Thursday, April 30, 2009


One really good thing I like about Oman is we can exercise our right to freedom of expression and free-thinking (in some aspects at least !!!) we can bloody smoke wherever we want…..back in India we had to always be on the watch for greedy corrupt cops who are always lookin to make a fast buck…..somebody might be getting raped or slaughtered somewhere around but the cops won’t give a damn….they r more worried about protecting the youth from getting lung cancer….crazy country….fortunately for me Sutherland (the place where I used to work ) had a smoking zone…in fact 2 smoking zones, one on the top floor (It was actually the terrace of the building !!!) and one on the ground floor ….. it was a gr8 place to network coz all the smokers would be there…..u could freely mingle with the big bosses who would come down to bust stress, with the new joinees who would come down to gape & drool at some hot chicks smoking and a lot of other guys who used to lie to their team-leaders tht they were down with the flu and just came down to the zone to while away time……several long-lasting friendships were formed in those smoking zones……and then came the party-pooper, our dear Health Minister Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss. I don’t know what he really wanted to accomplish….but he made a new rule which banned smoking zones in corporate buildings….hundreds of thousands of smokers were really let down by this inconsiderate decision of the Indian government…….the smokers used to have a secluded place where they could smoke in peace with no qualms about ruining other people’s health with second-hand smoke……but when this new law was passed we had no other option but to take it to the streets…..literally… we didn’t go out and protest or anything….but since we couldn’t smoke in our own private smoking zones we just started smoking outside on the roads, behind trees and buildings, inside and around fuel stations, anywhere we bloody felt like……other peoples health be damned..…and the cops ?? the cops were like astounded….at anytime of the day or night there would/will be atleast 20-30 smokers puffing away to glory outside the office building , and similarly around all the IT and other major companies...and that was during off-peak peak times there would be like at least 50 poeple outside near the dhaba havin tea and a couple of fags…..they didn’t have and still don’t have enough manpower to round up all the offenders and charge them….so they just left us alone…..

So what did dear Anbumani Ramadoss really achieve ??...instead of reducing smoking he actually just brought the whole thing outside into public from private spaces….so now many more kids see adults and wannabe-adults smoking out in public……they get inspired and they also pick up the habit……I am not trying to promote smoking here…..what I really don’t understand is if smoking is really all that bad for people’s health why the hell is the damn thing still legally sold everywhere ?? there is not a single shop in India that does not stock cigarettes, how many places stock cocaine, heroin or potassium cyanide ?? none…why ?? coz they are seriously injurious to health……so if tobacco and tobacco products are so injurious to health then shouldn’t these products be totally banned so that nobody uses them, so nobody is at risk ???

I am a huge fan of Discovery Travel & Living , and in it they used to show these restaurants & cafes in France where people used to sit around, chat , have a couple of muffins & coffee and smoke !!! …..yeah smoke !!!… I used to think that France was the ultimate country….the place where free-thinking and freedom of expression was really enforced and practiced….and then I came to Oman…..Initially due to the hangover of being in the smoking-repressed India for such a long time, and being out of touch with Oman for such a long time I didn’t know what was legal and illegal here…..and most of my buddies here being non-smokers they also didn’t have a clue….but now I discover that Oman is just like France, if not much better coz over here though alcoholism and drugs are not really appreciated smoking is just fine….neither the government nor the public gives a shit whether people smoke outside or inside……and that is just how it should be…..people should be given the bloody freedom to choose what they feel is right and wrong….till age 18 I can understand kids not having the maturity to decide, but after that age, if we can bloody choose governments then why can’t we choose what we want to do with our own lives…..if they are banning smoking why aren’t they banning McDonald’s or KFC, people are misusing their right to eat and hogging too much fast-food and becoming insanely obese and killing themselves….isn’t that a problem ?? Nowadays Pepsi & tomatoes have more pesticides and are more harmful than marlboro lights......isn't that a problem ?? What about all the ancient vehicles out on the road that spew out heavy black smoke ?? What about factories and power plants that turn the atmosphere into black muck ?? What about the bloody United f**kin States of America, a country so worried and concerned about pollution that it didn't even bother to sign the Kyoto Protocol ?? Isn't all these problems ???