Can I smoke?

Smoking is injurious to health- no, I am not issuing the ‘statutory warning’, it is a fact. Having learnt of the black swan from Taleb, I am not saying this simply because the statistics declare the morbid association between smoking and ill health; I am merely against the dependence and the myths that every mind propagates to make illusory comforts essential. Smoking is not going to reduce anxiety, nor will it be soothing in depression. It will not spur creativity, and it will never make somebody believe you are superior or stylish- ofcourse it is not a sign of intellectual preoccupation. It is a habit and it is a bad habit in the sense that it is at the most harmful to health and at the least a waste of money. Yet, I wonder if I can smoke now!

I learnt smoking when I was fifteen years old, primarily to show off, and now I cannot show off that I smoke! But smoking is not the issue- I wanted to think aloud about politics that worked on the smoke screen called policy! What good would it do other than giving an impression that i am hallucinating- there are no ears to listen!

India is a strange no-smoking zone now! Many smoke on the roads, some even in hospital compounds, but the elite and the socialite circle do not smoke anymore in pubs and restaurants. They shrug and move to non-descript rooms to inhale and exhale on fellow smokers. In a funny way, the rich and the affordable, who have hitherto not cared to follow many of rules that have been framed (for the country?) by the country, adhere to the non-smoking rule! Five star hotels are strict! It is just the poor and the middle class who still decide to light and puff a cigarette at odd places which are supposed to be non-smoking (not smoke-free) zones! But then, it is again the poor and middle class who think that a vote is going to matter, and they ‘elect’ a government which would ‘look after’ them! In my experience, the government always looks ‘after’ they have voted! By the way, I am just curious to know how many of the manicured nails are going to be smeared with the ink that shows you have voted- it is too late to count the number in the last election, but it is possible to attempt now!

Why am I writing now instead of just taking my charminar and lighting it? Simply because I foresee a scenario when I may walk into one of the Taj hotels (even the one which made the socialites weep more than the socially conscious), and smoke on the table where I had just finished my dinner. times have changed! The man who so zealously advocated the no-smoking ban is no more in the ruling alliance. A shameless spokesperson of a party insults all of us by saying there could be post-poll alliances/agreements/adjustments! If in a rare chance the alumnus of my fraternity makes it to the same ministry again, I have to perhaps still hide my lighter and the cigarette pack? This is what my naïve mind thinks! Since it is the policy of the present government invariably the next one will not care much about it. But then, the son of the third(?) big party in tamilnadu could still retain the portfolio- it does not matter whether the congress or the BJP win. Slowly some rules may get relaxed as some lobbies become lucrative! If one decides to fight against someone who had till a few days ago been a partner-in-whatever, what big deal would it be if he decides to not fight against some public activity which had been his passionate obsession a few months ago?

So, can I smoke in public now? As a law-abiding and duty-conscious citizen I should not- in public, therefore I shall not light a cigarette in a forbidden zone. In the same law-abiding and duty-conscious mode I believe I should vote! Just as how some who make laws would smirk when they see me struggling to resist the urge to light a cigarette in some places, so would they, seeing me stand in a queue (and I had better be early else someone else may appear with ‘my’ identity card)!

My vote is rather inconsequential. The afore mentioned minister did not ask for anybody’s vote last time, nor will he this time. He will be nominated, along with the other such ‘born-with-a-political-spoon’ kids!

I have been one of the many who thought that a token protest, very selfishly not causing any discomfort for me, by way of registering my displeasure at the political choices before me in the election, was enough. I argued with confused poll officers, made them create a temporary page in whatever book they had, and registered my decision to not vote under section 49 (O). In fact, I took pains to check with my friendly journalist Gnani, on what exactly to do on the morning of that election, as he was one of the most vociferous advocates of this form of protest. At the end of the game, one of the many who did not meet ‘my’ criteria for a good candidate, won. There were votes polled for and against. In the past elections, there were also a certain number of votes declared as invalid! But nowhere was there, in the last election, any mention about the number of people who decided to register their protest by refusing to vote for one of the candidates. I felt invalid! I perhaps am!

