It was around midnight and I felt an enormous desire to surrender myself to the siesta. It took a lot of control from losing consciousness and stop myself from spinning on the floor like a crazy thing. I struggled to keep my eyes wide open and not to enter in that unknown ritual again like every other night. I tried to concentrate heavily on the very reason for what I was there with three of them. Suddenly I felt like I was being called, someone was hitting me hard. I cautiously opened my eyes swiftly and there was Ron standing like a behemoth. Everybody was smiling and giving me those ‘you-slept-again’ looks.
We were there at Ron’s place for the so called group studying and yeah... I have conquered the art of sleeping and studying simultaneously again. That was the time we decided to take a break (this was the third one already in past two hours). I suggested taking a walk would be fine (knowingly that my suggestion will be voted out). A fused sound came in chorus and I knew it was again going to be a smoke-break. We went to this small ‘gumti’ near his place and Ved said “Chacha, one classic mild(cigarette brand) aur ek beedi” and I ordered a ‘cut’(half cup tea). I liked the midnight teas of the gumti.
Ron has switched to ‘beedi’ thinking of dropping the nicotine level in the fag, spending less and to be environment-friendly (read as less-environment-unfriendly). I was glad that he was at least thinking of quitting smoking. For me it was favorable as I would have to inhale less second-hand-smoke. I also knew it was just a phase for him that would be over soon and he would again switch to class milds. He believes that quitting smoking is the easiest thing to do, as he had done it thousands of times. He took a drag, the tobacco filled his lungs. Trying to be humorous he said “I am thinking of quitting smoking but for thinking I require a cigarette”. Giggles were spread.
I know we all acquire some or the other habits to clear the mind tension. Some choose music, some choose alcohol, for some its work-out. But why fagging? That’s a paradox”
Why do I always think it as a sign of weakness? Many people smoke just to nullify their tensions temporarily. This ain’t a valid excuse This one time I went to a theatre and in interval few people rushed to the smoking zone which was a very small 2x4 feet room. There were like 30 people dreadfully trying to get into the room, all the hard work just to inhale the euphoric nicotine and glorious tobacco in their lungs. Being curious I somehow managed to get in the room. I saw the ‘clouds of despair were lifting up’. It’s like saying to the shopkeeper “Take these Rs. 5 and please increase my chances of having cancer.” Why would a sane person do that? Why is it hard for me to understand?
Nonsense. I knew, as I know now that I had no option other than being there and inhale the second-hand smoke they were puffing out. They eyed me suspiciously thinking that perhaps my mind really has been affected.
Another cig lit up, Ved took a drag and it’s handed from me to pass to Ron. I committed the cardinal sin of grasping the cig between my forefinger and thumb that too guiding it horizontally to Ron. He told me that it’s my lack of etiquette. The right way of hold a cig is to hold between the fore and the middle finger vertically (with the lit end upside).
Soon the cigarettes were extinguished. The other freshers sitting beside us picked up the bad habit naming it the ‘coolness-factor’. I stopped worrying about my test anymore with sips of the midnight tea. I took the last sip and gestured them to go back. I had my refreshment.