Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A huff and a puff and I blew it all up 

This post reminded me of my only smoking experience and it's time to share it with all and sundry (though my non existing coolness factor will take a serious beating post this post). Ok! So for starters, I don't smoke - I've never smoked till now and in family gatherings my mom proudly declares this information. My aunt proclaims the same abt her son too, but in a far more subdued fashion, since the entire family knows that P can embarrass a chimney in a jiffy. So why then did the otherwise "good boy" me decide to give into the huffs and puffs of the stick?? Story follows.

The year was 1996 (yes, in my defense it was a looooong time ago). My then girl friend (let's call her R) and I had just had the first of our long chain of break ups. Now, even though the two of us had "broken up" we used to hang out together and do everything that couples in those days did. Something I used to jokingly term as "a relationship sans a relation". Yanyway, so we were sitting in Kolkata's then solitary night club, Someplace Else (present day Kolkattans know this as a pub but in "our times" there used to be a lot more feet tapping out there), and talking abt not-so-sweet nothings. The atmosphere was echoing heavily over remixed English pop beats, strange sounds by love lost couples and vagrant conversations between me and R. Suddenly one of the waiters approached us with a tray full of cigarettes and said, "Some company is launching some new cigarette and we are offering all our patrons a free puff!"

Now R used to smoke and I used to quite like it. Vicarious pleasure probably. Plus you could crack the occasional "smoking hot" joke and crack her up (yeah, flirting used to be a lot simpler those days). So she gave into the waiter's offer instantly. And suddenly the man in me woke up. I picked up a stick too.

"I thought you don't wanna smoke?" R said with a puff of white aiding her words.

"Well ... let's say, like most of your thoughts, this one was wrong too," I replied with a puff of feigned attitude aiding my words.

So I put the cigarette stick in between my lips. I hadn't done this before but I'd seen enuff movies to know how to look cool in these moments. I narrowed my eyes since I always wanted to do this while smoking and then ... then I took my first puff. This was the tricky part. Movies had taught me that when non smokers took their first puff they instantly started coughing up embarrassment. I dint wanna fall prey to this cliched. So I took extra care in my mind. "No coughing ... no coughing," I said to myself. And surprisingly the body listened. No "ahh ahhh" followed. So I took my puff number deux and that went well too. Puff three followed and just when that was abt to complete in a cool fashion, R started laughing hysterically.

I looked around. What was it? Nope, the couple making out behind us couldn't have amused her. It had to be something abt me then. Was I holding the cigarette right? Yes, the stick was indeed carefully sandwiched between two fingers, just the way good ol' Clint used to do it. Why was R laughing out smoke then?

"Quite impressed with my smoking abilities I see," I said, trying to sound as nonchalant as I could.

"Yes. I'm indeed quite impressed," R replied, still laughing hysterically. "You know what'll be even more impressive? If you actually light that cigarette."

Aaaaaaaaaaargggggggggggh! Nope, as it turns out, I dint actually smoke that day and have tried to keep it that way till now. And to all the readers of this post, imagine a school girlish me whispering, "Don't tell anyone abt this incident, huh!"

I enjoyed this post immensely. This is also true of your blog in general. Thank you for sharing.
@ratna - for you :) but for me :((

@jack - thanks a lot man :)
hilarious incident :)
In the heat of the moment, u forgot to light the ciggie!
"I wont tell anyone, huh!"
(Except it's on your BLOG, man!)
Dude, I'm sorry. But, really, come now !! This story ain't true !!!! Its like, waaaayyyy too funny to be true !!! Its like the movies !!

But then again, I DO admit that all cliches and stereotypes in the movies have a basis in real life...

So anyways, yeah, good one ;)
@Angel - nice pun :) and dont forget i burnt my fingers in the process :)

@Vignesh - dude! I too wish that it wasn't true :( sadly (or funnily now) it is true and a certain married woman in Kolkata can vouch for it :)
I feel your pain, I had a similar incident but I remembered to light the cigarette. But silly me, lit it the wrong way, and I hacked up my lung when I took my first puff. That's when I decided, I'm not cool enough for ciggies.
@sara - ooops! :) in a way you make me feel better by giving me comapny in my goof up but then my bubble is abt to burst - i was almost sure i had the best (or saddest) cigarette story and now you have given me competition. so to sum it up i am happy and sad :))
cigarette smoking is bad for health.....good that u nipped that bad habit in the bud....i m proud of u
well im happy that I can make you feel many different emotions at the same time :-D. as for the competition, i got plenty of stories that will give you a run for your money
@ari - aha, sir - coming from you that is some valuable advice (for people who dont know ari he is a chain smoker) :))

@sara - run for my money??? what money :( woman, you are talking abt a poor graduate student :) so all you can do is make me run and that's good exercise - so lemme know the stories
awww, poor graduate student. its okay, in due time you shall be a rich graduated graduate student and then you can run with your money. as for the stories, patience is a virtue ;-)
:) :) :)
won't tell a soul...
err...by the way can I link this post on my blog? ;o)
@sara - aha, good woman - may your words come true. till then as you said - patience is a virtue :)

@shub - :O thi is how you deal with a story full of addictionn, melodrama and pathos :)
darlin, this is what i love most about you .... you are so proud of your own failings that you want the whole to know...

cho chweet

you know who
@i-think-i-know-who - ok, there are two people i know who could say that but i am pretty sure who you are :) so if you are who i think you are - thank you :) and if you are someone else - thank you still :)
Dunno whether you've watched that episode, but this entry does remind me of it - "The Lake", Wonder Years...? - rings any bell?
And on a seriously didactic note, I really don't think smoking is "cool" - it's irritating and unhygenic.
@biplab - used to love Wonder Years as a kid but don't remember the episodes vividly. btw, you must have seen it on Star TV - so did you watch Doodgie Howser too?? Those two were a regular must for me in those days ... thanks for reviving the memories :)
U know what.. I am going to link this on my blog... :D
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