An Escape from Sinning

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A thought hit my brain the other day. My state of mind went devastating then after, when more thoughts started provoking instinctively. I have a friend, Udbhav (Yudi – as he likes to be called) and this person for me is a privilege to be with. The reason is just because I’m a man of thoughts and words and so is he. Naturally, there is quite some dissimilarity between the two of us in addition to the lot of similarities that we share. Our wavelength matches, indeed and we like to exchange talks with each other, incidentally. But the thing is, he at times… (Leave it…. Let me keep the naughty criticism for some other day.) Anyhow, getting back to the point is the demand of my writing this. So, owing to the reason that Yudi and I moreover think tangentially, the thought that I was talking about was a must to be spoken to him. He agreed to it, he showed me how he sees it and likewise. We had a long discussion. But ultimately, we became a melancholy. Below here, I’m trying to pen down all that cropped in our minds and all that we spell bound into words.

“Oldies”, as the opposite age address them. And not just the opposite age i.e. the younger age group of Homo sapiens address the poor old parents, grandpas and grannies, worst still, even the other oldies who are at good enough fortune to spend their latter years with loved ones, also do release a hypocritical sigh off their so proud hearts, “Oh Lord, that’s so sad of MR. or Mrs. XYZ to stay in an old age home!”. YES, it is so bloody sad indeed, my heart roars in despair. Anyhow, more of whom I’m sad at are not these “fortunate oldies”, but the opposite age, the younger humanly creatures. I’m too a young man, just 25 years of age. And I frequently find me questioning myself that can nothing be done? And even more that I’m annoyed with are the sons and daughters of these poor old people. They are parents. They deserve respect. They should be treated well. They should be held hands with to cross the road of their life which has stepped into its final stage. Soon they would be gone too far to bother us and our busy lives. Why do children forget so easily that their parents are the ones who once had the kids sit on their shoulders and had shown them the world, had taught them how to talk, how to eat, how to differentiate between the good and the bad, it’s them who had bartered their all happiness with circumstances just to buy one smile on their innocent children’s faces. Our parents are the ones who brought us into existence owing to their physical, chemical and biological composition reacting together with added flavor of love and hope to have a new little addition into the family; but they never expected that the same little addition will grow bigger and one day will do exactly the opposite. They welcomed the newcomer but they’ll eventually become just a leftover like worn-out goods that do nothing more than spoiling the decorum of the house. We all young people need to realize that our parents are the ones who had supported our imbalanced steps when we were shifting from crawling to walking. And that we have to return it by supporting their trembling steps that have become fatigued with old age. We have to return everything that they have given us, have to reciprocate to all that they did for us. If we sit to count, can we even list out the number & kinds of sacrifices that our parents have given away just like that, with no grudge or complaint in heart?

Do they not deserve any respect? Are their hearts not willing to be enlightened for once before their light of life fuses off? Must they not receive concern of the society? Would they not have contributed anything to the society for having the society spell bounded to make them feel pathetic? There can’t be literally anything worse in this world than to be unwanted, to be left out, to be neglected, to be ignored, to be disregarded and to be left for the pitiful mercy which doesn’t serve any good at an age which has been the result of a long struggling and juggling life. And it sounds so oblivious to hear the counter arguments of some bold and practically advanced young hearts to this. Also like expressed in films many a times, children reply to their parents, “what special have you done for us, you’ve done nothing special but just followed the normal trend and have behaved like what normally parents are supposed to. You gave us birth, agreed, and hence, it was your duty to raise us, and so u did. What’s the big deal, I’ve grown up now and I’ve got my own family, I have priorities that are conflicting with your expectation of my support now.”

I know it isn’t the same case all over. However, my acclaim is that why is it at all prevalent. I agree that all parents do raise their children in the best possible way. So our parents in individual are nothing special neither have they done any different. But the fact is that “Parents” in general are special people. That whole community is a blessing and Godly. Had they given importance to setting their priorities in an ascending manner starting from their personal space, good lifestyle and individualism set at the top and sacrifices or compromises for us on the descending lines; how would it have been? Anyways, this much is an enough philosophical explanation to highlight the importance of parents and how much respect do they deserve by us as well as in the society.

It is merely cruel to disregard their presence in our lives and leave them to old age homes, and ultimately let them be just a pitiable piece for the world to call it their misfortune. But this is not going to be the end. What goes around comes around, is the rule of life. That is how nature justifies the bad with worse and good by better in form of returns and receivables. Life is a building and age is the staircase. No matter what way we climb up, we’ll have to climb down the same stairs. Age of a person grows like a tree. As the tree gets older, it starts bending downwards again to the same soil. And so is going to happen to all of us. We grow up from a child to adult and adulthood then transforms to old age. Like we made it from crawling to running, we again will have slithering steps as we will get older. And we will then realize how much of support do we need from our children. It will all appear then just as a fast flash of yesterday’s events when we had exchanged our child’s wet portion of the bed with our dry portions just so that the little gift of God sleeps without any disturbance and that when it wakes up in the morning, it can give us that one heart-winning smile, that single smile which was worth any big sacrifice and which used to give us the strength to fight the whole bloody world without an itch. We readily used to wake up at the midst of nights with loud cries of our baby or just to check the diapers.

