At night in the end, I look outside the window to chant my words to the stars. In other words, I make my best friend meet my other best friend, in my dark refuge. With a cigarette in my hand, a burning throat and all that is around, is smoke.

I look back to see my room disappearing. The wall in front of me is falling back to form the waters of river Ganga. The marble floor is changing into soil and my carpet looks like the remaining ashes of Chita. My roof is going invisible, to let in unknown rays of sunshine falling over my bed. My blanket starts burning and with the blink of an eye, it transforms into another Chita.

The smell of ashes coming from the corpse, forms a lump at the centre of my stomach. Before moving into the state of nausea, I look down at my hand. I still see the cigarette! I close my eyes and take a long drag. I let the cigarette burn my lips, pierce my throat and ruin my lungs. A tear passes out of my closed eye, in expression of the destruction I am facing. Afraid, I open my eyes slowly, to see my room back in place. I close my eyes again and take another drag, just to thank the cigarette for saving me.

I turn around to be back in my place. Over the window, behold the stars! I feel an urge, for me to stop smoking. Probably, a pure soul is trying to converse with me. It informs, cigarettes ruin me! The consciousness that I experience is actually misery, disguised as freedom. It tells me, that cigarettes ruin my body and my life.

I do accept that cigarettes ruin me. But they only destroy my physical body. While my life and love tend to pollute my soul. And the cigarettes know, how afraid I am to love the existence of my will. So they fight my human life, get me out of the hallucinations and if required, they tend to murder my physical form.

That day, the cigarettes will have enough flames to burn another Chita on the cremation ground, situated on the banks of Ganga. That day, I will seek freedom from all the bonds that bound me. And that day, I will tell everyone that these cigarettes did ruin me, they did kill me. But they saved me too, from the suffering of mending my broken heart.

– Shantam Sahai

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