Saturday evenings are always pleasant. The thought that next day is Sunday brings an air of freshness to the mind. Sitting before my computer after my Saturday dinner I was thinking of some strange happenings this week. I would like to share an incident that troubled me this week.
It was Thursday morning. My mind was at peace and at an elated state after sending the report on time, after a long struggle to get my schedule on time. With this thought I went to the nearby snacks bar to have sweet lime juice which I used to have normally to keep the ulcer problem at bay. When I was thinking about the day’s work after placing the order, there came five boys, their age ranging from 10 to 17. From their look I can make sure that they are not the boys who work somewhere or so. They came and ordered tea, the first astonishment for me. At the age of 10 a boy comes to a snacks bar and orders tea in this early morning. What are their parents doing at home even without making a tea for them? The worst is to follow, a guy from the group asked for a cigarette. Totally relieved of my thought process, shocked I looked at the boy who asked for it and then at the shop owner. The shop owner replied that he can’t sell cigarettes to boys and this guy had a reply for that also. “I am not a small kid and I am in the first year of Polytechnic” was the reply. Don’t know what prompted the shop owner to say that, but he denied cigarette saying that he didn’t have the brand which the guy was asking. At this, he asked another boy who was with him to go to a petty shop near by and purchase it. My thought process was into many things. When the petty shop owner sells the cigarette to the boy who had went to purchase it, is it not illegal. Selling cigarette to minors is illegal.
Got curious and asked the guy who wanted the cigarette about his age. He said he is 17. Even at the age of 17 one is not entitled to smoke is what our law says and I mentioned this to him. He blushed and I asked him what pleasure he derives by smoking. Again a blushing smile. I asked him whether he had been to the Adayar Cancer Hospital and saw the Cancer patients. To my shock he said, he had been there for 5 years continuously when his mother was taking treatment for cancer. I asked him to visit the mouth cancer division and meet people who got cancer because of smoking in the same Adayar Cancer Institute when he gets time. I explained him something about cancer and the dangers of smoking. I didn’t ask him to stop smoking. This young generation is supposed to go strong when we restrict them on something and also have developed the habit of reverting back with questions. So I stopped myself here and started back to my office. This kept on itching in my mind the whole day.