that ‘I’d be okay with premarital sex, but I’d never smoke!’ You see how much he loathes smoking? He’s a firm idealist who gets into defensive mode even when we discuss sex, he’s that guy, and he hates smoking. He told me ‘smoking is injurious to your health, it kills.’ I agree, he is most certainly right. But you know the funniest thing is? This guy doesn’t wait for cars to stop when he crosses the road, he just walks across like an idiot, all that is somehow okay in his dictionary, all that has somehow less probability of killing him than the smoking (not defending smoking)   

Then there are others who really do not know where they stand, you know? So you would hear them saying, ‘I don’t smoke because I know once I do, I will get addicted to it.’ They want to sound like the cool people (from their perspective!) who smoke without having to smoke because that’s cool as well.

Then there are people who are somehow okay with Hookah but not with smoking. I never understand these people. It does almost the same damage if you compare the proportions. I do not have research to support what I’m saying, but I don’t think we really look into research before making claims, or do we? *a smoke a day reduces five years from your life*

Then there are people who are THE biggest assholes I have ever seen in my life. I say this because I was one of them a few years ago. Some days back, I was standing with a group of friends. Two of us lit a smoke. This one guy who was saying something, suddenly stopped midway when he saw us with the cigarette and out of his misplaced sense of health consciousness said ‘now I can’t even complete my sentence!’ Really? We have all read articles about how passive smoking might kill people, but I am pretty sure one smoke wouldn’t have done that. I wonder how this guy lives his life in Kolkata, which is, you know, a polluted metro city, how he uses automobiles, how he eats synthetic food. I am not saying you should do two wrong, if you’re doing one. I am just stating the problems with how the non-smokers perceive the smokers. When assholes like these find out the other person smokes, they automatically assume the position of a superior being, while all the other qualities and follies go into the gutter.

You smoke and I don’t, so I am better than you! Even if I harass girls, even I don’t treat people with respect, even if I am just a genuine asshole, I have a bigger say than you because I’m a non-smoker, because well, I care for myself, and others and the environment and the universe. 

I genuinely believe we’d have many a less smokers in the world, if the non-smokers had a decent and logical stand against it, if someone could just come up to you and say, 'Dude, I love you!' Wait. What. Recap. If someone could just come up to you and say, 'Dude, I want to spend those five extra years with you, don't smoke!' WAIT. Crazy! I think we should skip this part.

I don't need your sneer. I need your support!   


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