JournalismPakistan.com July 25, 2013
My friend and colleague had a heart attack yesterday. He is 57, tipples a fair amount and smokes 60 cigarettes a day. You can say he asked for it. Because he is in our age group it is always a harrowing feeling when someone you know gets the big warning.
And even as you express concern you find solace in the fact that he smoked too much and burned his candles at both ends and didn’t care for himself, even put on weight beyond acceptable level. Maybe he didn’t exercise enough, look at me, I walk on the treadmill every day, finding sanctuary in our relatively limited bad habits in the hope of keeping the inevitable at bay that much longer.
It was the famous comedian Jerry Lewis who said nothing stops you smoking faster than a heart attack. Not patches, not nicotine gum, not hypnotism or yoga, not pictures of collapsed lungs, not even will power, just the fact that the reaper lost his way and knocked at your door… even though he let it pass this time round.
I am sure my friend will never light up again and be grateful for that. Yet, there are some of us who still buck the trend, who have been fortunate enough to have had a warning, a caution to change our lifestyles and clean up our acts and we still believe we can get away with it.
All that folderol about Churchill living to be 90 with his damn cigars and how we don’t inhale and I only smoke 10 ‘lights’ hack hack, that morning cough, the first signal that things are not okay.
Wake up, smell the coffee but don’t have too much of it, nor sugar, nor salt, nor bread, nor dairy nor red meat nor a thousand other things, prolong the life you are missing…that’s still worth it.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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