Now I have another chance! I can again go and torture those poor uninformed poll ‘officers’ and sign a register and walk out with ink on my finger. And then? Somebody is going to win. Some losers and some winners are going to come together to save the country, while I will be wailing in my own little blog!

A friend of mine told me just a couple of weeks back that there was a statement in Quran that those who can do something to the society, and still do not do anything but keep talking, are the worst kind of people. I have not read such a thing in Quran, but even if it is not there in the holy book, it makes sense. So? I decide I should do something.

What do I do? Can I smoke?

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21 Comments on “Can I smoke?”

  1. sulochanosho Says:

    Menfolk there:

    Tell your girlfriends there that they have no right to make the babies in their wombs smoke and choke.

  2. rudhran Says:

    babies born and to be born are going to choke in this pseudo democracy! this is not about smoking- it is just about what is more injurious to self!

  3. sowmiya Says:

    “I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference. ”

    This is an extract from the poem
    “Road not taken” by “Robert frost”
    (Thanks- school days)…
    This is my view on voting..
    Choosing a party with less scandals.

  4. sowmiya Says:

    really it is nice to use
    “THE BLACK SWAN” here…

  5. […] : Dr Rudhran What : Can I smoke ? Tangy: ‘Smoking is injurious to health- no, I am not issuing the ’statutory warning’, it […]

  6. Here is the truth. Give it a few minutes.

    The Scientific Scandal of Antismoking

    “This refusal to consider conflicting evidence is the negation of the scientific method. It has been the hallmark of fifty years of anti smoking propaganda and what with good reason may well be described as one of the greatest scandals in 500 years of modern science.”

    This is one of the best in-depth studies of how studies are done and their conclusions are reached. To say the least, this will open eyes to the truth of Smoking and Second Hand Smoke. It is long but more than worth the time. The conclusions will surprise all who finish it.

  7. The World Health Organization says air pollution prematurely kills two million people a year, with more than half the deaths in developing countries.

    Reducing pollution particles too small to be filtered in the nose and throat and settle in the lungs could save 300,000 lives a year..

    Reducing levels of extremely small particles — caused primarily by the burning of fossil and other types of fuel — could cut the deaths from air pollution by about 15 percent, said Maria Neira, the WHO director for public health and the environment.

    It also could cut the global burden of disease from respiratory infections, heart disease and lung cancer, she said.

    Particulate matter pollution is considered the biggest health risk. But the WHO Air Quality Guidelines also recommended lowering the daily allowed limits for ozone.

  8. Hi You asked about Back Links in

    பேக் லின்க் அப்படின்னா என்னனு கேட்டிருந்தீங்க
    அதுக்கு என்னால் இயன்ற பதில்

    நீங்கள் ஒரு மருத்துவ சம்பந்தமான தளம் ஒன்றைப் பார்வையிடுகிறீர்கள். அது உலகின் வேறு இடத்தில் இருந்து வெளிவரும் தளம். அங்கே ஒரு அருமையான கட்டுரையை நீங்கள் படிக்கிறீர்கள். அந்தக் கட்டுரையைப் பற்றிய தகவலை உங்கள் தளத்தில் பதிக்கலாம் என எண்ணுகிறீர்கள்.

    உங்கள் தளத்தில் தனியாக அதற்காக ஒரு பதிவிடுகிறீர்கள். அந்தப் பதிவில் மேற்சொன்ன தளத்தைப் பற்றியும், கட்டுரை பற்றியும் அறிமுகம் கொடுக்கிறீர்கள். கொடுத்து விட்டு இறுதியாக மேலதிக விபரங்களுக்கு அந்தத் தளத்தின் கட்டுரையைப் பார்வையிடுங்கள் – எனக் கூறி அந்தக் கட்டுரையின் முழுச்சுட்டியையும் (link)உங்கள் பதிவில் இடுகிறீர்கள்.

    இது தான் பேக் லின்க் (back link).

