**Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health**
I remember the first time I picked up a cigarette. It was a mundane Monday evening (sometime in late June) in a pub called 10 Downing Street in Hyderabad, India. It wasn't love at first sight. Was just plain lust. Trying to wrap my head around the mysticism that is around something that is new, unknown.
The love affair started on Friday of the same week. Same place. They say you never lose love for a friend who's been with you at your weakest and darkest point. That was
probably my darkest and weakest hour. Fresh out of a almost 3 year long relationship, I was giving up with every word, every move. Hanging onto my sanity by a thread. Looking for love where there was none. Trying to believe in the superficial. I remember lighting the first cigarette of the evening like it was yesterday. Whenever I'm trying to picture it I can't remember the colors that surrounded us. It's like an old black and white movie in my head. Sometimes I wonder why I remember it so clearly. Even to the minute details, for example, the table we had, the drinks we ordered, which chair I was sitting on.
And sometimes I think it's because that was the first time in MONTHS that I let my self be, let myself not think. As I fit the cigarette snugly between my two fingers, it felt right. I stared at the ember, took it all in and let it out. For the first time in a long time my mind was free of thoughts and my heart didn't ache that bad. One more drag and then a couple more till I slowly drifted away into thoughtlessness. I danced like a mad woman. That's what Upasana tells me.
Since then those white sticks have been with me every single day. Mr Ultra Milds and I, we have never looked back. Us, together, the world just made sense that way. I mean do you know what we've been through? Disastrous meetings with Managers, reunion with friends, collapsible fits of laughter, one whole year of Insomnia, pensive times, bad reality TV, chick flicks that I have seen way too many times, midnight snacking, late night chats, falling in love again, way too many broken hearted moments, confusions, happiness, rainy evenings, and days when you just want lie in your bed and die. No man would ever do that, but Mr. Ultra Milds did. How can I not love him the way I do?
Over these 3 years it's become an important part of my life. That's not the best thing to say, but that's the truth. It's like the friend that always turns up when you want it to, never too far away. I remember the times when this friend was called upon way too many times. Those days are over. I don't want him to be around all the time. But so many times I've pulled out a cigarette when life didn't make sense. To ease that troubled soul of mine. To make sense when there was none. And sometimes to just invite Mr. Thoughtlessness. Because Mr Ultra Milds, Mr. Thoughtlessness and me, we make a super threesome. All those times I've sat in the park near my house on a cold winter evening or a hot summer afternoon smoking a cigarette thinking about this thing called Life, they've only brought me closer to myself, to my beliefs. Essential threads in the fabric of my existence. It's funny how these white sticks that are not really doing much good to me (yes, I know about the Cancer threat and all) did a whole lot of soul healing. It's like the boy you know is bad news but you keep going back because you just can't get enough.
But it's time to let you go. It's time to not call you to fix all the bad times and relationships. I know that something always brings
you back to me me back to you. But this is the year that I set you free. Set myself free. We don't need each other anymore. In these past years I had convinced myself that you were everything I needed. You helped me from being fragile. However, I've decided that post this year I'm gonna go it alone. Do my own thang, ya know :)