Jun 22, 2009
Lets smoke it all away
I don’t crave for smokes anymore. Weird isn’t it when at one time all I wanted was to be able to have that one smoke after work in the evening and I was perfectly content. I never was much of a chain smoker actually and I started smoking really late at 22 and I am almost 26 now. So 4 years of smoking almost continuously but not in profuse amounts and I could go weeks without smoking every time I headed home. But of course there have been those evenings when one puffed cigarette after cigarette with drinks loosing count and ignoring that tiny voice in my head that always knew and still knows how my lungs loose a little bit of life with every drag I take. But last couple of months I think I took a conscious decision to steer my mind away from craving for a smoke after work, or in the morning and even while drinking. I think secretly I was so glad when the smoking ban was implemented though publicly I have cursed the authorities for doing so time and time again but I have cut down on a lot of smoking because of the ban and I confess I am too lazy to be haunting the smoking rooms time and time again or to stand outside a club on a rainy, freezing evening and puff away at my smoke. I take the easy way out and don’t smoke at all if I need to be making so much of an effort for that one cigarette. I use to suffer from asthma as a teenager and for years I carried an inhaler in my bag just incase I needed it. Honestly smoking actually increases my breathlessness and decreases my capacity to run long stretches on the tread mill and I hate the stench of stale smoke when people come back to the confines of an air conditioned office after a smoke. I can make out chronic chain smokers by their dark lips, bad teeth and nicotine stained fingers. I can pin point those television news anchors who smoke too much cos their teeth scream tobacco abuse and it shows even in front of the camera. . Hypocrite ain’t I?
Why am I discussing smoking and the various disadvantages that tag along with it today? Well it was father’s day yesterday and my Dad won’t be around for the first time in almost 26 years cos he passed away from lung cancer exactly two weeks back. I know its genetic predisposition, destiny and a host of other factors some known and some unknown but the truth also being that it was the chain smoking in his hay days that might have triggered the cancer. As a child I remember being asked to run errands by my Mum and also to pick up a pack of cigarettes for my Dad. They have had incessant arguments of quitting the stick but somehow Dad would make excuses and smoke one a day or half a day. My Dad loved his alcohol but he never had a paunch or a beer belly. In fact he had abs cos he jogged some 9 kms every morning even at 57. I know there are stories of people smoking a pack at 70 and still being all hale and hearty well my Dad was a decorated officer (an infantry officer mind you) of the Indian Army for 32 years and the fittest 57 year old I have seen by far and all it took was 6 months of cancer and he is no more.
I don’t even wanna get into how the last 6 months have been as we saw our lives being turned upside down and all the happiness being sucked out of it. Everything we believed in was systematically shred to pieces. But like they say time is the best healer and as the days are passing by and the intensity of losing him lessens I can be more objective about this and I realize that this was the way it was supposed to be. Like Ma said its been 2 weeks now and then it’ll be a month, and gradually a year and years will pass by. We’ll move on like we are moving on but it still breaks my heart thinking he might have been around if not for the misdiagnosis and if he’d been a little more careful and paid more heed to the advice on quitting the cigarettes years back. Everybody who smokes doesn’t necessarily die of lung cancer but a lot of them do and my Father did. I am scared for myself sometimes and I know I should quit really soon. I wonder when I’ll have the will power enough to do so and till that day I’ll keep fighting this battle of restricting myself to one smoke a week or half a smoke with a drink on a weekend.