After such a flashback of occasions of care and concern for our children, reality will hit us in the face to realize that now we’ve grown older and when we cough at night while asleep, our grown up children are terribly disturbed whilst in their sleep. And that we are shown no concern, instead, we are looked upon with an evil eye. And when it comes as the limit of such pitiful tolerances, someday, our so loved children will nicely drive us in their cars to our final destination where there are many like us. One house full of countless stories of grief like ours! What a strike back of nature! Would we not realize then, how we had been with our parents or grand parents? Yes we would, and then we would realize one more thing, “I should have anticipated this, because what goes around comes around.” While our stay in such an old age house amongst the RESPECTED Sr. Citizens of the society, our eyes will then hunt for the gone moments. We as a matter of fact, will then not feel sad for our children reacting in that manner; rather, we will just pity our parents and all those parents who were treated likewise.

We, once upon a time, while raising our children, had compromised on an office wear or a dinner outside or a movie, because it was more necessary to let “my kid” attend the school picnic. Overall, what I’m transitioning on to say is that we, the young people of the society will have to take a strong step towards stopping more old age homes being created. And that is to be done not by donating our possible perks with generosity to the aid of old people trying their survival in old age homes, but by trying to demolish this structure entirely. As a matter of fact, mostly old age homes are not opened by trusts and associations to only show their charitable concern towards the slob of society, but moreover, such inaugurations hide a lot of business-kind and selfish motives behind. The donations received by such trusts do not even genuinely reach to the actual receivers. Not that in all cases that such happens; there also subsist authentic institutions in the society trying to do all good for the betterment of the living beings; however, there are quite some that make the maximum business out of other people’s charity. Hence, instead being a donor, I would call for the conscience of all young and affordable ones amongst us that we take a step further by not encouraging more openings of such old age homes.

Erstwhile, there weren’t any of such structures and bodies governing the happy or grieved feelings/emotions of elderly humans, today there are quite many and eventually, tomorrow there will be as many that all of us young people will not be surprised to have our children filling up forms in trying to accommodate us in one of the old age homes. Let us discourage opening of new bodies like that and save our future and our old age. Let us take care of our responsibilities. Let us return our parents with all the goodies that they have showered upon our lives. It’s them because of whom we are successful and proud people today. Let us make them feel proud on us rater than we just priding our own. Let us delight their old spirits. Let us receive their good blessings for a better society, for a better future, for a better world and for a better place FOR ALL to stay in. Let us be undivided form our parents and our responsibilities towards them. Let us all do small adjustments for a big achievement at heart. We know it is not going to be a tough job. Do we not make adjustments and do compromises in other relationships viz. friends, girlfriends, wives etc. Then why not can we walk a step towards at least satisfying if not enchanting our parents. May we not prefer living together because of lifestyles that might differ, but we at least make proper arrangements for our parents to live independently; not in old age homes of course. If every son or daughter stands up with a firm mind and heart, there’ll be no old age home in the society. And we will leave a good impression, we’ll teach a good lesson, we’ll set a good example for the coming generations. In return, we will be able to expect from our children. And while it is the sunset time, we will be happy to think of our life’s graph and hence, we’ll be in real sense sad to die and depart. But, in fact, we will die merrily.

I’m not a preacher, nor a social worker. I’m just a son of my parents and I have the realization of my responsibilities. So shall you all do! All children of the world, YE WAKE UP!

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The Cigarette Story

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Prologue 

Bollywood – Back since Dev Anand murmuring, “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala Gaya” till Sanju Baba’s “dhue ka chhalla” in the present day, the dashingly characterized protagonist of Indian cinema has always been shown to add to his character with a smoke stick in his fingers and flumes of smoke blown out of mouth; that ultimately gains an overall effect to the manly charm. Also to fairly mention, female characters too have been practicing the same as per the need and design of their bold characters as well as the otherwise parameters. The censor board has been quite firm and bent toward banning smoking in films. The fonts on cigarette packets also highlight bigger and larger with statutory warnings, “CIGARETTE SMOKING IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH” or “SMOKING KILLS” etc. Despite the efforts and practices against promoting smoking or in favor of the “STOP SMOKING” campaigns, the endeavored meaning has not survived. People have not and might not surrender their smoking habits to the awareness of its anticipated cruel aftereffects, instead more and more people continue to get fascinated for smoking and submit their risk of healthiness to the stunning tobacco stick i.e. cigarettes.

