After reading this title, you must be thinking that it is just another of those boring article to persuade people to quit smoking. I am not urging anybody to do something based upon what I say. This is just my personal experience that I feel worth sharing with you all.
I suffered from blood cancer about four years ago, and it all started dramatically on the day I was given the badge of house captain in my school. Though I never wanted that position, I felt a sense of pride and honor inside me.But the day I was honored with the post of house captain, I blacked out.
I was feeling feverish and got my medication for it. A few days later my parents told me we were going to Vellore for a surprise vacation. I sensed something fishy but ignored it in excitement. The day we reached there, I heard my mother talking to some relative on phone and realized the actuality. I was shocked to know this but I didn’t cry because my mother told me they would get me treated and we would be back in two months. But those two months extended to about eight months with lots of side-effects during the treatment.
You all might be wondering why this girl is going on and on with boring reminiscence of her illness when the topic is revolves around smoking. I do have an answer to your doubts.
While I was in Vellore I did some research on the internet for causes of cancer, wondering what I did wrong to be laden with a disease about which I had only heard or seen in movies.
I was shocked on reading the very first cause – Smoking. I was quite annoyed by the fact that if I was so much against smoking, then why did I have to bear through such a disease?Why me? Why not the others who mocked at me when I reprimanded them against smoking?
After thinking about these facts for entire night, crying and cursing God, I reached to a conclusion. I recounted the moral of a fable from Panchtantra -“All things happen for a reason”. I started thinking what good was hidden in me fighting with pain, headache and various other side-effects whereas my friends were having fun at school?
One day When I was walking for my chemotherapy to the cancer ward, I chanced upon a five year old boy who had a much severe cancer but was playing with the nurses. I asked him about his school and he replied-“accha hua main bemaar pad gaya! Ab ek saal tak padhna nahi padega aur mummy mujhe Ben 10 wali watch bhi degi! Thank God!”
I was thrown aback by his statement. Didn’t he realise what he was losing? Then I remembered his last phrase-“Thank God!”. Yes, so God does think of our betterment we just need to have an optimistic approach.
A few days later, as I was having my evening walk, wearing a protection mask, near my flat there. I saw a taxi driver smoking cigarette. The moment he saw me, he threw it on the ground. This very moment I got enlightened. God had been meaning to help me to convince those people, who laughed at my request to smoke, to abstain from smoking. I felt real happiness inside me that day.
Maybe this way I could convince my dear ones much better, though I had to undergo some pain myself.After that I never had any pessimistic thought. After a lapse of eight months, I returned back to my hometown. I received a warm welcome by all my friends and relatives.
But, one day I went to the doctor for my routine blood test. As soon as I sat on the sofa wearing my protection mask to prevent myself from infection, I noticed that a woman shifted her child, who was sitting next to me, to the other side, away from me.
I felt cantekarous. Later on, I encountered many such incidents where people would stare at me, move away from me and point and laugh at me. But I ignored everyone believing them to be ignorant.
Other incident took place when I was in a bookshop.I saw a man smoking some two-three steps away from me, staring at me, giggling – that was it. I went up to him and yelled – “Do you realize why I am wearing this mask? Do you have any idea that this disgraceful habit of yours has caused me to suffer one year back at school? It has given such an emotional and economic blow to my family. Do you, before giggling at me, ever think why I am looking like a clown to you. Yes, it is because of you and people like you who smoke in public, but are without the information of the harm it causes to other people? If you ever visit a hospital you will know that because of this addiction of yours, infants six months old are poked with needles despite their cries of pain!” I was choked and couldn’t speak anymore so I ran back to my car.
That day I opened my Facebook account and found my friend’s meaningless status updates. Thinking that maybe I could do something good here, I created a community -“Avoid smoking, Avoid cancer” and sent its request to each one of my friends.
Most of them didn’t join the cause! What more does this world want to see before quitting smoking? Do you want to see your own kids wearing safety masks? Do I have to make a movie like Aamir Khan so that people pay interest to this issue? Or another nationwide strike?
Inspite of being literate and we tend to ignore- “Smoking is injurious to health” behind every packet of cigarettes, we hardly try to resist it.
I am in college now, amongst those people who believe that smoking is “COOL”. I had this notion that as a person grows up he or she also grows intellectually. But evidently I can see that this notion is not true at all. People in college smoke pots to apparently look “cool” and “get high”. My heart bleeds at their delusion but I can do nothing but watch them helplessly.