The Puff

My family owned a tobacco business for a few years when I was a child.  All the adult men in our family had to smoke to assess the quality of the tobacco.  The youngsters, particularly from the family of my uncles, were not prohibited from smoking. If they had to be a part of the business, they had to know the taste of the tobacco.

Smoking, however, never interested me.  As a child, I thought smoking was bad for youngsters and may be good for older people who earn out of it. I didn’t smoke and my dad didn’t want me to smoke ever.

Around the mid 1950s, on one specific occasion, curiosity got the better of me – I wanted to know what a smoke tastes like.  I chose a time when my dad’s office was empty.  I closed both doors to the office.  To ensure that no one detects me, I crept under the office table, and put a beedi in my mouth, filmy style.

I tried to copy Dilip Kumar, N T Ramarao or Nageswar Rao, the then Hindi and Telugu famous movie actors. I lit the beedi, and took my first puff.  Oh no! I started coughing immediately. The cough just would not stop.

My dad was in the quality inspection room located just behind the office room.  He sent our senior supervisor Girijappa to figure what was wrong with me.  Girijappa rushed, looked at me, understood what I was upto. He said it is not unusual and that it happens when you smoke for the first time.  That was the only puff I had in my life.  I hated the concept thereafter.

I thank that puff for keeping me away from smoking forever.

Written: Badri Baldawa                                Edited: Meeta Kabra

This entry was posted in Biography, Family, Fun, Medical doctors, Morals, My First Lessons, Parent Category by badri. Bookmark the permalink.

About badri

As I approached 68 (2013), my son, Anand insisted that I had proven enough in my 45-year long career and it was time I took life a little easier; enjoy traveling (that I love) and social life. Yet, I somehow wanted to contribute positively and was exploring my options. My son-in-law, Navin suggested that I should write and share my experiences, “being a self-made man, you should tell the next generation how you overcame various obstacles to reach this position, in both, business and social circles.” He pointed out that while I was sharing my experiences with family and friends, as they approached me, a blog had the potential to take your voice to many, many more. He also insisted that I start mentoring youngsters who were new in their businesses. I was convinced. I offered my services pro bono, as part of a Guidance Program. Also, I started writing on this blog, bringing out figments from my memory as experiences that might be of value to the readers here. My daughter Meeta is sweet enough to spare her time to edit what I write. As a youngster, I thought one meal a day, one set of school uniform a year, a public place to study, lack of finance and basic shelter would keep me from achieving my dreams. To compensate, I started giving 110% of what was normally expected. Yes, 110% even in bad deeds! This worked. The very limitations started inspiring me in different phases of my life – meritorious results in studies; strength to shoulder family responsibilities; satisfied employers; establishing a successful business of my own; and in my adventure trips and other travel plans. Having done what I wanted to, I agreed it was time for me to expose myself! I felt, through this blog, I could and should share my expereinces. Hopefully, readers would find some bits useful and if not, they’d enjoy reading. Look forward to interact with you. Happy Reading, Badri Baldawa

3 thoughts on “The Puff

  1. Nice one!
    I still remember when I was small and I use to request you to stop having “pan” for I thought it was bad.

  2. even I puffed once for experience…
    I rolled a piece of paper nd lighted a side of paper nd inhaled…nd den even I was coughing for 10 mins!!! :p

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