A joke I read some time back was: Who left 6-pack Shah Rukh and 8-pack Aamir in the dust?
Ans: A 10-pack Ramadoss.
It's been 4 months since the ban on smoking in public places. So what did the ban achieve? Let’s do a ten count, shall we?
1 – Attached Gandhi’s name to tobacco. So years down the line, a ‘This Day That Year’ column will read – Gandhi born, Smoking banned.
2 – Ensured that the names Anbumani and Ramadoss would die with him. No sane parent of our generation would ever name their kid that. You don’t find little Satans and Hitlers running around, do you?
3 – Caused bars to lose revenue. No, I don’t mean because of a lower footfall, but due to smart alecks who step outside after a few drinks on the pretext of a smoke and then vanish even before the wisp of smoke fades away.
4 – Getting policemen to be lax. Not that they were the epitome of alertness in the first place, but now with the hordes of people haunting the gates of buildings, now they are content to rock themselves to sleep on their paunches.
5 – Vindicated weathermen … or so it seems. Weathermen, famous for getting a prediction on their own spittle wrong, now boldly announce ‘tomorrow there will be a lot of smog’ and then … smoke, fog same thing.
6 – Population control. With smokers chasing pavements, pedestrians naturally avoid the ‘fog’ (weathermen are to be blamed here) and go on the roads. And the cars and trucks happily play target practice.
7 – Made dogs insomniacs. Pavement smoking leads to coffee-cups being dumped on streets and strays happily lap up the remaining drop. A few 20-30 such cups through the day turbo-charges them for the night. And god knows what horrors graveyard shifters are subject to by these werewolves, especially in Bangalore.
8 – Led to the ruination of about 0.1 percent of the Amazon forests. Every pub, bar, office, restaurant, mall, and hitherto smoker-friendly zones has huge “NO SMOKING” signs…about 10 every 2 inches.
9 - Free Cigarette Advertising. It beats me why tobacco companies are banned from advertising. Cigarette packets that were till now sent to dustbins now litter the pavements. The eyeballs that the millions of packets get on the road are much more than even the most famous ad. So no wonder the number of surrogate ads are dying.
10 – Laid to rest the smokers anthem. On the last day before the ban, a popular Bangalore pub announced that that would be the last time they played ‘Sutta Na Mila’ by The Zeest. And just like that a cult song lost its meaning.
Oops! my packet is over. I'm off to get another one.