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I remember long back I had a very heated argument with one my very close friend.
The topic of argument was smoking!
He was a close relative who had lost his job and had plonked himself at my nicotine free home at the pretext of searching for job.
His daily routine was to keep siting at home, whole day watch movies, surf internet and chat to losers who had nothing better to do, drink and keep smoking whole day long.
I had no clue of him being a guest as I was in Sydney winding up my last assignment with my company. So when I saw him at welcoming me at the airport it was a surprise. But the surprise turned into a shock and later into a nightmare.
I detest smoking, smokers and anything to do with nicotine(except in saridon :)) and can tell if someone was even standing next to a smoker! So imagine entering a house which had everything smelling yuk from the sofa to the towel to the walls. Mumbai as it is has humid weather all the year which keeps the stink contained longer in the houses.
Well 4 weeks and I knew I had to do something before I went crazy with passive smoking.
Talked to the friend about the good and bad of the whole smoking and drinking, nothing worked.
Coaxed him to start hunting for job, that did not work either.
He would always come to the square one that he was so depressed, dejected and desolate that smoking was the only way to get rid of his tensions and that drinking helped him sleep!
He had a family back at Nagpur who was waiting for him to get a job and call them to mumbai.
Meanwhile I was getting ready to start a family by making my body fit with gym workout, badminton games, folate supplements and here this bull headed friend would not leave smoking.
Since all talks, all threats and all cajoling did not work, I was left with one last option.
I called a very good friend and told her about my plans. She gave ago ahead and was ready to help me when needed.
So when this smo-king lit his 10th one, I asked if I could have one too.
He was so shocked that he stopped lighting the cigarette and funnily even though he was not holding it with his fingers or even his lips, the cigarette stuck to his lip flopping and dangling !
“Why? “, he asked.
“Because I am getting frustrated and dejected as the doctors are unable to find what is my problem”. And everyone is on my nerve!” I replied.
“Don’t worry everything will be ok.” He said trying to assure me.
“Ya but when?”. I was sounding anxious.
“Soon”. He said.
“But till then I need to keep myself under check .” I tried to be more anxious.
“Hmm”. He was not quiet.
“Since cigeratte helps you, I think I want one too to calm me down.” I knew now I have start asking more questions.
Shocking look again. He was now not looking into my eyes.
“Girls do not smoke.” He said watching the mute TV.
“Why not ? I have lived in Australia, US and UK and everywhere I have seen equal number of girls smoking.” I asked him.
“Because you are preparing to start a family, it is bad for you.” His logical mind started to work.
“Really! If it can help you lower your stress why will it not work for me?” My logical mind on overdrive.
“Because it is not healthy for you.” The goodness of a friend now seen.
“Ok fine it is not healthy for anyone who smokes, still everyone smokes.” My questions continue.
“Does it really help reduce your stress?
“Ok tell how it works and reduces stress”
“I don’t know how it works but yes it does reduce the stress.” His good brain taking control over the nicotine brain.
“But then if your stress is back the next morning, it is not curing the stress, it only removing the senses out of the body to feel less and sense less.” I argued.
“Maybe”. Now he was entering a losing battle of workds and thoughts.
“So in the long term anything which makes your body lose control over the senses must be bad and that is why it may be harmful to the baby when I conceive, right?” I had to put all my research into words.
“Exactly that is why I do not want you to try smoking, infact you should not be even inhaling the smoke!”, that's what I call a good friend 🙂
I knew I won the argument the moment he made this statement. 😉
“Hmm but what should I do now. Since you will not stop smoking as you have your stress to take care of, I think I have no choice but to either start smoking with you and give up my plan of a family or you stop smoking. I wonder how your dear friend would feel.” Thankfully my hubby rang the door bell.
By now I could see sea of thoughts, guilt, fear, sadness and more going through his head.
Next morning there was silence. He was out and came back late evening. Three days later he got a big cake and a bouquet announced he got a job offer in the same city. We quickly arranged to pay for his deposit and called his family.
It’s been 11 years since then. He stopped smoking and has not smoked since then. He drinks one a week.
His wife and kids do not have any clue about this . He owes the stopping of his bad habits to our discussion, but I did it for my loved ones. One who was killing himself and one who was still not born.
This a mix of true story with fictional additives. Any resemblece to anyone living and reading this post is on purpose and should be grateful that no names were mentioned here. 🙂
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