July 11, 2007

Smoke Signals

It's been almost 13 months since I quit smoking. I followed my off-smoking time religiously for the first three months. I'd end my sentences with the obligatory 'oh by the way I've quit smoking' much to the displeasure of friends and their lit cigarettes. During Phase Two people started noticing but couldn't help commenting on my non-smoker status by adding 'let's see how long you'd be off' while talking about something as polar opposite as Malika Sherawat trying to shed her sexy image!

I knew it was Phase Three when I loaded SilkQuit, a software in which you fill in the vitals and it informs you about the time you have been off ciggies to the last nano-second. It calculates how much life I might've added thanks to quitting and finally how much money I saved by not smoking. The first and the third are the most exciting for adding life won't really mean much if I have to be alone and moan the loss of smoking friends 40 years from now. I knew I was out of the Phase Three when I stopped using my Windows machine for that software is a PC edition, of course.

Phase Four announced itself in when I realized that even though I don't smoke I'm still paying 80 bucks at times to buy cigarette packets for people around me. After a brief albeit an important internal battle, I decided not to endorse the tobacco department of ITC or Phillip Morris, or any of their distant cousins.

Now I'm snug as a bug in Phase Five- I don't give a damn about the time anymore.

Some times I hold a cigarette, play with it, strike a match for smokers (I can still light a match in conditions ranging from very windy to get-the-hell-outta-here!) but I realized that the times they are a changin' when the other day I started coughing the moment I sniffed an unlit stick! Imagine what'd the honchos at ITC do to counter that. Now I think my non-smoking timeline has reached a stage that I call 'happy break-up'; been so long that you just don't recall the bad days.

Image Courtesy: Off The Mark

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