Of Cigarettes, Smokers, Baba Jani, and A Deafening Echo of Unfulfilled Wishes

My father was a chain smoker. Smoking was one of the biggest reason he had several health issues and it was one of the causes of his death too. We tried everything in our power to make him quit smoking. He did it for a year or two and then started smoking again. Every time I see someone smoking, a part of me breaks and I feel pained. I feel anger. I pity the person who is burning himself to a slow death.

I have been sitting at one of our client’s office for the past month and a half. Where I sit, there is a fire exit behind me. That is a smoking spot where every male member of the staff loves going. Every single time someone goes to smoke, it breaks me. Men here smoke way too much. Thanks to the ventilation (or whatever it’s should be called) I don’t smell the pungent odor of the cigarettes but at times, I do get a whiff off from the person walking out proudly after burning off moments of their lives along with future happiness of their families. It takes me back to where we used to beg baba jani to quit smoking. It takes me back to the night he died and a deafening echo of my sister’s unfulfilled wish hits my ears, “Kash baba na cigarette peetay!” (How I wish dad didn’t smoke cigarettes!)

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