My life as a smoker

I would like to thank Shriya aka my Junior for helping me with this post. She fixed all the grammatical errors, advised me of sections that needed re-writing for clarity and also helped with the translation. Somehow she made me feel that I was writing a book and she was my editor for it. Thanks again junior.

Heya, people. Apologies for not posting anything here for a long, long time. The last time, I told you guys that I am going to come up with a love story. Well now, I have just held it in abeyance until I find some solid time to write it. In fact, I have two beautiful love stories which I HOPE to post in the near future. Life is really getting hectic these days. It’s not that I am completely busy. Even though I am free most of the time, I find myself engaged with something or the other that hinders me from writing blog posts. If you think I’m the same Fahad whom you met some three months ago, I am afraid that you need to THINK again. I have changed a lot in these three months; my thoughts, habits, lifestyle, attitude and most importantly my SHAPE. I have gained a lot of muscle (it’s actually fat) and put on up to 4 to 5 kilos. This post is about a thing/incident which made me change one of my bad habits, SMOKING. Before I start with the post let me share something which I read somewhere - Change is inevitable. Change will happen. Change is happening. Every moment is a new moment. The last moment changed into this moment. And this moment will change into the next. This moment is all there is. That is it, this moment. This is so frigging true.

It’s been four months or so since I slipped into Bengaluru. Somehow I still like the name Bangalore (just like I still call myself a Madras man rather than Chennai man despite the fact that I am not from that city) which was renamed to Bengaluru by the Government of Karnataka three and half years ago. I stayed with one of my best friends since my childhood, Arun Nagarajan aka Uthamarasa. If you have read all my previous blogs, then, you would remember this guy. A very good friend and the bestest roommate anyone can get. He is a nerd. Sort of. Okay. Let me be genuine in telling the facts. He is one complete nerd but still I liked his company. We used to eat our dinner in a nearby PG mess run by an old kannadiga couple. Uncle and Aunt, they both speak Hindi, Kannada and some broken Tamil and that’s how I managed talking to them since I don’t know to speak neither Hindi nor Kannada. Days passed by and I didn’t like eating the same routine food (Chapattis with some North Indian Sabji and Curd rice). I started hating the food and avoided going there most of the days. Aunty liked me very much for the reason which is yet to be ascertained. May be she thought I was a nice guy. Lol. Most people think a guy who has boyish or innocent looks to be a nice guy and many of them are actually wrong in their assumptions. If you ask me, I will say that I don't know. All I know is that, unlike others, I don't pretend to be one.

And then my college mate Deepak Baskaran shifted to Bangalore and I had no choice but to move with him. I missed my old room and my roommate very much. I also came to know that not all best friends can be best roommates. I occasionally visit Arun. One such time was this weekend. I stayed there with him after nearly two months. I got up late on Sunday and we cooked our lunch. It was already 3 PM and I had a craving for cigarette. Immediately I went to the nearby petty shop to get a cigarette. I don’t know if you guys really know this. I smoke. It all started during freshman year. I began smoking for showing off (In simple words, Scene podrathukku adikka aarambhichaen) and it became a habit later. It’s now eight long years. I don’t like to look back at the past. Anyway, from one packet a day during college, it slowly got reduced to two or three per day recently. The main reason behind this deflation in the number of cigarettes was my deteriorating health condition.

I went to that shop and asked for Gold flake Ultra lights, my brand lately. For your knowledge, I started with Wills Gold flake, then went on to Gold flake Kings, and then to Gold flake Lights and finally settled with Ultra lights. I can still recollect the days during college when our pockets were empty, we used to have even beedis. Those were THE days. I gave life to the cigarette and had the first puff with my ears plugged to the earphones. I *love* music. I started walking back to the room, completely mesmerized by Yuvan’s music with the lighted cigarette in my hand. As Sigmund Freud says, a cigarette is nothing but a roll of paper with fire on one end and a fool at the other. I (the fool), was having another puff when suddenly I felt someone approaching me in a fast pace. It appeared to me as if the person were going to give me a tight slap and by the time I reacted, the old lady pulled the cigarette out from my mouth and threw it in a nearby ditch. It took me sometime to understand what was really happening. After regaining my senses, I uttered aloud, “AUNTY!” She gave me a stern look and said, “Cigarette pudikkurathu thappu. Odamba keduthukatha” [Translation: Cigarette smoking is a bad habit. Don’t spoil your health]. That’s all she said and before I could reply her, she walked away in the same pace in which she had approached me. I turned back and in a jiffy she was gone. I kept looking at the empty street.

