Doc : See K, these results aren’t good.
Me : I guessed as much
Doc : See you’re a strapping young man of 27, you shouldn’t be having all these signs.
Me : Doc, I’m hardly strapping, I’m big.
Doc : Dakho, you will need to take care of yourself young man.
Me : OK Doc
Doc : So I would suggest you go easy for a while, and maybe cut something’s out of your diet
Me : Sigh
Doc : Red Meat
Me : Check
Doc : You should cut out sweets from your life also
Me : Sigh (Telling a Bengali man this is akin to asking him to cut off his left ball, coming from a Bengali man made the thing even worse. Note to self, try to avoid Bong doctors)
Doc : Beer
Me : Sigh, Check
Doc : You can drink a whiskey once in a while, but only with soda
Me : OK, I guess (Given that ‘once in a while wasn’t clearly defined I can live with that).
Doc : Tumi ki cigarette khayo? [Trans : Do you smoke]
Me : Haan, kintu aaj kal beshi khaye na, mane din-e teente charte hoye jaye [Trans : Yes, but not that much nowadays, I smoke around three-four a day]
Doc : Chere dayo! [Leave it]
Me : What?????
Now, I thought quitting smoking would be easier than it is. It has been a week since I officially tried to quit smoking for the first time in my life, and everything is going haywire, so I’ve decided that I’ll first cut back to one cigarette a day.
It is just easier to manage. I managed to go three days without smoking a cigarette, so what if I smoked two joints in the interim, I needed to and I was only told to stop smoking cigarettes, not the herb. My jaws hurt from chewing gum, the lack of nicotine, and more particularly the small quantities of dopamine in my system is playing havoc with my life. This quitting business is tough!
One cigarette a day for now, and then I’ll quit after some time, I mean I know it’s a bad habit and all. See, what did that TV advert say, every cigarette that you smoke cuts 5 minutes from your life. So the 10,000 odd cancer sticks I must’ve smoked in my life have taken 50,000 minutes off my life. Which means that instead of living to the grand old age of 80, I’ll live to be 79 years 10 months and 25 days old. What a pity!
However, what is true is that smoking too much can affect your sperm count, or so the scientific journals say. Despite a rather hairy incident back in Class 12, I haven’t to the best of my knowledge gotten any girl pregnant, so the world is thankfully still spared of K-spawn.
Now, when I was trying this entire quitting business, I decided that the best thing that could come out of quitting would be the fact that I would save immense amounts of money. I smoke Classic Milds, which cost Rs 65 a packet, despite smoking less nowadays, I end up going through a pack of 20’s in about three days on average, no smoking would mean I save Rs 650 a month, or Rs 7800 a year. That is not chickenfeed by any stretch of imagination.
But, as I have said before despite the health and financial incentives, quitting is difficult. I’ve been smoking since an unprintable age (thanks to the large number of unclaimed cigarette cartons at my dad’s place I had an unlimited stock of Benson’s and 555’s). I was the evil mofo who got quite a few boys in school to take their first puffs, one major reason I liked going to (and winning) quizzes and debates in college (in the days before the current Nazi-esque administration started expelling students for smoking) was because they could fund this habit (and the booze) and I would not feel guilty about spending my parents money on smoking.
But then again my parents smoked, so even when my dad told me off for smoking once when I was 17, I could look him back in the face and call him a hypocrite. I mean, how can a man who smoked 40-plus cigarettes a day tell someone off for smoking? (It is almost as ironic as the fact that O&M India’s Creative guru is a chain smoker but came up with a brilliant anti-smoking advert which won an award an
Anyway, this isn’t a diatribe against smoking, but rather the frustrating feeling one gets when one tries to quit. It requires an insane amount of will and determination, and I don’t have that in spades right now. But, I will ‘leave’ smoking for a bit, I mean I guess I will still smoke occasionally but leave the stick on a daily basis, its for my good I know that.
And one doesn’t need to smoke like a freaking chimney anymore to advertise one’s credo as a journo, even though the second-hand smoke at Turquoise Cottage during media nights (every Wednesday night, when journalists and ad-sales people from the media world meet, fight and pay for booze they never consumed) could probably kill you, and lets not get into the dungy, depressing environs of the Delhi Press Club (the Bombay Press Club is eons ahead – it is actually welcoming). But then again, as journalism has moved into its PYT phase, one doubts that some ‘journalists’ even have the IQ required to smoke.
Sorry for the rant! I’m feeling a bit edgy of late.