Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Some reflections on yesterday's trip

while responding to a smoker's regrets on Anul Atluri's wall:
My story is somewhat similar. It is difficult to imagine now that one did not know the direct and indirect effects of smoking then. I have not stopped smoking but have been smoking outside the house since 1988. I did give up for four years when I was diagnosed with some sort of latent TB and I was the only breadwinner in the family and no savings or ancestral property. But Australia had and still has to a great extent, a good system of social security and Medicare; my wife realised that she could be independent here, took citizenship and refused to move. The government trained her for jobs, gave proper clothes for interviews and she started working. And I started smoking again. It is surprising that families are so forgiving. After a life of self-centredness, yesterday when whey wanted to go for an outing, one of the daughters refused to go without me. Though walking long distances is difficult now, probably due to smoking, I went along and panted and puffed along. At one stage, during steep slopes, they even tried to push me along. May be due to this sort of experiences and background, Gopichand's 'asamarthuni jeevayaatra' still resonates with me. I still find it difficult to read it again.
I was always a bit rebellious and when I started smoking I did in my father's presence. Then my mother, to whom I was close later in her life, told me that my father did not like the smell and I started smoking a bit away from him. May be rebelliousness and a sudden development of passion for mathematics saved me from worse outcomes. So, I think that there is a bit of luck in survival. We learn but most are not really models and I feel that I am common man who somehow survived and raised a family and some of them see reasonably content now. Who knows?

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