I said, “It is up to you; otherwise I will steal, and it will be your money. You will be forcing me to commit two crimes – smoking and stealing. And then I will have to commit a third crime, lying, because whenever you ask, I will say, ‘No, I don’t smoke.’
“I am making things simple. Just give me the money. I want to smoke just to see why people are smoking and what they find in it, because I see people all around smoking against the warning of teachers, parents, doctors, priests – everybody. There must be something if they don’t listen to anybody and still go on.
“And they are paying for it, for their sickness, for their death to come earlier, to have tuberculosis, or cancer of the lungs. I cannot make any judgment before I experiment. Now it is up to you. You want me to do three wrong things or just one?”
He looked at me and said, “You are just impossible! Now I cannot even prevent you from smoking. You are asking money from me…but you are right, you would have to do three wrong things, so take the money.”
And I said, “I am going to smoke in the house, not hiding somewhere behind the house. I am going to smoke in my own house.”
He said, “Don’t do that! Because my father is still alive; your uncles are there, your aunts are there” – it was a joint family of fifty people. “They will all condemn me – they won’t say anything to you – they will say that you gave him money for smoking and he is smoking just sitting in the middle of the house so everybody can see!’“
I said, “It is better that everybody sees it; otherwise they will hear it from somebody and they will have to ask me. Why waste time unnecessarily?”
I smoked sitting in the middle of the house. Everybody was angry with my father, that this was going too far. But the first cigarette was enough; it was my last cigarette because tears came to my eyes and I started coughing. I said, “It is all nonsense. Even if somebody pays me to smoke, I am not going to smoke.” The remaining packet I returned to one of my uncles who was always smoking, hiding.
He tried to say, “I don’t want….”
I said, “Why be afraid? You have seen me smoking in the middle of the house – why do you hide here and there? I know, everybody knows that you smoke. Keep these cigarettes; otherwise I will have to throw them out. They are costly because I had told my father that these may be my first and last, so I want the best ones.”
When anything that you are doing makes you feel that something is wrong, don’t be too hasty to call it wrong; there must be a long chain of causes. You have to watch the whole thing. And until you reach to the basic root, it is going to remain.