Smoker’s Philosophy


Having seen his last patient
my doctor cousin came out
and reached for his cigarette.

Lighted a match cupping his hands
and breathed-in a lungful.
Letting it linger a while in his bloated mouth,
he breathed it out slowly
reflecting the pleasure of
a man taking manna.
Brimming with freshness, and with his hallmark smile
he enquired about my welfare.

Ignoring his query
I asked him in turn
why he recks not his own reed.
Doesn’t each cigarette he smokes
cuts off 5 minutes of his span.

laughing at my words heartily,
and turning philosophical suddenly, he said:
All of us are smokers
smoking time ever since we started
breathing off the mother.
The only difference being,
here one knows when he reaches the butt-end
and can be on guard,
there, no one knows
how many puffs are left out.

25th May 1989

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