“Police ki tshungni buni bu drikpey la, onu zancho la kam,” my wife frowned at me furiously. Well, this is not the first time I’m experiencing her disapprovals. I’m more or less quite used to such frowns of her and every time I kept it aside turning my deaf ear. But that day, it was different. Her remarks really got into my spines making me go numb and speechless, not because I’m afraid of either police or going to prison, but because I’ve a mission to accomplish and definitely not to waste rest of my life behind bars.
At that instant, the thoughts of Sonam Tshering getting caught with few packets of Baba and attending court hearings in handcuffs took hold of my mind. Vivid pictures of news headlines of people being caught with illegal substance at various check points flooded my tiny brain.
“What if I’m really caught? Would you be happy?” were some of my abrupt reactions to her.
For a moment, she sent me straight away to the jail. I could imagine myself sitting at the corner of one of the cells of a filthy prison (like in one of those Bollywood movies). Tlot…tlot…tlot! I hear the footsteps of police constable on duty walking the corridors. With no one to gossip around, I’m there all alone filled with regrets – as to why I forced myself into this. It’s a hell out there. No, I do not wish to lock up myself like that.
I could hear our younger daughter cry over her meal in the living room. Elder one was near us. Gazing at the innocent expressions on the face of our daughter, I said, “Our daughters would need me here, isn’t it?” and pinched on her left cheek. If it were not for my death why the hell should I leave them? I started it, and so must I give them the best, for their growth, for their education and above all, for their happiness.
“But you promised me that you’d quit when our daughter tries out her first verbal skills,” reminded my wife. I looked at our daughter. Of late she has also started saying, “Apa Jangbu zalay,” whenever I take out my yellow packet. My wife hates my old habit of chewing tobacco. I don’t like it either. It clings to me, just because I’m addicted to it. On several occasions I tried to quit but in vain, as its withdrawal syndrome steps in dearly. That’s because it has been with me for so long and parting probably isn’t any easy. I started it when I was fourteen and today I’m nearing forty.
Now with stringent laws of the government, its accessibility has been zeroed down. But I still own few stocks of it that I managed to sneak through during one of my visits to Gelephu last winter. With the law above me, the frequency and the quantity of my consumption have gone down too. It’s my idea to quit once I finish my last stock. But with my stock depleting now, I’m beginning to worry – will I be successful this time? Will the law cleanse me from nicotine?
“You better be,” I hear my other mind speak, “your daughter might try it out very soon or even worse, you might as well land up in the jail.”
But…but will my wife love me more after that?
Let’s wait and see!!