Some years ago, the late Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minster had a bad habit of chewing paan. Sitting on the dais at Islampur in Sangli, he had to hear Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit openly criticize him for his tobacco-chewing habit.
He did not retaliate. He did not swear vengeance or cry foul. He went home and decided to kick the habit, a habit he had acquired during his college days.
There were two things that struck me as I heard the report.
One, that he was able to take constructive criticism well, and two, that he had the will and the guts to kick a bad habit.
I have many friends who either smoke or drink.
When I try telling any of them to quit the habit, I know I may lose a friendship. They look at me like ferocious tigers guarding their territory and dare me to come farther. I watch them smoke, I watch them drink and watch a life being wasted.