The smokers’ anthem Sutta Na Mila by Zeest The Band is darker than you might perceive it to be.
“Doston mein baitha main sutta pee raha abba ne mujhe sutta peete dekh liya
Ghar jab mein pahuncha mujhe danda ho gaya
BC sutta, sutta na mila.
BC sutta, mujhe sutta na mila.
Initially, it sounds like a playful anthem for the smokers (and dopers) of our generation. A celebration of the mahol that comes with cigarettes and good company. But if you dig really deep and try really really hard (like the conspiracy theorists who believe that the moon is a hologram and doesn’t really exist) you will find that this lends a strong insight into how helpless and frustrated smokers feel because unhe sutta nai mila. The underlying idea behind this also aims to reflect that they need to smoke for serious reasons, e.g. fight the existential gloom, seize the means of production, battle their demons, train their dragon younglings etc etc.
Smokers get an unnecessary bad rap.
Smoking is one of those things that people hate on even though it isn’t morally wrong. It doesn’t harm other people (unless you count the effects of passive smoking or the grieving families of smokers turned cancer patients). But other than that, smokers are just people with different bad habits.
The number of times people in my university have basically said “death to smokers” politely is seriously amazing and disgusting at the same time, because they are the same people who have their own vices. They will lie to their instructors, cheat on their quizzes, preach whatever is politically correct and then turn into corporate slaves.
But God forbid someone smokes (that’s not to say that smokers don’t lie and cheat. This is merely meant to highlight that the tobacco-nazis, too, have their vices). SO here is the 411 of my smoker friends on their bad, bad habits.
There are the ones with unconventional reasons for starting smoking:
1. “I was already smoking other things so I decided I might as well smoke cigarettes too”
2. “I started smoking because I hated the world and I wanted to die ASAP through natural causes”
3. “I started because I try to try new experiences 😀 Now I mostly smoke when I’m bored or to keep my hands busy.”
Then there are the ones who do it because of their friends:
Mom: “Tumhara dost khadday main kooday ga to tum bhi koodo gay???” (“If your friend jumps into a ditch will you do the same?!”)
4. “My best friend used to smoke so I got it from there. It was just for fun but turned into a habit. And now I would call it an addiction.”
5. “I started smoking because of my friends and cousins, and my father smokes too”
6. “Mainly for stress relief and as a social tool”
7. “Started smoking cuz of my friends. This was something that I always tried to avoid when one day I was like screw it, let’s at least try it. Coughed up like hell initially but as we got together I got more and more into it.”
Then there are those who start and continue smoking for no reason at all:
8. “A few seniors were smoking, I wanted to try, so I asked them for a cigarette and that’s when it started I guess”
9. “Wanted to try it out. Then it became a habit.”
10. “Started in first year, just wanted to try it. Then I didn’t stop trying.“
11. “Just randomly without any reason, wanted to try a new thing aur ek din inhale krli“
And lastly, the ones who wanted to be cool:
12. “I started smoking because i thought it looked cool.”
Most people (like to) believe that smokers smoke for a heavy reason, that they have some tragic event/backstory that is the source of all the pain and anger they try to smoke away etc etc blah blah ((This reflects society’s need to categorize people as rational consumers because why can’t people consume something harmful just for the lulz??? Why is that idea so unacceptable??? Why must someone have a sad story to justify the act of smoking??))
We do not need to romanticize smokers with the idea of tragic backstories or put them down just because their bad habits are different than ours.
Just leave them alone.
Cover image via: @HAAbeez_FC / Twitter