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Blowing away smoke rings, symbolically

I held the white and yellow stick elegantly between my fingers and gingerly placed it on my parted lips. Within moments a wave of relief swept over me even as people around eyed me with a hint of fake derision. “I’ll never smoke in my life!” had been my adamant stand. What made me change my mind now?

Crazy as it may sound, I was merely acting. 😉 Buying cigarette key-chains and pretending to smoke them isn’t an entirely novel idea, right? I bought one way back in college, just for fun, and the amusing thing is that I still have it. For the record, I’ve never touched any other cigarette in my life.

Seeking medical intervention for dealing with stress and depression taught me few things early on.

  • No way is right or wrong as long as it works for you without causing any further damage.
  • Therapies can be customised but without self-control their intent is moot.
  • Also, never forget that the counselling and treatment will end someday but you’ll still have your life to look after. 

Severe palpitation, chest getting crushed under heavy weight or a rope being tightened around my neck were some of my chilling stress symptoms. The trigger too was evasive sometimes. The shrink suggested everything from meditation to medication but none of them helped me beyond a limit. I reckoned that I had to devise something myself.

Do you remember the old advertisement for Anti-smoking campaign, “A cigarette in my hand, I felt like a man”? It spooked me enough to not try my hand at it but I realised that subconsciously (and occasionally) I smoked in my mind. Releasing invisible puffs of smoke helped me de-stress and calmed me down like nothing else. What more, it was a win-win situation since I wasn’t putting myself or others in harm’s way.

I agree this might not be the best solution but it works like a charm for me. Over the years I’ve argued, fought and broken away from friends who’ve been in the company of this consuming monster. I now understand that getting rid of any addiction is an individual’s choice and preference; we can only encourage or motivate. Petting a vice for some greater good is the biggest irony, isn’t it?

As far as my cigarette key-chain is concerned, for A Jr’s sake it shall remain hidden. He can make his own discoveries as and when his time comes. My invisible pack of Marlboros is unseen and undetected till then. 😉 🙂

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19 thoughts on “Blowing away smoke rings, symbolically

  1. Well, the pic was enough to give me jhatka of life but your first few lines confirmed my fear. I was about to give you a call when scanned through few more lines and realized who the real culprit was?

    YES, smoke away evil and stress from head, easier said than done. But still, it’s better than fretting over life.

  2. To begin wid I was skeptical as I had a doubt… you what it could be! But as I read further things got clear! That was the quirkiest piece of accessory you have Varsh!

  3. Phew! you scared me there for a moment, Varsha!
    I agree with you when you say ‘No way is right or wrong as long as it works for you without causing any further damage.’
    Where could I get such a key chain? I am tired of smoking through my ears:))))

  4. This is such a wonderful read. I have been through such moment in my life too back when I had started my job and could see women everywhere smoking and trying to look cool and happening. In order to experience even I tried a puff or two but soon realized its not my cup of tea and not the way I want to look cool.

  5. I tried a puff… Just under peer pressure.. a puff or two… And I didn’t like it.. i remember my friends used to tell me that smoking and drinking releases the pressure… But it wouldn’t ever end it! That’s my thought over cigarettes… It will start with a puff, and it will make you dependent… Stress, anxiety and depression.. we need to find a way out and not further and further into it!

  6. Lol..you got me at first glance. It was quite fascinating once to pose with those peppermint cigarette candies as kid

  7. Hey I actually saw the photo a multiple times before I realised that it is a keychain and I was like what happened to this gal! Yes cigarette smoking is injurious to health and nice tip.

  8. This is such an interesting process… I know how often one gets pulled into habits for lack of a way to deal with things. I like your invisible approach 🙂

  9. That key is very unique. For a second I thought it to be real. Smoking or not smoking is ones own choice and even i have tried telling my friends to keep away from it.

  10. Hi Varsh,

    I have tried smoking myself few times. However, I am not a regular. I smoke with my friends may be one or two puff that too once a year.

    Smoking is not a good thing to do. One must abstain from smoking and try to live a healthy life.

    Thank you for sharing this post. Have a great weekend.

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