When I was younger I would hide the cigarettes that my father smoked in a desperate attempt to make him stop. He didn’t.
Till date he smokes with glee whenever he feels the need. He smokes a variety of brands and hasn’t got a choice, he just loves the tobacco in his lungs.
When I was in class 8, I met my uncle who used to chain smoke. His heart had gone bad and finally after two bypass surgeries, he had stopped.
Last month I met a guy who was beginning to fall into a spiral of addiction with smoking. Every time he didn’t have a smoke, he would go intro irritation and anger, and he would blame everyone around him. I burnt a Classic in front of him, and he has finally, truly let go.
Last day, I smoked my last cigarette.
In fact it was probably my tenth last cigarette in a week, or twentieth, I lost count. Even though all of my friends probably still firmly believe I have quit the habit, that I have finally kicked it to the curb, I was there, smoking just because I was back home and I couldn’t help it.
Heck, I can’t even inhale anymore because my lungs were getting used to the fresh air, and I coughed the first time I tried that after the period of abstaining.
And yet, I smoked.
There is this allure of smoking that hangs over my hometown, everyone seems to have smoked sometime or the other. We do not drink, we do not get high, we do not do the thousand other things that we would do in this age; but, we smoke. The heritage is there. There are shops that sell expensive foreign brands, and there are people who enjoy them.
I believe that my city is a burning cigarette and often we are the ashes.
Yet, some days I introspect. I despise smoking, and often the association I make with the the smoke is death and not life. Often, I wish to leave it all behind, but, the wrap remains and the Marlboro is lit with glee as the evening closes in.
And I get aboard the Metro train with my mouth smelling of poison.
And the next day I promise to quit again, now with more hope of succeeding.
I guess I must try harder now, but, I am afraid.
This is my city and it pulls me, and I have lesser control on what I feel.
This brings me to a musician I like, Frank Turner, this guy smokes even after being a professional singer. He is trying to quit but, can’t, and somehow that is more painful that anything else.
Then again, am sorry towards N, and myself. Perhaps more so towards myself than anybody else. I ought to have gotten out of this mood now, but, I cannot. And maybe, this guilt means that this time I really do quit, once and for all.