DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT SMOKE AND I DO NOT PROMOTE IT. SMOKING IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH. DON’T SMOKE.
First of all, Shubho Noboborsho, Happy Bengali New Year! I had thought last year that the pandemic would be over, but what is over is my class 11. I’m in class 12 now, so expect more days without any posts on this blog 😉 (SORRY!!)
Now back to the topic:
I have written a lot of stuff (which I call poems) about cigarettes. In all of them, I’ve used cigarettes as a metaphor. I have frequently used cigarettes as a material symbol for insignificant grief, especially, caused by the habit of overthinking about one’s past.
Now, why cigarettes?
Cigarettes are bad for our health, just like overthinking. Smokers don’t believe smoking to be harmful for them, so they continue smoking, just like overthinkers, continue overthinking. We see people smoking in the open every now and then, unlike drug addicts, who take their addicting substances in secrecy, overthinkers overthink everywhere, in public places too. Cigarettes are not dangerous when compared to other scary drugs, just like overthinking, which is quite common, and doesn’t affect one’s health as bad as depression, or other mental illnesses people suffer from. Just like, cigarette is a gateway-drug, overthinking and grief are gateway to a lot of serious mental problems. Just like, a lot of smokers promise to quit tomorrow, overthinkers do the same too! After smoking a cigarette, a person is more or less in their senses, similarly, an overthinker is also more or less in their senses.
A lit cigarette has fire in it, an ember. Robert Frost, in his poem, Fire & Ice, has used fire to symbolize desires. Similarly, the thoughts of the past, have the desire to alter the past, live in the past, make the most of it, etc. Just like the poem stated that “fire” is destructive similarly, overthinking is too! When one smokes, one sees a veil of smoke around them. Similarly, an overthinker sees the world around them covered in a drape of their thoughts and they get lost in their chain of thoughts. It pulls them to the past preventing them from living in the present. A smoker doesn’t see the almost sure fate of cancer and an overthinker doesn’t think of the fate of their face.
If one holds a lit cigarette in their hands and doesn’t throw it at the appropriate time, their hand gets a burn, not the company which “made” the cigarettes. Similarly, if one clings to one’s memories, it is they who gets hurt emotionally, not the people who “made” the memories. Finally, a therapist can help one quit smoking or overthinking, but it is the smoker or the overthinker who has to decide if they want to quit..