We, a group of six friends, had just finished our board examinations. Teenagers, freedom from school life(every time, we asked for something from our parents, promptly came a reply, “First, concentrate on your boards, will see afterwards”, so now we were free from this dialogue) and the icing on the cake was our age – we all had attained the age of 18 years, an age which gives the license to enter the otherwise formidable zone.
We all lived in neighbouring areas, so schemes for the day were finalized during the much-awaited morning walk. Naaa, we weren’t health-conscious at all. Morning walk was only an excuse to make plans.
Every morning, six minds collaborated to chalk out strategies for entering the ‘not for kids‘ zone. After all, we have traversed that phase, even the government had declared us adults and currently, there was no career-making pressure, so this was the time to explore the unexplored by us.
Our first expedition was to try our hands at smoking.
That day, we decided to use Kanika’s terrace for our adventure of smoking cigarettes. We all agreed on Kanika’s terrace because her parents were working and they came late at night. Her younger brother was easy to fool. We always saw people making creative clouds while smoking. We too wanted to give it a try. So the big question now was: How and who will do the purchases?
After much introspection, purchasing option was dropped down the drain for fear of being caught. Ridhima’s dad was a chain smoker. She came forward with the idea of stealing one box from her dad’s drawer.
We all gave hi-five, wished Ridhima the best of luck, and went to our respective houses only to meet in the evening at Kanika’s terrace.
All through the day, there was anxiety. Butterflies were fluttering in our stomachs but, this was to be done. We met in the evening. Ridhima had done her part of stealing with proficiency. Matchbox too was arranged.
We were doing a bad deed but still, we prayed to GOD, took one cigarette each, held it between our index and middle finger(just like we have seen people) and on the count of three, put its butt in our mouths. Then, again on the count of three, we lit the matchsticks and with it, our cigarettes.
We inhaled and while exhaling, the entire area reverberated with our coughing. Our eyes and nose started watering. Uneasiness gripped us, we all started shaking our hands.
We had seen the condition of first-time smokers in movies so we didn’t feel scared. We were prepared for such a scenario. After a few seconds, we laughed our hearts out like maniacs, and thereafter, we all gave smoking one more shot. We coughed again, laughed again but didn’t try again.
We drained the leftovers and ate two-three polos each.
We spent half an hour thereafter discussing the experience. We were in awe of why people smoke. We were feeling a burning sensation in our chest.
That was the first and the last time that we touched that formidable thing but that adventure satiated one of our cravings to feel grown-up. The next being- trying drinks.