Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slow Poison.

Slow Poison.
Cigarette is the only slow poison, world over government permit to sell. When I started smoking after completing my high school, I thought I have will power to stop at any time.

Way back in ‘75 smoking was considered fashionable. As a young bachelor, I was eager to prove that I am a MAN! In those days, I was light headed. I smoked when I was happy. Bachelor life was best part of any man. I was always happy. A lame excuse to smoke.

After marriage, I started smoking more. I smoked when I was angry, when I was worried and frustrated. Can you live happily with a liar and a sarcastic wife forever? The more she nagged me the more I smoked. I smoke one to two packets per day.

A.D 1972.
I was studying seventh standard in my native place Calicut, Kerala. Even though I was good at sports and studies, I was influenced by peer pressure. Some of the kids took to L S D, ganja and other boys were having affair with boys! (Homosexuality) some rich kids went to prostitutes! Kids were hardly fifteen years old boys. They want to prove that they are young studs! Most of them started smoking in the after noon lunchtime. At times, they went to bathroom in class hours to have few puffs. I was not into any of these things. In those days, it was fashionable for young boys to imitate our idols or villain from Hindi movies. I tried my best to avoid them but due to peer pressure I had tried few puffs. Only few puffs and I was longing for smoke. Carving for smoking was too much. I was worried that I will became addicted to smoking .I was scared of being caught but the carving was always there. Most of the days someone will bring foreign brand cigarettes. Rothmans, Dunhill or Marlboro Packets. They all shared it with others. I saved one cigarette for Sunday after noon. After the lunch, I lit the cigarette in the kitchen and went to toilet. In olden days toilet was constructed away from house about ten or fifteen feet away. My eldest sister got the scent of the cigarette. When I came back, she told me I smelled cigarette .she asked me to blow the air. I obliged her. "You are only studying seven th standard, now itself you started smoking…I will tell father…" I begged her not to tell my father .I had promised her that I would never smoke. When my father came back, she told my father that I had smoked cigarette.

He took out his thick leather belt and treated me passionately. My mother tried to stop him .she also got some beatings. he went on beating me. Like any other boy at the age of thirteen, I did not run away from the scene. Physical pain I can always bear it but I can be emotionally hurt. I looked down on my shorts. I was fair in those days. Below the shorts, there were thick red stripes all over my legs. It gave me burning sensation and the pain was unbearable. I did not cry. Treatment ended with swearing ceremony. I did just what I was asked to do and how I was asked to do … The oath of secrecy went some thing like this. …I had to hold my parent's feet and follow my father’s dialogue. .”I swear that I will never ever smoke in my life time.” burnt skin mark was there for very long years. Now it is no more visible but it left a deep wound in my heart .my mother cried for me … I had realized my mistake .I should not have smoked at a young age.

I went and sat under the big mango tree and started thinking. …"What if I run away from home?". In those days sometime, I ask my mother for money to eat at hotel. Some special sweet, which we do not make it at home .she, gave one or two rupees it was more than sufficient to eat enough sweets. When I sit and eat at the hotel, I had noticed small children were working for hotel .hardly ten or twelve years old, working for twelve or sixteen hours just for food. They are supposed to be studying…. I was not sure whether they do all the hotel work like cleaning table, moping and washing of dishes just because of poverty or just because they ran away form home. Such children have no option left .I think either it is because of their fate (poverty) or because they chose their fate, (They decided to run away from their home). I imagined me in that poor boy…. My conscience told me that I would become one among them if I decided to run away from home. Just for food, I will end up working fourteen to sixteen hours per day. At home, I had food and my father is spending money for my studies .all I had to do is to obey my father and study well to come up in the life…. I had decided not to run away from my home… I did not go to school for two days. With stripe marks on my legs, children in the school will make fun of me.

Late at night when I was sleeping next to my father, he told me some thing that would have made an impact on any budding smoker. My father's cousin brother was a farmer. They had their own land .he used to smoke Beedies. (Poor man's cigarettes) later stage he had throat cancer .his wife used to feed him liquid diet with funnel! Other wise food will come out through the hole in his throat. After seeing the condition of my uncle, my Grand dad had asked my father to promise not to smoke in his lifetime. My father had promised him and he kept his promise till his death. My father had no bad habits .No drinks; no smoking; no womanizing; no pan; no beetle nut or gambling habits. He was a honest man.

Over the years, I became addicted to smoking. Now have no will power. I have been smoking for the past thirty-five years. Kicking the habit is the greatest challenge in my life. My present state of mind does not permit me to quit smoking. Too much frustration and pent up feelings. Cigarettes helps me to puff away my frustration and pent-up feelings!. At present, my life is passing though a turbulent period. I am unable to set a dead line for giving up smoke. To quit smoking I need to keep myself busy for 24X7.
One day I will give up smoking. That day is not far off.
An addict.