How did this all happen?

Much earlier when cigarettes how they are today were non-existent, people used to enjoy stimulation through cigars or by means of drinking tobacco through pipes. Also, chewing tobacco was quite common (this phenomenon still persists in the present age as well, but it rarely prevails in the urban areas and that too is moreover limited to rural areas in India (with keeping Indian scenario in mind)). Gradually, with the passage of ages and times in motion, several ways of tobacco consumption were further developed and one of which is cigarette, came out to be the most popular and favorite invention for all. Cigarette was the last method of taking tobacco to be developed. As been said, previously, it had been smoked in pipes and cigars, inhaled as a snuff and chewed. There is no eminent information available on who invented the cigarette; however, an obvious assumption explains that cigarette must have been made out as an alternative to cigars. But there definitely are rough derivations and spread-heard stories behind the birth of cigarettes.

In former times, cigars were popular in the rich and higher classes of the society in Spain; also, that cigar was invented in Spain, apparently, its production was also carried out over there. Cigars were made by hand and were excessively expensive. Being a status quo and because of its high-end utility by the rich people, cigars were clearly too costly to be affordable by the beggars and the poor people. What these poor people would do is also very strange though natural. They would collect the cigar butts thrown by rich cigar smokers. These cigar left-over were a waste to throw away for cigar smokers but the same were the raw material for further tailored smoking tools for other men. After gathering enough raw materials, these poor men would then extract the tobacco components from the left over and crush them. They would then roll the same crush into a piece of paper and take pleasure in smoking the same. This fabricated brew was colloquially started being called as “cigarillos” by people, there; popularly dejected as “the poor man’s smoke” by the wealthy class.

With there being no point in doubting the whether or not truthfulness of the story; Such phenomenon of rolling tobacco in a piece of paper for smoking reached Europe in the 18th century and then it was made to reach France, further. Here, it was given the name, “cigarette” and it is after France that the cigarette took the flight. It became well-liked, admired and for it being the new trendy thing in all the rage, cigarettes got increasingly widespread amongst throughout the human existence, just like air. This progression was due to the reason that cigarettes had become so common and easily achievable by then that any man could readily roll a cigarette for self anywhere just with having some tobacco and a piece of paper. One more incentive was that cigarettes came out to be at the least cost of making as compared to the ready made cigars, also, that it involved far lesser amount of complicated efforts to smoke a cigarette than smoking a pipe. Hence, an encompassed bunch of valid reasons for cigarettes to receive unstopping popularity would contain these; they were cheaper than cigars, less troublesome than a pipe and more stylish than a snuff. One would simply carry his own quantity of tobacco and some sheets of paper to wherever he wants and form his own cigarettes at the ease of choice and smoking desirability.

It was when Columbus discovered America that tobacco was conveyed to Europe and the rest of the whole world. And tobacco, as a matter of fact was misconstrued to having possessed splendid medically therapeutic properties. While it being said above that there isn’t eminent information on who invented the cigarette, it as is good to confess that no one could be credited to have truly invented the cigarette. It came as a modification, a reduction of cigars and that was out of desperate passion to smoke tobacco because of the thrill and the pleasure giving ride that it gives to one. Cigarettes then finally got introduced to the British soldiers during their participation in the Crimean war in 1850. These army men from Britain picked up to being habituated to cigarette smoking with the soldiers of Turkey and Russia. From there, it continued till America where tobacco had been discovered for the first most time, centuries ago. Initially, cigarettes were only handmade until in 1880 that an anonymous American invented a machine to do the mechanism, increasing the numbers made every year from 500 million to 4,000 million – in America alone! Today, a cigarette is every minute.

How is a cigarette made to production?

As is made up of composing a mixture of paper, processed tobacco, PVA and cellulose acetate filter. Albeit that the process of producing a cigarette is seemingly simple, the more complicated and much specialized is the course of processing the tobacco that is used. As indicated by an approximated estimation, the tobacco to be used in making a cigarette comprises of more than 100 different chemicals and compositions.

Facts!

Based on a study conducted in the direction, figures state that approximately 11.55 billion cigarettes are produced in the whole world yearly. And this whole amount of cigarettes is consumed by more than 1 billion people worldwide.

Overall, cigarette consumption is more often and most commonly noted in males, however, America denotes up to a boisterous 22% of female candidates treating their indulgence in smoking cigarettes. Whereas, Europe contends that number with even more rowdy 26% of female smokers; while on the contrary, Africa and Asia are way behind by measly & modest 4%.

On the same tangent concerning India, as per the obtainable statistics on account of World Health Organization (WHO), 43% men and 3% women in India enjoy cigarette smoking. India alone produces nearly 10 billion cigarettes, annually.

Whether it does or does not be a worrying matter, but the real fact is that half men out of the total male population in India are cigarette-captivated and all the more are picking up on the fondness.