They say, fire in the heart sometimes sends smoke to the head. Especially if one is a chainsmoker, one can surely understand what it feels like when a smoker is deprived of a puff. The dreary chores of the present day life, hectic schedules and lack of rest are some of the major reasons cited for an increase in smoking addicts in the city.

No wonder, one can easily spot a frequent smoker at a kiosk outside any commercial office complex. In fact, there is a mushrooming of small kiosks selling cigarettes outside office buildings in Delhi-NCR. Despite government’s effort to curb the rate of smokers by issuing larger warnings on cigarette packages, running ad campaigns and awareness camps, the efforts still appear inadequate.

Recently, a colleague was travelling to Jodhpur to attend a musical concert. Unfortunately, their train was rescheduled twice, which led to a chaotic situation at the railway station. Our colleague was accompanied by some fellow journalists, who were also covering the musical gig for their respective media houses. News of the rescheduled train saw everyone getting upset.

It was well past midnight when suddenly a member of the group told our colleague that she had an urge to smoke, to which he replied that she won’t be able to do that as it was illegal to smoke in public places, that too on a railway platform. This made the lady really upset and suddenly she began to scratch her head and stamp her feet, indicating she was unable to breathe.

Puzzled by her actions, our colleague asked her about her condition and she wailed, “I need to smoke!” Not being able to pacify her, our colleague then took her outside the railway station and luckily they found a local paanwala who had opened his shop at 4 am.

They bought cigarettes and after taking a few drags, the lady calmed down and stabilised. Our daily life’s worries are the reasons we actually look out for escape routes like cigarettes. They might bring relief for a few seconds but they may well lead to big troubles tomorrow. Where lies the solution, one is often left wondering