In the first year of college, many of my friends would light cigarettes. It seemed a cool thing to do and I liked the aroma. Very soon I began taking a few drags with them. The drags grew and I lit my very own first cigarette. From then on to keeping packs in my pocket was just a matter of three months. Around then, I even started mixing tobacco in my pan masala. It felt like another world, light, intoxicating; every little or big stress seemed manageable with fire on one end and masala in my pocket.
When the time came, I tied the knot. My wife Netra was fiercely against any form of tobacco consumption. She tried all tricks she could: threats, imploring, love. I even tried giving up both the vyasan many times, but each time my willpower failed. I tried to cut down on my smoking, which meant 8 instead of 10 cigarettes and the days I tried not to chew tobacco, my cigarettes went up to 15! And then I would begin chewing tobacco too. Nothing worked!