Fumes of Death

I don’t know how many people watch Boston Legal. The fifth season premiered a month back and I got the chance to lay my hands on it just today and boy! I was floored! It sends a straight message to all the people who smoke. Don’t do it. Combined with brilliant statistics (though it speaks mainly of the USA), I think the figures would only look worse in India, the tactics they use and strung together by the ever-amazing Allan Shore (James Spader), the first episode was a treat.

When I have told people (in fact, I tell anyone I remotely know and who smokes), they have defended themselves. Hurled expletives at me for trespassing into their private domain. Quoted some extremely rebellious lines from Ayn Rand, who glorified smoking in one of her books and what not. They tell me its their life. It just hurts to see such brilliant people who have amazing potential to start killing themselves at such an early age.Tell me what you have to, the truth doesn’t change.

What hurts me most is that educated people like us, who are totally aware of everything right from the tactics used by the tobacco company, to the downside of smoking, passive smoking, addiction et.al are the people who do it the most. I’m talking about young adults in their twenties and late teens who are still enjoying their financial independence, who are now addicted to smoking.

I’ve seen so many people huffing and puffing themselves to their graves. Literally. They will not realize it now, (the people who do, God bless them). But it has become a symbol. A sign that they are the rebels, the ‘big boys’, the ‘cool’ people who with a burning stick of nicotine in their hands rule the world. Any college is infested with so many smokers who are literally addicted to it. They dont realize, no amount of sorry or deep regret to their habit would improve their health unless they let go of their addiction. Seek help, if wanted but do not kill yourself and hurt the people who love and care about you the most.

Smoking is not cool. It is not something one does to get high and get away from life’s problems and obstacles. Although, most people do it for precisely that. Passive smoking kills more people than active smoking. Lung cancer, tuberculosis, oral cancer everything is attributed to smoking and yet lo behold! we still do it.

I know writing this post is of no point because the smokers would continue to do what they like and the non-smokers agree with the contents of the post. But someday, the people who smoke will realize what they are actually doing and that remorse will be the greatest they would ever experience. The feeling of killing yourself and the people around you right from your teens, when you are at the brink of experiencing the greatest joys in the world. Still, I write this post because I feel strongly for it. I believe anyone’s life is too short to be threatened by such serious diseases.

Watch Boston Legal Season 5 Episode 1. Sadly, I know folks here would head for the J, minutes after watching it to grab that vicious piece of nicotine.

Yeh Mera India

So many things came to my mind today as I took a day off from my daily routine and lay on the floor (my bed heats up like it has hot pads under it!) thinking about a few things that have been running through my mind lately.

‘The Zoya Factor’, a bestseller these days and given top rankings in the fiction book rankings by many a magazine, uses phrases like ” I stared back like a besharam defending my statement’. Whoa! A few hundred years back, it was french that used to add that little glamour or sophistication to a book. I remember staring at the french written in italics in many Agatha Christie’s novels,though could only guess the meaning. The book is full of such usage of hindi words, the words we have grown up hearing and the way we mix and mash the language so much, it has almost become one. But somehow, the very idea of reading such language kills a little something inside me. I dont know why, but when I’ve read Mario Puzo’s books set in Sicily, the heart of Italian mafia full of Italian words, phrases and greetings, or many french authors books laden with french, why does reading an Indian author’s book using blatant street language( more precisely, the mashed up stuff we guys speak) invoke feelings of negativity?
I guess,it has something to do with the fact that as kids we were encouraged to read as much as we could to improve our language and increase our english/hindi vocabulary. I dont think that using street language is a good idea at all.
This wasnt a first time. The last book I read in the vacations ‘Superstar India’ by Shobhaa De, ran on similar language. Street usage, though she used those words but never as a part of the conversation. But, I totally disagree that something of this sort can put India on the global map. On the same note, my wholehearted congratulations to Aravind Adiga. His book is brilliant. I have often told everyone (who cared to listen) to read his book, ‘The White Tiger’way before it won the Booker. Simply brilliant.

Another thing came to my mind was the reservation system. Ok, there have been prolonged debates on this and so much is said against it but the thing which struck me was how much have we started caring about which caste one belongs to. Cmon! the caste system was a black mark on our culture and I am pretty sure our forefathers never wanted the future generations to even know such brutalities existed. But, the first thing we ask is ” Is he SC/ST ? “, if the answer is affirmative “Yaar, his life is set, he’ll get admission anywhere”. Whatever little was trickling down through the ages, our dear goverment has just opened the flood gates for such caste apartheid to begin. Not surprisingly, this time it is the so-called ‘forward caste’ which has been hit.

Im not proud to re-state the now-famous quote:

“India is the only country where people fight to be called backward”.

Chotu’s homecoming

It was the usual welcome for me. The familiar horn of the ancient white ambassador ( I love the white curtains on the windows though, I wipe my nose on it many times..hehe), the crack sound when the car doors open, the familiar voice of the driver ( I know him very well, after all it is he who drives me carefully everytime to my doc even talking to me and never complains about the mess I make on his carefully laundered white seat covers!). I began my bark and continued all the way till the ambassador was out of sight. I ushered mom and dad in with the usual tail wagging…I did not expect what I saw next.

There she was. Peering at me from the mesh door, standing ever so solidly. I knew something was up when I saw the extra broad grins on mom and dad’s faces, but NEVER expected her. I stood for a while with my jaw hanging open till I let my nose do some research. Yes, it was her. I jumped on her, coating her with my saliva, scratching her clothes and tugging at her pants. I was the happiest creature on the planet then. Dressed in a dark blue kurta and very bitable jeans, she picked me up and I scrambled all over her. I ran around the sofas, jumped on them and even pushed the cushions down. WOW! She was back!

I do get all the attention everytime, but with her around, I get that something extra. I love the way she will run her fingers under my ears looking for those ticks ( I managed to scratch one out myself and was so overjoyed that I rolled over it and it went back in…but anyways) or the way she will threaten me menacingly everytime I start biting my paws. First thing she does is this full body investigation, turning me over repeatedly but I enjoy that since I manage to extract a belly rub from her. I get the entire breakfast fed with many stories about crows and some weird thing she says about this cat eating up my food. (As if I care!). She is my sole competitor for eggs (damn! some compromises somewhere) and I hate the fact that she peels them early morning for her breakfast and doesnt give me till my lunch! I get those extra chicken treats after her loud argument with mom. Hmmm…it indeed is festive time for me.

Alright folks, this is all the time I have. I just returned from a bath and will soon be dried with that stupid thing that emits a blast of hot air (I HATE THAT!). Then I need to nap before my hot meal of chicken and eggs . She makes me run around these days( she has this new fad of walking really fast and even jogging the whole distance we once walked slowly). So I better not waste any more of my precious siesta time. After all, I need my beauty sleep.

Adios people..hope you have a blast as i am having.