I swallowed my breakfast in few large bites and hurriedly walked towards the bus stop. Bus stop during weekdays is crowded and I can see people like me in hurry to reach office, two other ladies, an old couple and a man. I can smell something familiar in air, and turned to look around. Unintended I gave a stare to the man making it awkward for him, as I spot him smoking.

A bus stops, I get in and take a seat. I sit beside a window and choose to look out, amidst of all the chaos happening inside the bus. The smell of smoke still fresh, my mind eluded to the day I had first smoked.

I remember it happened in summer holidays, results were out, and I was going to be in standard 7. Summer holidays and absence of parents at home was a pure leisure, a true sense of freedom. So one such day, I got a chance to climb onto the sofa back and explore the top glass shelf. After several attempts to balance myself on sofa back and slide the glass of shelf simultaneously , I found few old books (none of which I understood) and a pack of Cigarettes. I stretched my hand a little more, and dragged few more packets. I had heard Dad telling Baba (Grandfather) to keep stuff in top shelf earlier but this, I never expected.

I carefully opened a packet, took out a Cigarette. “What do I do now?” I thought. First things first , I carefully dissected a Cigarette,got nothing but brown powder. What a waste!. Of course ,I had seen Baba lighting it up and pulling smoke in mouth. So, I lit the next cigarette, put it in mouth and pulled in air. Woaahhhh! I had smoke in my mouth, but what now? “Hold it in, and wait. No way!!” I was confused, and released the smoke. Once more, but this time I accidentally I took a breath, letting smoke straight to lungs. I gasped for air, and had to let out smoke forcibly, leading to uncontrollable cough fit for 2 minutes.

“Slow down Idiot” I told myself and was careful until I finished the Cigarette. I kept everything back to shelf, like no one ever touched it.Brushed my teeth, opened windows in the room to remove the odour and cleaned it spotless.

I did this couple of times more after that, I liked how my mouth tasted of tobacco. I don’t remember smoking again until once when I was in college and then again when I started to work. Smoking was never a need but a choice when available to me.

I am not addicted to it and must be smoking 20-25 Cigarettes a year now. Every time I see people smoking, I wish I could have a puff or two.

Hard to believe, how we still do things that we know will harm us. There is always the first time to everything, but taking our own control is always up to us. With this, I hope someday I will quit smoking completely.

Driver puts a break, I almost forgot I am in bus. I get down and walk towards office. Far away I can see a group of people talking, amidst of smoke. I smell the smoke again as I walk past them, only this time I look away.