It all started from the Dutt ji’s tea shop that was out of bounds for students at Sainik School, and the motive was not too complicated; the innocent mind just wanted to get big hurriedly, and acquire a macho and rebellious image.
There is no hesitation admitting that it did help – facilitated socialisation, and provided an effective shield in the university hostel from ragging that was an established norm in those days.
Obsessed with neatly curated “made for each other” collage hung high on the wall above the window of my Muir Hostel room, it was never realised that I had already joined the bandwagon of almost 267 million tobacco addict adults of the nation amounting to 29 percent of all adults.
At that point, I was furthering a noble cause – providing livelihood means and improving quality of life of not only tobacco farmers, but also those engaged in processing, production and trade of various tobacco products in different capacities.
Illusion was it – but then it made me feel like a Messiah – contributing to the welfare of the masses, and economy and prosperity of the nation.
At that time I however did not realise that unlike rice and tea that contributed to our prosperity, tobacco was one of the major causes of misery and misfortune, accounting for nearly 1.35 million deaths every year with annual economic costs attributed to tobacco use related diseases pegged at Rs. 177341 crore.
While in the business of risk reduction, I slowly gained awareness of the real scenario, magnitude of the problem and consequences.
Moreover, subconscious mind invariably questioned the sincerity of my efforts after every single failed risk reduction attempt – if I could not reduce the risk posed to my own persona, what good could I be to others.
I at the same time hated the very idea of being part of the fatality statistics, and there thus existed an urge to act on a positive note.
Moreover, odds seemed to be mounting fast with age.
So it was now or never – a do or die situation – I thus had no choice but to take the plunge.
No fanfare, no resolutions – told no one, not even the family members.
May be, I was not confident of success – courtesy trail of halfheartedly undertaken previous failed attempts.
I was at the same time not prepared to face the humiliation that emanates from well publicised but failed attempts. After all most people are interested in the outcome and not the effort put in or challenges faced.
So, it was like attempting PCS from an anonymous centre, far off from Allahabad.
But then the timing was perfect. First two days comprised the weekend, and being busy with fresh movies and serials on OTT, there was little distraction. So, it all seemed simple, and encouraged me to hang on.
But then, Sunday late evening visit to CMI exposed me to rain and cold. The stomach got upset, and it was not in good shape for some days.
But then it was not going to be all that easy and simple. Had it been so, we would not have been home to almost 267 million tobacco addict adults.
So around Monday afternoon, there was sudden and severe attack of cold – running nose and feverish feeling.
As if that was not enough, there sprang up severe bronchial attack during the night. It was hard to sleep as severe cough disrupted every single attempt to sleep. So nausea and body ache was a natural consequence.
The condition deteriorated with each passing day, and after two days severe cough during the nights was accompanied by high fever, and antipyretics had to be taken for immediate relief.
Occasional bronchial attacks continue during the night together with severe craving for tobacco.
Thanks to Nicotex and habit of clinging on to trivial things like blogging to remain busy (without business), the craving could be resisted.
Thanks also to my silent resolve to resort to Nicotex that I have not fallen back. Otherwise on the very third day itself, seeing me not smoking Bhupendra had clearly advised me not to quit abruptly but decrease the intake slowly. This according to him would not require Nicotex therapy, and thus quitting would be lasting.
With the passage of time, physical distress has eased and the intake of Nicotex has also decreased.
Hope it works and I don’t fall back.
Purpose is just to share that with strong mental resolve, there exists nothing that cannot be achieved.
But then, one has to first convince the brain, and expose physical self to the hardships and challenges that lie in the path to achieving the final goal only after fully convincing the brain.
With brain convinced and trained, the physical self is to cope up and pass every test, and achieve any goal; howsoever difficult and seemingly impossible.
If the brain could instantaneously help overcome what physical self had been engaged in for almost 40 years, the brain bestows upon us limitless possibilities – we have to only learn to convince and train our brain.