I was fifteen.
Whorls of smoke rose from father’s lips
But my first smoke felt like lung whips.
Routine. Ritual. Habit, it became
And life would never be the same.
They the heroes took the puff
And I bought it on the cuff.
It seemed cool
Till I knew I was made a fool.
I was twenty.
Colleagues with teeth stained red.
Try it, they said.
Red stains. Pan and gutka stains. Tobacco stains.
And Alas, it brought all these pains.
Bitter it tasted
And my money was wasted
Yet, I spat out red
Until the day I spat out blood.
Importance of life’s most
Is realised not till it’s lost.
People. Time. Money. Love. Air.
No, this isn’t fair.
Every breath a struggle
Machines giving all oxygen they could smuggle.
Now it is too late
To create a new slate
A warning note
To my son I wrote.
Slow death. Painful death. Breathless death
This tobacco steals your breath.
Little packets of lies
Your pocket it dries.
To life I bow
Thanks to tobacco.