Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What a Passion!

The Summer of 2008
Place : Dhanbad, Jharkhand(my hometown)

I dropped a ten rupees note in my pocket and left home for meeting my friends in the ISM campus. I entered the campus thinking about what, that I also don't remember. I observed the sky and noticed the trees surrounding the roads. I peeped into the Ruby hostel(That's a girls hostel by the way) but to my disappointment there was no one to please my spectacled eyes . I moved ahead, being somewhere lost in my daydreaming and turned according to the road. An ambassador was circumscribing the campus with a popular Himesh song rocking the surroundings in great volume, perhaps somebody was learning driving. A brief stroll over, still lost in thoughts I opened the gate to the house of Gautum and found myself amongst a nice bunch of people : all of them being holiday returns. Its always heartening to look new faces as we often get bored to see the same faces all the time, much like that I got bored of seeing my own face in the last 18 years. I met Karthik, his stylish new look looked good. I heard his college stories and found it almost similar to mine. We started for the ground to play cricket.

"How many cigarettes you burn daily?", he asked me.
"Zero", I replied.
"Really? Not even in college? Though it looks from your face that you have become a chain smoker."

I got a strange feeling inside, I wanted an immediate plastic surgery for sure. There was a part inside me laughing at the joke, which was pathetic, and another part STUMPED. Come on, my face is not that bad. He related proudly that he smoked a dozen cigarettes daily. That made me ask myself, "Am I missing something? Is smoking so necessary?". It had been almost 19 years since I bawled out on this planet and I have still not experienced one of the best feelings(as they say!) available on this earth. I recalled every gone moments when I was offered that luxury, or when I could have grabbed the opportunity of putting those slim paper-cylinders in between my lips and feel like Sharukh Khan. I lost one year of my college life where I could have enjoyed that luxury without any restrictions.Can you think how big part it is in a smoker's lifetime? I was feeling that I lost something vital.

I remembered the first time when I was offered a cigarette, just to taste(not exactly taste, u may call it 'feel') in a friend's birthday party in the hostel in a great festive mood with the song SUTTA - dedicated to the smokers in the background, making the atmosphere more congenial. It was perhaps the best 'muhurta' for starting this new hobby, many of my friends were initiated into it that day only. And to my bad luck, I refused that offer. Had I not refused the offer, I would have gathered an year-long experience of smoking(which would perhaps add to my CV) & to all my tyro smoker friends I would have been a 'role model' kind of thing.

I thought about the previous week, something else struck my mind adding to my misery. In the previous week, the newspaper 'The Telegraph' conducted a survey called 'What girls like most about men?' and the results were astounding showing that SMOKING stood at the prestigious Rank 6. This thought intensified my feeling of losing something much more(har taraf se gaya!).

Dad's repetitive words, "Opportunities gone never come back" echoed my ears. Sudden vibration in my mobile phone tickled my legs and brought me down to the present moment and I found that I had reached the cricket ground.

I always felt that the world is full of selfish people, people here care for only themselves; but to my pleasant surprise, I found a world of smokers, who are not at all selfish. All my misconceptions are cleared : Smokers are selfless, they never care about themselves, despite reading in every second advertisements and on every cigarette pack that 'cigarette is injurious to health', they untiringly pursue their passion. I may never become like them, though my face resembles them, but I adore them for their utmost devotion and passion. If I had the same passion for my country, I would have worked wonders!

1000 smokers quit smoking everyday,

by dying.

(Written at 12:47 am, 23rd June in Dhanbad)

1 comment:

Debanjan said...

Marcus Aurelius said: “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

You are on the right track Harsh. :)