    வேறு யாராவது (குறிப்பாக நானே) உங்கள் தளத்தில் உங்கள் பதிவைப் படிக்கும்போது, உங்கள் விளக்கமான அறிமுகத்தைப் படித்த பிறகு அந்த வேறு ஒரு கட்டுரையைப் படிக்க ஆசைப்பட்டு நீங்கள் கொடுத்த சுட்டியை அழுத்தினால் – அந்தச் சுட்டியின் உதவியால் உங்களுக்குப் பிடித்தமான – உங்களைக் கவர்ந்த கட்டுரையை நானும் படிக்க இயலும்.


  9. sowmiya Says:

    what a pity?
    why noone can atleast view the
    “Tags: india, society, indian politics, elections, voting, politcs”

    This is just a post on Indian politics
    and not actually meant for smoking or

    Or otherwise i misunderstood as such…?!

  10. rudhran Says:

    i lit and puffed my first cigarette when i was 15, and cast my first vote when i was 18. neither of the activities have been useful for me or for the country.

  11. Oreally Says:

    Did i jus read this? i wish i hadnt…& i need to convey this through a comment on this crap…oh!

  12. rudhran Says:

    thanks….oh really i do get to know people!

  13. Amrutha Says:

    thanks for the post

  14. musen Says:

    I think you can smoke and vote.


  15. iamTHAT Says:

    have i become that? already? i must have, why else would i keep such a name?
    Is there a way to redeem myself???

    Thanks! keep up the good work, dear Sir.

  16. kandhasm Says:

    Alas! This write up is so ……..why cant you write stuff that is easy to digest ? Which of the below two is easy ?

    1. I am a Finance Analyst
    2. I deal with numbers which determines the most effective ways a company can be run…..A transaction has multiple effects on the overall performance of the company and it directly affects the share holders and makes the directors accountable. so BOI relies on us ?

    Ah………pls doctor ………simplyfy your writing. I sure do subscribe to your views most of the time but I wish you writing can be simple. You ain’t consider yourself writting a law book…….i hope

  17. rudhran Says:

    thank you kan.. it is not intentional to be high brow, it is rather unfortunate. this happens to be my language and i do sometimes deliberate to filter them..
    i understand what you say, and i shall try to be more crisp.. thanks a lot for making me see it.

  18. Kandhasm Says:

    Thanks for your reply,Doctor. It’s not intentional either to criticize. But when I finished reading I found myself confused about what this post is all about….smoking? Elections? Politicans and alliances? In my opinion, there isn’t any flow as the subject seems to be too many to retain my attention. In the end, instead of enjoying your thoughts, I found myself irriated with what’s it all about. Hope I didn’t cross the limit in my previous comment. Thanks.

  19. gsalvadi Says:

    Dear Rudhran,

    India is a country where it is difficult to implement things effectively. When once I was discussing software piracy, he came out with his views that in a highly populated country, it is easy to make rules and
    extremely difficult to enforce it. Sounds reasonable.

    And, as far as I know, India performs excellent when it comes for conducting elections. We are better than US in electing Govt. (when it comes for the factor of time).

    And, if you feel doing something, could write about addiction and staying sober. (I am quit and staying sober for past a month)

    I wonder would you be able to do anything else except casting your vote again

  20. gsalvadi Says:

    Correction: ##when i was discussing piracy with my friend##

  21. Deepak Says:

    Hey Doc…
    I disagree when you say smoking reduces anxiety or depression… It does that temporally, but on long term, causes harm… But its the psychological aspect that a cigarette that matters more to a smoker, though they may not actually realize it! As far as I am concerned… I smoke around 10 fags per day… I hate the smell of it though, But love the feel! tobacco can act as an relaxant often as I understand… It actually helps me in meditation (contrary to wot people think)! The warmth of the smoke passing through your throat filling in your lungs, feels nice… But frankly, I’m just addicted… And I really do wanna quit… But smoke actually helps me, the way I am now… I’m fairly certain you’ll agree when you hear it…

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