Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bye Navy Cut!

Yes I quit smoking.
I can't believe I indulged in such filthy habit. All it took to quit was reading a book by Allen Carr, namely "Easy way to stop smoking" .

How I started this filthy habit.
First year in college I got introduced to Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. I think that changed my life for ever. Every young blood is considered "hot" and I think its because every young person(especially the ones entering college life) is looking for his/her place in this world and he wants his place to be that of pride and/or envy of his peers(read friends). He searches for greatness within him. Yes, this is true for everyone, one may be going for being the most normal (common) person and he is doing so because subconsciously he believes being common is being noble.

My Smoker Idol.
So, here I was, first semester, I don't have gifted brain like some of my friends, I am not talented in the field of dance or drama or sports. I was from a small town hence I wasn't "cool" like DASAs or Delhites. Then came "Howard Roark" a fictional man, the hero of Fountainhead, my Idol and I truly believed the following quote by Ayn Rand (to some extent I still do, but acting on it is neither easy nor provides much satisfaction or happiness):

"A man as a heroic being, is the man with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

My hero treated cigarettes as piece of art, a thing to pray for, an instrument for achieving greatness via thinking while smoking. Ayn Rand's obsession with cigarettes is evident in her other book "Atlas Shrugged" as one of her characters praises it:

"I like to think of fire held in a man's hand. Fire, a dangerous force, tamed at his fingertips. I often wonder about the hours when a man sits alone, watching the smoke of a cigarette, thinking. I wonder what great things have come from such hours. When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind--and it is proper that he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one expression."

I always believed smoking as a bad habit. One of my uncle died at a very young age because of lung cancer caused by his smoking habit. But now in college, I started to believe that smoking is not that bad and there is no harm in trying it. It's not like I ran out and bought cigarettes and started to smoke, now all I needed was a catalyst.

My smoker Friend (catalyst)
The first friend I made in college was a smoker since his school days and no he didn't ask me to try it. In fact he was against anyone trying it. But since he used to smoke regularly and we were hanging out a lot, there was only so many times he could say no to my request for a puff. Its been 10 years since my first cigarette and now I hate each and every puff I took.

Bye Navy Cut.
For the last 10 years I smoked only one brand of cigarettes namely Navy-cut, all smokers in colleges in India start with one brand(mostly Navy cut or Gold Flake as these are affordable brand) and then later move on to different brands which are lighter, cooler or better tasting etc. I loved navy cut so much that even my blog has its mention in the title. But all it took to say bye was the above mentioned book and 6 hours I spent reading it. I started reading it like 2 weeks ago but stopped in between because I FEARED that I might actually quit smoking after reading the book. Well all I can say now is that the smoke has cleared and things are looking brighter by hour.