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January 17, 2008

Smoking is injurious to your character

Statutory Warning: Cigarette smoking IS injurious to your health, irrespective of whether you are man, woman or child. This article does NOT promote smoking, but it will not shy away from talking about what a “cigarette” signifies in the Indian context.

“No pictures of me smoking please,” announced the actress as she lit up her Marlboro Lights. She was known to be rather forthright about everything from virginity to single motherhood to how she upgraded the diamonds she wore each time she upgraded her man. She continued pulling on the nicotine when her mother entered the room. If the presence of her mother didn’t stop her smoking – a whole lot of Indians don’t smoke “before elders” – why did she have objections to being clicked smoking? Maybe because she was not Shah Rukh Khan? Or because she was a woman?

On another occasion, a celebrity blogger announces on national TV that she has quit smoking. Five minutes before the show was to be recorded, the girl was taking a “few drags” off an acquaintance’s cigarette. She blogs about smoking, she smoked before the recording of the show, why did she conceal the fact on TV then? Her parents were watching, or because the nation was watching?

Another instance, a couple sitting in the smoking section of a restaurant were enjoying what looked like a scrumptious meal. After the meal, both of them lit their respective cigarettes. Three boys sitting on the table adjacent to them nudged each other, one whispered, “Dekh, dekh, cigarette pee rahi hai,” and proceeded to nonchalantly check out the girl. It didn’t matter there was a man with her. (Look, she’s smoking a cigarette) The smoking girl did not look up from her empty plate after that and crushed her cigarette midway. Why?

Read complete story: Do only bad girls smoke?


avijit bakshi said...

Hi again,

Read about twenty more of your posts today, till august 07. Gave me more of a perspective on your blog. Love your blog just as much as yesterday, if not more. Don't agree with everything you say, but do agree with most of what you say - 90%; leaving out the very personal bits, where it is about your inner feelings. Of course i am not expected to agree with everything on the blog and i am sure that's not something you expect or hope for either from your readers ( at least that's what I presume).

Again it's lovely to have a voice like yours out there. If more people could act with as much integrity as you show, we'd have a much better country in no time at all.

Anyhoo, thanks for being there and speaking up. We desperately need more public voices like yours.

Take care

Pointblank said...

hey there!

It makes me wonder why smoking is such a big deal? I'm not a smoker nd I hate be anywhere near the smokers, cuz of the stench n th serious health hazards he passive smokers r prone to. But I'l never roll my eyes in disbelief. Infact, I kinda admire their courage to stand up for themselves in a sexist society like theirs!

PS: why do u think drinking is not such a big deal?? Atleast in comparison with smoking!

Mystique said...

no, why smoke anyway????
it's always baffled me.....why would people want to smoke??
disgusting, smoke oozing out of one's mouth....

~junkie said...

totally agree with "dekh dekh ...cig.." part!
very annoying and sexist..hmmpf

Silvara said...

funnily enough - I believe there is the same attitude of desi women here in Australia, which as a 'Western society', you would think there would be a more relaxed stance. Here it's a regular view, the more sad aspect is seeing underage kids get into the habit. One of my close friends from uni, actually all of them smoked, me being the only one who didn't, and this particular one was Indian - a beautiful, stick-thin, Bengali friend who is intelligent enough to know the health risks. It really is to create that 'cool' factor - going out for a coffee and cigarettes was a regular pastime for us. I remember the first time I saw her smoke with the rest of the group - it did shock me a little bit - not knowing any other Indian girls who did (that whole 'good girls don't smoke' attitude there lol), but it was after that that I began to see more and more who did light up. The ironic thing was, she would have no qualms smoking in front of us and the more 'judgemental' Indian youth community, but would still hide the fact from her mother - telling her she was holding the cigarette for a friend if caught.

I believe each to its own, and kudos to them for doing something in a society which again demeans a woman for doing the same thing as a man, but still - smoking is a nasty habit.