Two old men sitting and watching the crowd pass them by at the side of a busy street. “Stop smoking. It will kill you.” “And you are planning to live forever. Is it?” “No, but it will kill you sooner.” “Everyone dies sooner or later. We are all just waiting for our turn.” A beautiful girl emerged from the crowd and approached them. “Look at her, she is drop dead gorgeous.” She came close and said “Hello!” “Who are you?” “I am Death", she said. “But I thought Death was…” “The older one gets, the more beautiful Death becomes.”.

"Man, how long have we known each other?" "Must be already 30 years!" "Then you trust me, no?" "I believe I do." "Listen to my advice, Quit smoking and kick the goddamn smelly butts away." "I can't." "Why not?" "They are my inspiration when choosing my women." "Hmpff. Then you should at least start smoking better cigarettes.".

Ignited Lesson

Firdaus Rahaman

"Which better day to quit the burning stick than on your birthday eh?" Puffing rings in the air Vijay replied, "You smoke?" "No". "Then you won't understand. The soothe. The relaxation. The calmness." "I used to know." "What? You quit? I mean how could you? It's impossible" Firdaus handed him a birthday card. "Life teaches you the hard way sometimes. I will leave. Chemo time." Vijay threw away the butt as he read the card which said, "You are a Cancer by birth. Don't make it your death sunsign.".

Hear me?


"Stop it. Don't. Please let this one be your last." He begged the man beside him. "Can't you hear me? I said stop." He tried relentlessly. 'Why can't he hear me. I need to tell him to stop. What must be the reason, I wonder. Failed marriage, loneliness, a lost job?' "Listen brother, you need to stop it. It won't help anyway. Things will remain the same even after this fag. But your lungs, they will give up on you one day." The man didn't respond. "Can YOU hear me? No?" "Guess I really am dead." .

All Fagged Out


The old man thinks he's smoking the cigarette but it’s the cigarette that’s smoking him. This reminds me of you and our wild hostel life. You were the 'macho' guy on a bike with a lighted fag always attached to your lips making regular trips around the ladies hostel. She ignored you but our shoulders, booze and Gold Flake were always at hand. You have now kicked the butt but only after the doctor has confirmed that you are at stage 2 of the dreaded ‘C’. Fight on pal or we’ll kick your butt. Just like old times. .

Never Too Late, Is it?

Leandra DSouza

One could see it in his eyes; he was devastated. His mind started flashing glimpses of that night. As usual, he had returned home after the day's hard work, with his half drunk khamba and his burning bidi. But that night, his son stayed away, under the sheets; his wife, nowhere to be seen. Who would've thought, that a simple kiss on the forehead, would result in a lifetime of sorrow? His wife still holds that brand new pump, close to her heart. As he saw his co-worker, he saw falling ashes; this time, it wasn't the cigarette..


Rohan Mukherjee

I know what you're thinking. Why am I chilling with this man who smokes his cigarette in a weird way? Really. It bugs me as well. Every. Single. Time. Truth be told, he has his reasons - he says that his lips don't blacken up, and that he gets a better hit. Oh his lungs? That's black, of course. But tell me one thing sir, who is kissing him there to begin with? .


Sanyam Jain

He would smell her, slowly touch her skin and feel her inside out. Next would be rolling her in his palms and squeezing her tight. She would make him feel powerful, burning her would make him feel powerful. With her around he was a winner. People frowned upon their relationship but for him, she would take all his pain away. She was indeed his first love..


Naveen Rane

"We both grew up as buddies and enjoyed each moment of the life by sharing everything we could", said Ganeshappa to Murgeshan. But the one thing I never shared with you was the cigarette. Though I owned a pan-bidi shop I never smoked but you being my good friend chose to take benefit of it. Today you are suffering from the chronic bronchitis. Your suffering has taught me the lesson in life that I should never help in spreading it. So out of respect for our camaraderie, I am closing my shop forever. .

A cigar butt and a sorry life


A single man adopting a girl child, still unheard of right? This man did it, he was known by the name Mr Apollo. Many a puffs from cigarettes had drained most of his energy, misery surrounded him like a never ending malice. It all started with him deciding to stay a bachelor. Mid life stuck, along with loneliness, making an orphan his own was the answer. One day came the sad news, that his adopted child had eloped, plus she had sold off her dad's property without his knowledge. .



“Hey will you please stop smoking right now?” “No. By the way, you need to tell me why you quit.” “A friend died of cancer.” “I am sorry. Did he smoke a lot?” “No.” “Alcohol? Hookah? Anything?” “No.” “God’s will then. You don’t need to quit. Here, take a puff and cheer up.” “No! Keep that evil away.” “Listen..” “HE DIDN’T SMOKE. I DID. EVEN WHEN HE WAS AROUND.” After a silent pause, the smoker got up first. They walked back into the building. A half-finished cigarette stub lay on the ground, discarded..


