Grab a deal and take humiliation back home


New Delhi: In the recent years Delhi has emerged as an undisputed “crime capital” of India. Topping the charts in criminal activities, Delhi’s crime rate grew 357.2 more than double the national crime rate of 167.7. This plague called ‘Crime’ is spreading all over the country but centralised in metro cities to an extent. According to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) Delhi, Mumbai and Banglooru together contributed more than one-third crimes reported in Indian cities. Delhi is in great danger with recent bomb blasts and other criminal activities, especially when country is entering into the festive season. From shop keepers to shoppers, everyone is breathing under a threatening environment oblivious to live bombs ticking somewhere. It is sad to see empty shoppers paradise like Lajpat Nagar, Saronjini Nagar, Greater Kailash and Cannaught Place which used to say packed with customers during festival season.


Crimes as big as bomb blasts over shadow the small crimes reported in the metro cities. Recently many people got mugged by a gang of criminals who sell new mobile hand sets on the roads. Humiliation kicks in when those hand sets turn into plastic replicas of their original counterpart. Innocent people find themselves trapped in their made up stories of this gang to sell off their phoney items. This gang sells newly launched and expensive mobile handsets at unbelievable price in exchange of existing handset or money from targeted customer. This cannot be ignored as similar cases happened with more than a million people during or off festivals. This active gang in Delhi is a set of professionals who will show original handsets to the customers and let them use as well to check. To steal a deal, innocent people grab the elusive offer and take home a nicely packed plastic dummy. What a shame! These professionals swiftly change the original handsets with dummies and hand them over to the targeted customers in a branded cover. Pride of snatching a deal soon turns into a humiliating scene.


Such incidents are equivalent to a bomb blast which takes place inside that person who has got cheated. The sense of being cheated is so disgraceful that hits the moral of victims and haunts them throughout their lives. The only way to achieve success against such cases is to spread awareness amongst people. It is a humble request and a strict warning to all those people who fall for such road side deals. Stay away from any such temptations no matter how much attractive and genuine they may seem. BEWARE you can be their next target.


Smoking banned – A non-smoker’s bliss


Feel like smoking soon after a good meal at the restaurant or light up a cigarette in a pub? So let me tell you dear, it is strictly prohibited on the Indian turf now. If next time you wish to make rings out of smoke, then please find a suitable place for yourself to put up a show. It will impress no one but police to charge a fine of Rs. 200 for non compliance. You are surely forbidden to light up a cigarette in the public area.


You know what? Even I am forbidden.


Flash back




This ban takes me back in time when I went to London for a business meeting. I booked a smoking room in a hotel to take a puff every night in that beautiful city. Short after my check-in I realised, I was given a non-smoking room with sprinklers and fire alarms. Like any other foreigner I headed straight to the reception and started to behave as an irate customer. I showed the booking confirmation mail to a well-suited gentleman, which clearly stated – Non-smoking room for 7 nights. Trust me British hospitality is no where close to Indian “bend backwards” attitude. It comes from our five thousand years old heritage and culture, “Atithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is a god). This guy at the reception said in his deep voice “Smoking is banned in the UK since last month, you can feel free outside on the road”. Thinking, why the hell this ban was implemented a month before and not a month later?


The innovator


Craving for a puff, I tried everything possible to convince this gentleman in black suite to get me a room with balcony, but no luck. My notorious mind started to think faster in crisis, I took a portable table fan from the hotel’s store for a deposit of £10 and switched off the lights in my room. I placed that fan nicely against the window, like an exhaust fan in the kitchen, and started to blow smoke in the fan to flush it out. I didn’t want the alarm to set of and penalise me with £50 dent on my very first night in London. This trick made me survive nights after nights.


Grand acceptance


I used to smoke on the road while rushing to the tube station in Earl’s Court. As it was banned in all the public areas I had to stub the cigarette right outside the station. I was cursing the ban. On my first visit to London office I was little excited and hesitant at the same time. After a quick introduction with everyone in the office, I started to make myself comfortable on my British made seat. As the hours passing by, I took a small 15 minute break to smoke a cigarette and got along with a friendly gentleman called Dave Roberts. I asked him over blowing a puff as to how people are accepting the new smoking law? And surprisingly, he said, “It is good; people were getting hurt being passive smokers”. With my jaw dripping reaction, he added “people have rights to decide what do they want and we shouldn’t take their rights away from them by making them breathe the toxic air”. I noticed people were health conscious as they passed by us avoiding our path of smoke blowing chimneys. I asked the same question to many other people there and the answer was ditto. I was amazed to see their civic sense and their positive attitude in accepting the change.


Learning of the day


One morning while travelling to my office in 39 Victoria Street in a tube, I noticed one lady avoiding my tobacco coated breath and changed her seat. She stared at me as she spotted an unhealthy drifter into her territory. I was ashamed of myself and made sure to carry mouth fresheners or completely avoid smoking before travelling in close encounters.


As the day progressed I decided to venture out in a hip pub in Soho. I mostly had Guinness beer in the pub; it was a dark (rum look alike) beer, unlike Indian beer. I didn’t enjoy that beer as I was more interested in finding my same old Barley juice. What a shame, my craving for a smoke took over me suddenly. I had to choose between leaving the pub and smoke outside or forget the craving completely. So sanely I decided to stay put. The pub was packed with people and surprisingly no one was smoking. Out of curiosity, I asked a guy wearing a white shirt and blue jeans if he craves for cigarette while drinking in a pub. He smiled and said in his British accent “I can’t handle two poisons at one go, enjoying beer right now and saving another for a smooth passage in the morning”. I laughed. I knew exactly what he meant to say “a smooth passage”. At least, people are not a lot different in this country crossing 7 seas.


Situation now


What are we looking at after imposing this ban on a country which is the second largest producer of tobacco in the world after China? To add little spice to it, 1.2 billion people have been forbidden by law from lighting up in bars, offices, bus stands and other public places on pain of a Rs. 200 fine, that’s a day’s wages for many. Keeping in mind the corruption level in India, people would pay a little amount to get away from paying a fine. In India where money has the maximum importance and showing it off is an understatement. I am little apprehensive in enforcing this new law to our over populated country infested by 1.2 billion of head count. We have a history for not following the traffic rules, spitting, littering and leaking everywhere possible. We are contributing in turning the entire country to a giant toilet or dustbin. We don’t feel man enough until we paint the wall with our pee and leave a master piece behind for admiration.


We learn so many things from western culture, the way they walk, the way they talk and take pride in just be cool as they are. But one important thing that goes unnoticed; their passion to do whatever’s possible to make their place and life worth living. There is no harm in being modern and pace up to brush shoulders to shoulders in this rapidly changing world. We need to learn more, in order to call our country modern and developed; we need to change our mentality as well.




I wish to see a modern India where its citizens follow the law and order without being enforced to do so. It comes with good civic sense and compassion for the all human beings. No one is stopping anyone from smoking but the idea is to smoke without hurting anyone. There is a lot of public interest involved into it, so please make it a success. This is not banning those who want to smoke but saving those who don’t want to. One has rights to spoil his/her life or make it beautiful, think about your children, spouses or parents for that matter. Do they deserve your blown smoke even if they decided not to inhale the toxic air which might kill them?  I took the decision to smoke but not at the cost of my loved ones.


“The World Health Organisation says Western style ailments such as lung cancer and heart disease are set to end more lives per year in India by 2015 than all infectious illnesses.”


My vow


I promise to follow the law and avoid smoking in public areas. It is not an enforced decision but a compliance that I need to adhere to.


My question remains the same: Can I expect the same from you my fellow citizens?