Avanga peru kooda ennennu enakku theriyathu. Naan nalla irukkanumnu ninaikkura antha gunam, naan santhoshama irukkaratha paathu avanga patta anantham, en ammava thavira vera yaarukkum irukkathunnu naan ninachathu thappunu purinjikittaen. [Translation: I don’t even know her name till date. The affection that was seen in her concern for me to stay healthy, and the happiness that reflected in her eye when she found me happy too, it totally changed my idea that I could never ever see that quality in anyone else but my mother.]

I would have slapped if someone did that to me, but I just smiled, looking at the empty streets. I patted the back of my head and started walking towards my room. All these eight years, I would have told at least a zillion times to my friends that I am going to quit smoking. They know me well. They never cared to listen. My mom, my sisters, my friends everyone kept insisting that I should quit smoking but I had seldom paid attention. Looking at the picture standing on the other side of the frame, she was just another person I had met in my life and so was I, to her. And still somehow, it mattered to her to do what she did, when she saw me smoking and still somehow, it came down as a big blow to me. This one little incident made me realize the power of affection. Somewhere deep down me, something twitched. Honestly, I have been struggling to quit this habit since the time I had started it, but nothing had really helped.

Now, I am no more a smoker. Thanks to Aunty. I know it is a challenging task for me since my roommate is also a smoker. But I am mentally prepared for it. I just hope that it’s going to be easier than I think. It’s time to grieve and cry – to mourn the loss of cigarettes in my life. It amazes me how a little incident like this changes our lives completely. In a world full of pain and sorrow, how many times will you find someone who will make you feel wonderful? This is just one example I am sharing with you people.

And for you Mom, this is just the beginning. I have just started learning how to make you happy – not by doing good things but by not doing the bad things. And finally, the time has arrived for me to quit the bad habit. I am typing this last sentence with my right hand and there is a lighted cigarette (the last one in my life) on my other hand. One last puff, and I am no more a fool. :)


J said...

Good Fahad, the best thing you have done in your life so far, aunty solla thatathae, naangalam sonna unaku kathu kekathu, athu yen auntyku yellam unna pudikuthu, what is the reason....

usha said...

Very good decision Fahad. And thanks to AUNTY.

Gayathri said...

congrats fahad.. Very good.. Nice Blog.. looking forward for other blogs of urs...:-)

Rubaiya said...

I am soooo happy for u dear bro..:) this is what i wanted for very long.. love u lots..:)

Just Someone said...

Loose, boss! :D Thanks for the credit, anyway. But remember this is totally your post only! :)

Edho periya aal alavukku build-up elaam koduthirukareenga! :P

Happy for you! And, love you! :)

Jayanthi's said...

Good for you :) Thats whats..sometimes some people leave really strong foot prints in us which makes a terrible change in us!!! So nice of her. :)

A S K said...

Dae machi ennada idhu nallavanaita??? Hmmm i'm lucky to be his roommate. From next week. lol ;-)

umesh said...

Dai dai dai Ivalo ezhudunia, anda aunty pera ketu U cud ve said her name atleast ....Try it..Nallavan aaita...Wat abt boozing now??

Carol said...

OMG, could she be a ghost? Was she using white sheets?...lolz.... Man, congrats, to quit is not easy, but is not impossible to the smart ones ;)

Fahad Y Mohammed said...

@ thala
he he.. unga kelvikku en kitta bathil illa..

@ usha and gayathri
thanks for ur support

@ ruby
Love you too sis.. lots of love and hugs

@ junior
love you too and you deserve it >:D<

@ jayanthi akka
true.. long way to go and lot of wonderful ppl to meet.. :)

@ ask
dai goiyala.. en neram da.. nee ellaam en roommate

machi just found out her name.. BABY.. Boozing ellaam stop panna mudiyathu machi..

I am the SMART one.. ;)

Seenuvasan said...

nice blog...i was wondering how can you quit but the last sentence made me happy :)

Giri said...

enna boss solla vareeenga :P

Murali said...

good to know that u quit smoking..
Hope this is the first and last time u quit smoking :-)

farfash said...

nice post! really happy to know that you got rid of the habit,I just loved this,"In this world............ hw many tyms......?"That's so true,:)

Love and prayers 4 u always,,

Bhavya N R said...

Idiot... U are still a Fool.....When U say something mean it... Do it...