Thursday, October 2, 2008

And Ramadoss huffed and he puffed and he blew us all down.

Sigh. It's D-day. So thanks to Ramadoss I may never die of cancer. But die of boredom I will. That's for sure. Ciggies helped kill time while waiting to be served at restaurants, when flights were delayed, when I was stuck in a traffic jam. Damn. Damn Damn. Pasting article I wrote for DNA on the ciggie ban below. Was published a month back, but I just had to re-read it today.
Here goes:
Contrary to what my friends believe, I’m not going to burn a tobacco-stuffed effigy of Union Health Minister Dr. A. Ramadoss on the 2nd of October. Hello, why should I waste good tobacco? Besides, I’m a reasonable person, and I think Ramadoss has given smokers a fairly decent deal. In a gracious Marie Antoinette manner he has proclaimed, ‘Let them have all the streets and parks in the country.’ So kind. Incidentally, I’m betting heavily on the possibility that he’ll be forced to throw in a few government issue ashtrays too- not to placate us, oh no, smokers don’t have feelings, if you cut us we don’t bleed either. It’s the robust morning walk, barefoot-in-the-park brigade who will complain acrimoniously about doing a modern day version of the Great Indian Walking-On-Live-Coals Act. But hey, that’s not my problem.
And as for those scary visuals that will dominate cigarette packs, ah come on. As my hero Alfred E. Neuman says, ‘What, me worry?’ Pictures of infected lungs don’t make me shriek in terror or wail for my mommy. Now, if Ramadoss had any insight, he’d have put pictures of cockroaches and slimy slugs instead. Ew-creepy. Those may not inspire me to kick the habit either, but they certainly will make me shudder convulsively. That’s a step in the right direction, innit?
It’s the streets that give me sleepless nights, though. Ever since he issued that diktat, I’ve been forlornly singing a post-Ramadoss version of REMs Losing my Religion in my head. It goes like this: ‘That’s me in the corner, that’s me under the street light, being checked out by shady people.’ I don’t know what you’re going to do about it, but I have a plan in place. I’m getting a dozen tees printed with the following message: ‘I’m a good girl I am, it’s Dr. Ramadoss who made me do it.’ That would help clear the air considerably when passersby shiftily mutter ‘How much?’ Rest assured I’ve sternly instructed the printer to ensure that the message is repeated in Hindi and Marathi too. Get real, I’m willing to pay a hefty fine for smoking, but I’m not particularly keen on being lynched by our local political worthies.

The end of the article. And the end of my life too. Never imagined that this day would come. Also never imagined that I would enjoy Justin Timberlake and ACTUALLY ADMIT IT IN PUBLIC, GASP! But, hey, I kind of love Sexy Back. It's a sexy song.


Naval Langa said...

To Ms. Rupa Gulab

Don't you think that the government should do something with the producers of the cigarettes?
I liked the arrangement of the argument you put in your blogs.

If you are interested in reading short stories and other writings by an Indian author, do visit my blogs.

Naval Langa

Saltwater Blues said...

LOL!! you are so mad!!

Ramesh Srivats said...

Ramadoss is going to leave us cleaner, healtjier and really, really bored. You can read my post on this at

rupagulab said...

@ramesh: Read it already! My nephew, who works in your office sent the link to me. Very funny! esp the bit abt the Bong accent!