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Confessions of a nano-smoker

india Updated: Jun 01, 2008 22:11 IST
Health Minister

This won’t be music to the ears of my wife and our Health Minister. I confess that I smoked on Saturday on World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).

‘What’s so extraordinary about that?’ you may ask. Indeed, lots and lots of people must have puffed and puffed on this day. What sets me apart from them is that I smoke merely twice a year — when my better half goes to her maikay. With superhuman self-control, my annual consumption of cigarettes is a minuscule ten, which makes me call myself a ‘nano-smoker’.

It’s not my fault that she chose the fag-end of May for her first ‘pilgrimage’ this year. My fault is that I ignored a couple of ‘signs’ telling me not to smoke.

This is how it all happened. I arrived home from office with five cigarettes in my pocket on the night of May 30. I watched the Rajasthan Royals crush the Delhi Daredevils like a stub under their feet. I clearly saw both Shane Warne and Lalit Modi not smoking. This was the first sign, but I didn’t give a damn. The second one appeared around 12.15 am on WNTD while I was watching Darna Mana Hai.

One story featured Boman Irani as a psychotic non-smoker who resorts to the ‘Final Solution’ — simply bumping off all incorrigible smokers who come to his motel. He manages to make Saif Ali Khan kick the butt, and the latter avidly joins him in his ‘mission’. The apparent moral of the story: Smoking is a crime, murder isn’t. This was the second sign, potentially horrifying, but I just laughed it off.

Then I switched off the TV and went to the terrace for another fag. As the smoke left my system, I felt a pang of guilt. It dawned on me that I was polluting the air of Chandigarh, which proudly claims to be India’s first smoke-free city (but hasn’t really become one so far). That’s when I decided to make a full confession.Now that I feel as light as a puff of wind, I hereby take a solemn pledge: Come what may, I’ll never smoke on May 31 again.