Friday, July 25, 2008
When I was in school (think its 8th std), me and my friend sapath discovered a fact - most of the cool dudes in our town were smokers. We could see them smoking in bus stand, parks and other public places which has sparked curiosity in our innocent (?) minds. We started noticing smokers, the way they hold the cigarette, the way they send out those lovely white fumes out of their noses, some of them even used to send smoke rings (which require special skill and training i guess).
We started discussing about this fantastic white cylindrical substance which has got fire at one end and a fool at other end. We both were a little adventurous than the others in school and we decided to test this amazing substance, which can do wonders to our personality. Not to forget those film stars who used to smoke cartons of cigarette just to prove that they are cool and the villains smoke (usually the pipes) to prove that they are powerful.
We decided that we need to test this wonderful thing, and started planning for it. We would have spend at least 5 days to plan this operation. The first question in front of us was, who will buy the cigarette. I cant do it because school is near my house and everybody around the school knows me. Sapath is the shortest in our class and he looks like a fifth standard student even though he in Eighth, and selling cigarettes to minors is a crime. Do not ask me who is selling cigarettes to +2 guys.
We made a market study and spotted at least 4-5 five small shops (pettikada) where we can get the stuff. I persuaded Sapath to buy cigarette and he agreed. We zeroed in on one of the small shops near our school which is run by an old lady whose house is attached to the small shop. We both went near the shop in the evening, studied the place for a while, standing at the opposite side of the road. Finally the moment arrived, Sapath with all his courage crossed the road and walked steadily towards the shop. I stood at the opposite side and was shivering.
He saw the wills packet inside the glass shelf , however the old lady was not in sight. she was inside the house attached to the shop. He called gently, Ammachiii... The old lady answered his call from inside, she asked "what do u want mone" . He pointed out the cigarette pack, without answering her. I could see Sapath's courage draining out at a rapid pace, sweat pouring out from his forehead, and his hands were shivering. She again asked from inside, "what is that you want". He said softly in a shivering voice 'ammachi thande ithu' (Grannie, this one). The old lady now came out and entered the shop, but unfortunately his courage has completely drained out by this time and he turned and look at me who is standing on the other side watching the drama. He shouted 'Ajithe oddikkoda' (Ajith Run!!). The next second, two brave boys started running at a speed of 58 km/hr. The lady thought sapath has taken something from the shop and she started chasing us for a few meters. However the race was easily won by the fresh young legs.
We ran till the vacant ground and sat there for sometime trying to regain our breath. We looked at each other and burst out to laughter. We both reviewed the whole operation and found out the faults in the execution. After one hour of analysis and heated debate, sapath stood up with his head held high and I could see the determination in his eyes. He took the responsibility of goofing up the first attempt. He walked out of the ground at a steady pace and with firm footsteps ( Bhagat singh's picture flashed in my mind for a second). He walked straight to a crowded shop, asked for a cigarette and a match box in a fairly confident voice, ignored the surprise look of the people around and walked out in the same confident way with the cigarettes.
He came running to the ground where I was waiting desperately. He showed the cigarette proudly and I congratulated him for his heroic effort. He lit the cigarette and took a drag, and started coughing. I also followed his path, soon both of us were coughing big time. with smoke in our lungs and nose. We found out that smoking is not that cool as we think.
I am still not a smoker, while sapath was a pretty good smoker during his college days and even when he started working. Recently I got an invitation for an orkut community from Sapath. The name of the community was "I hate cigarettes". He also quit smoking for good!!! Still whenever we meet the first thing we would say each other is "Ammachi thande ithu,,,,,,,, Ajithe Odikkoda !!!"