A hand stretches from the bed to the nearest stool and grabs for the cigarette packet. He takes out one cigar and goes to the balcony even before brushing his teeth. He feels pleasure in doing it in spite of many people warning him not to smoke as it is bad for the health. He tries hard to stop the habit or to reduce the number of cigars but always he continues after a short break. He cannot stop smoking and quite happy if it is at least eight in a day. That is the routine for bachelor Sanjay.
Sanjay smokes whenever he gets free time in between office breaks or whenever he is all alone. He is addicted to smoking.
One day Sanjay received a matrimony request from a pretty girl whom he fell in love at first sight by just seeing her photo. He has not mentioned his addict in the matrimony profile as he very well knows that the girls would reject a man who prefers to smoke. He thought it is better not to disclose it.
Sanjay waited near the Starbucks for his first meeting with the girl. As he was waiting there for a long time, he decided to take out a cigar and started smoking. All of a sudden, the girl appeared in front of him. He was in a dilemma. Should he blurt out the truth or throw it away?
In confusion, Sanjay stood still. The girl came close to him with a vague smile hesitatingly. She was not feeling comfortable. She took her handkerchief and covered her face.
Why is she acting strangely? Is there anything wrong with me or with her?
Though he had a lot of questions in his mind, he couldn't take his eyes off her beauty.
After a few seconds, she gave an excuse she has to leave soon. Sanjay was so particular in asking for her number as he wants to be in contact with her. After they both exchanged their numbers, she went away.
Even after Sanjay came back home, only her thoughts were on his mind. He is so sure that he is love struck which he has never felt for any girl in his life. If he is going to marry, he wants only this girl.
Sanjay sits on the balcony and thinks for a moment whether to call her or not. After looking at her number for a long time, he decides to just give it a try. He could hear the ringing tone. She picks up.
“ Hello, Payal here”
Sanjay: Hey, I am Sanjay. Do you remember me? We just met at Starbucks.
Payal: Of course, I do remember.
Payal and Sanjay break the ice between them by introducing themselves, their family, career, and hobbies. They felt comfortable with each other and went on talking for almost three hours.
Payal informed him that she has to go out somewhere with her parents. Before she was about to cut the call, Sanjay interrupted her by saying “I just wanted to know why did you close your face with a handkerchief?.”
She said,” In matrimony site, it is not mentioned in your profile that you smoke. I have allergic bronchitis. Dust and smoke make me feel breathless. If I had known, I must not have come to meet you. But as you had a cigar in your hand and smoke was making me uncomfortable, I had to run. I am so sorry for not letting you know.”
Sanjay can’t believe that she is so honest with her opinions and loved her even more.
Sanjay: Oh! I have to say sorry for the inconvenience. I will try to control my habit. When I am spending my time with you, I don’t feel like smoking. I feel you are the perfect person for me. You are full of energy. If you are by my side, I will never be lonely and I won’t smoke. Will you marry me?
Payal had to rush as it is getting late for her.
Payal: I will tell my answer tomorrow morning. I got to go.
Sanjay: Ok. I will be waiting for your reply.
They exchanged their goodbyes and kept the phone.
Sanjay looked at his clock. The clock showed the time at 7.30 pm. He has to wait for long for the morning to come.
Sanjay looked at the ceiling and wondered how wonderful it would be if they are together.
Lights went off.
Sanjay could see only darkness all around him. He panics and gets up. He thought to check if there are lights in the houses nearby. When he came out from his room to the balcony, he could see the skeletons walking drowsily. Their heads falling to the ground as they walk. He also noticed the lifeless bodies of the people lying all over the ground. There is no sight of trees, clouds, and buildings. All houses are broken. He turned to go inside to be safe. His house has disappeared and he is standing at the edge of the cliff with nowhere to go.
Suddenly a huge creepy creature that looks like a huge bird had one eye, horn, and two giant dragon wings flew down from the sky and took him in its beak. He could see smoke all over the place. He keeps shouting at the creature to put him down as he has a fear of heights. He cant believe what is happening to him. He doesn't know where he is heading. Sanjay closes his eyes out of fear.
In a few minutes, he could feel that the movements have stopped. He slowly opens his eyes and sees an island with a torch of lights. The torch lights are in the shape of giant cigars. The creepy bird dropped him on the island and flew away. He is left all alone on a deserted island and doesn’t know how to get out.
Sanjay closed his eyes and prayed to God to let him free from there and in return he promised he would quit smoking.
Suddenly, he hears a soft tone and opens his eyes. There is bright sunlight peeping through the curtains of his window. Then he realized, it is morning and he just had a bad dream.
The soft tone is still ringing from his phone. He picks up and it was Payal.
Payal: Hi, Good Morning. I hope I didn't disturb you.
Sanjay: Not at all. I have to thank you for waking me up as I was having a nightmare.
Then, Sanjay told her all about his dream.
Payal: That was indeed a terrible dream. By the way, I am curious to know whether the promise you made to God is for real or not.
Sanjay: Yes, It is a real promise. I am saved from that deserted place by your calling. I quit smoking.”
Payal: Good decision. I called to tell you that my answer is "Yes".