Growing pangs

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All Grown Up.”

I smoked my last cigarette a while back

I have not smoked since

The whole world moves on, and I feel the need

But, I have not smoked since

I do not feel morally superior

I do not feel like I am a great person

But, this was a decision taken

To feel better about myself

This decision was taken for me

By myself

And even though a cocktail of sadness awaits me every night

And even though, I know it ain’t going to be alright

Am fine

I am growing up

And I smoked my last cigarette a week back

A gift of care

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mystery Box.”

The camera closes in on a broken hearted man staring at the sole gift he has received. His face showcases surprise and a bit of joy. He wishes to approach the gift now, but, he stops before his hands reach the wrapping.

In his childhood, the first time he had received the gift it was a mistake. he had uncovered the filmsy covering to reveal worms underneath. Gifts thereafter had always been more and more lacklustre leaving behind nothing at all. He stopped to think if this would be the same.

Camera changes focus.

He walks up to the street lighting a half smoked cigarette. He speaks of things that he doesn’t understand in order to sound enlightened. And then he quits.

He is still reaching out, and the gift opens by itself

He cries as he realises what it is.

A friendship wrapped in cotton.

A kiss till he goes to sleep.

Silence surrounds the night as the man who talks at the night with a cigarette disappears.

I am me….

To forgive

“I cannot ever forgive you, but, that doesn’t mean I love you any less.”

Some times when I look back into childhood, I do not see the good things anymore. I see the darkness and the blackness that huddled around me. Much like the lover who plays only the break up scenes in their mind after it all has been put on shelf.

My father smokes, my father smokes like a chimney. He is addicted and that is something I have lived with for the whole of my life. And when I was a child he came to me once smelling of smoke. I was much more self-righteous then, I was hopeful for a  better future, and I told him to quit, told him that it was bad for his health and his response was.

“I am tensed about you.”

For those not familiar with smokers, tension is one of the easiest excuses to give for us (I am two days clean by the way).
That broke me, the fact that I was the cause, the fact that I was the reason he was destroying himself. Heck, the situation was not under my control. I had broken my leg, I was always suffering, I had lost most of my friends, I was probably never going to play in the fields again and then this gem from my father.

I am in a hostel and I do not even talk to him now, but, some part of me has forgiven him for his transgressions then, perhaps because I intend to be a better man.

But, more so because I cannot afford to be a poorer father. I do care for him more but, I talk lesser and lesser to him each day, because I have moved farther away from my childhood days. Every day he still lights his cigarettes and I watch him, and I sigh, I do not protest anymore. Every man must have his poison.

But, then today is about forgiveness, and this time around I didn’t stop him, and this vacation at least I talked to him about the thing. Not forcing, just a silent wish for him to lay off the smoke.

“This post is a part of Project 365 program at We post daily. Prompt for today was “Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave them.”

Raising a smoke to the skies

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.