Ranjit Tha

‘Thomas, I want a woman…!” Thomas heard John uttering in his feeble voice. It was not an usual plea. He never expected such a demand from his mentally retarded sixty year old brother. John was born one year elder. When their parents were no more, Thomas took good care of John. “He is fine, but little slow”, he used to tell. Thomas never asked whether his brother desired a woman. And John never shared it. That evening Thomas took his brother to a brothel. While waiting outside for John, Thomas hummed a choir song; “Jesus born again…".


Renu Kaliyath

Me: Can I take a photo please? Silence... A passer by whispers, one is deaf and dumb and other sick. I had information they were once Mafia but turned into police informants. As the elder one smoked without care, younger one looked lost and helpless. Just then a police Jeep screached and stopped and picked the smoker and took off. Surprised I looked at the younger brother, and he sported a slight sly smile. He: Don't worry he can look after himself. Me: You can speak? He: How do you think we stayed alive? And he laughed uproariously..

Angel from hell


Janardan was smoking his first cigarette of the day. He was longing to light another one but that would have finished half of his daily cigarette quota. Suddenly, he noticed Kishor, his childhood friend staring from behind. “You can finish your daily quota but after that I am taking you with me.” Janardan threw the cigarette away in despair. “You are staying with me forever”, he said while looking at remaining three cigarettes in his pocket. "You are my ticket to life." Kishor had died of lung cancer just a week ago. .

He quit, he quit smoking

Bishnupriya Purkayastha

Rick was 15 when he first tasted nicotine. It was a burning sensation down to his throat, soon after that he learned the right way to enjoy it. Then smoking was a cool thing, now when he is 50 and married, the cool thing became a habit, companionship for years through phases of life. But after a massive heart attack when Rick opened eyes, he knew what his family went through. He thought he will die, but this was a lesson. It was his time to choose the family over a companionship which caused damage to his health. .


Aurindam Mukherjee

You wait for life all your life, practically. And yet you find the true meaning of life only when you are staring death in the face. Then, and only then, do you get the chance to find yourself through the echoes of the years gone by. And in those years, you find yourself not in the middle of disappointments, but the people who stayed there with you, those who held your hands and those who left. You realize that in your twilight years, it’s not the time to mourn those who have left, but those who’ve been there, always..

​ Bitter Logic

navneet micro mishra

​"Stupid! Cancer is a propaganda. I have been smoking since I was fifteen." "Yes! Raghu bhai." Next day Raghu died of cancer. He wasn't even aware of it when he died. Anita, a social worker, tried to speak to Shankar about cancer and tobacco. But Shankar's philosophy was breathtaking. "Why do you blame tobacco for cancer? It's because of people like you that cigarettes are becoming expensive. I've seen many who don't use tobacco yet have cancer. There are many who use tobacco yet don't have cancer. Then how is tobacco responsible for cancer?" She was feeling helpless thinking how to explain..


Priyanka Dey

My friend of 49 years, took his first drag from my cigarette. I sat in admiration wondering what made him take the step today, that took 49 years of convincing! He looked at me and said, here's to the incomplete half century of our friendship. Your cigarette caused me lung cancer. Now at my death bed, I thought I'd befriend my marauder at least before I leave. If only we knew the consequences of our doings!.

A Christmas Carol

Matilda Briggs

As Scrooge puffed away on that cold, bleak Christmas Eve, he felt the presence of his late puff buddy, Marley. “Thou shall be visited by three spirits. Heed to them!” Suddenly, Ghost of the Christmas past showed him how his grandson, Tiny Tim, shared his first few puffs with his cool grandfather. Ghost of the Christmas Present, took him to a grown up Tim, urging his wife, Lily, to give him company. Ghost of the Christmas Yet to Come, showed him a grieving Lily who had delivered a stillborn child. Tim was in debt, paying for his cancer treatment. .

Insensitive Doctor!


Finally the last two patients were sitting outside the makeshift clinic. The doctors seem happy as they are about to finish the work for the day before time. One of the junior doctors asks his senior, "Why do they smoke?" Senior replied jokingly, "Because they want to die early, they want to get out their miserable life and be free from this world of problems." Junior doctor was stunned hearing the insensitive comment from his senior. He continues, "Don't worry, with due course of time, you will understand what I mean." .


Payal Phayde

"We should do more things together." "But we never do anything else together. We never do anything at all." "I heard you got the job. You're buying the next round. Can you get some the next time you come? We'll be an upgrade." "It's not hard for an old man to vanish into thin air." "Do they need more people. I do nothing all day." "I would have recommended you, but I already sent my brother on the next expedition. I am yet to receive my share." And he never came to smoke. .

The septum deviation

Manoj Kini

"One last time, can you explain inherent risk, control risk and detection risk?" *He took another puff to keep sleep at bay* "Why is that bee circling us time and again? It's like it is trying to capture our conversation!" His counterpart lousily said, clearly jittery from lack of sleep and explaining concepts throughout the night. "Shahaan!!" He woke up with a start! What was it with those concepts and old men, he wondered. Then his eyes wandered to the glowing screen. "Drat! I missed another one", he murmured under his breath as he got ready for his exam..