Friday, March 2, 2018

Smoking and Childhood

The closest I had ever come to smoking was when I was 6years old when my neighborhood friend introduced me to the dried branch of "turai" (torai,  gourd). It has perforations that allow to be lighted and smoked. Did smoke that for a few days. Got caught,  and somehow my mother logically convinced me to never go near to it again.

My both "mamoos" (maternal uncle) were major in army and both were chain smokers in 19760s-70s.  Rauf Mamoo was chain smoker of King Stork. He used to light the next cigarette from the previous. My duty was to keep replenishing his supply when he used to come n stay with us for a couple of days on his way back from training exercises in the North. In Islamabad of 1968-69 getting King Stork was difficult.  I had to cycle miles to get it from Aabpara if it was not available on the corner store. It was hard and tedious especially when he would run out of supply at odd times.

I have a vague memory of taking a puff of the leftover part, and thoroughly disliking it and never ever trying again the rest of my life,  despite peer pressure from cousins n friends.  😊☺

My mother was an ultimate self learned child psychologist. As I recollect,  here are the few things she did that discouraged us not to delve into smoking.

1. Didn't scream, or got angry when she caught me.
2. Didn't make fun or gave physical punishment.
3. Tried to find time when we were willing to listen then gently discussed examples of people around us who never smoked and never found a need to smoke.
4. Tried to explain the issues or problems that led the people around us to become smokers. Specific examples and stories that evoked sympathetic understanding.
5. Tried to explain to us why people smoke: peer pressure, need to be accepted as grownup,  need to be recognized as worthy of being considered adult, need for self worth,  need for being noticed by elders....

1 comment:

  1. Liked your blog.
    Batangay, Mountain Hiking aur Altoo waghaira ka Farar.
    Can you guess?

    ReplyDelete