Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
Mahatma Gandhi 13 - An Attempt To Smoke - Poem by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
Around the same period of meat-eating days,
Young Mohandas together with a relative,
Was enamoured by the smell of cigarettes!
They enjoyed watching clouds of smoke
That emitted from an uncle's mouth
The boys wanted to copy the uncle.
Specially, the way he smoked English cigarettes!
But the boys had no money to buy cigarettes.
They began collecting stumps of cigarettes
That were thrown around by the uncle.
When there was a dearth of stumps
They would begin to steal coins
That too from the poor domestic's
Meagre pocket money,
Just to buy Indian cigarettes!
When this method became tiresome,
They resorted to porous plants,
And began smoking with them.
However, this too became cumbersome!
At last in sheer frustration,
The two boys even decided to commit suicide.
They had heard of the poisonous dhatura seeds
An effective poison!
They went into a jungle and obtained dhatura seeds
They had hardly consumed one or two seeds
When alas! Courage failed them.
They realised that it was not easy to commit suicide
Perhaps, they understood the blunder they were committing
And took a firm decision to dismiss the suicide plan altogether.
Thanks to their intelligence and the reasoning power
They decided to bid good bye to smoking forever.
"Ever since I have grown up,
I have never desired to smoke and have always regarded
The habit of smoking as barbarous, dirty and harmful!
I have never understood why there is such a desire
For smoking throughout the world!
I cannot bear to travel in a compartment,
Full of people, smoking! I become choked! "
Are most challenging years of life!
With loads to study,
With many restrictions at home,
With hardly any freedom,
With many dreams ahead,
With new responsibilities and
To make the right decisions in life!
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Right from school, good company leads one towards a path of growth and progress, while bad company misleads and misguides one in life.
Gandhiji, as a boy admitted to certain mistakes, but took firm resolutions never to repeat them again in his life. And he kept his promise.
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