I was going through my Facebook profile recently and stumbled upon Prashant's profile in 'People you may know'. I immediately sent him a request and opened his profile page. His coverpic was his marriage photograph and interestingly, he got married to his college sweetheart Anita. Prashant and Anita were tagged as the 'best couple' during my college days. Everywhere and anywhere we used to roam, the lovebirds were always together. There won't be an occasion that they would afford to miss. Be it friendship days, college festivals, birthday parties, cultural festivals - they would be always ready to take part in it together.
I got an instant message on Facebook Messenger from Prashant to attend his third wedding anniversary at his house that weekend. Not good at saying 'no', I accepted his invite and went to his place with a flower bouquet. Anita welcomed me with a broad smile and I was happy to meet all my old college friends including the 'best couple'.
All our friends left the place after cake-cutting citing various reasons and I couldn't do the same but just help Anita and Prashant with the things to do after the party. We aren't that close friends but yes, there is something that connected us that day. Prashant was smiling but I could still sense a sort of sadness behind his colourful picture about his career, new house and family life.
All seemed to be well with Anita too on the face but even her behaviour after everyone left made me feel something is amiss in her life too.
Well, being a highly-sensitive person, I can quickly sense someone's sadness and pain and that made me ask Prashant directly what's bothering him. Although he said nothing, I encouraged him to share his thoughts like he would during our college days.
Prashant sobbed and hugged me to tell that he and Anita have been trying to start a family since a while but they were unable to get positive results. Anita didn't interrupt us and decided to stay in her room. Prashant shared how his habit of smoking was making things worse for them as he didn't feel the urge of intimacy and enjoying a healthy sex with Anita anymore.
I recollected how Prashant was a chain-smoker since his college days and despite the warnings from the college faculties and his parents, he always had his own reasons to not give up the habit of smoking.
I was still curious to know what is still the reason of him not willing to give up smoking and he retorted to me saying he cannot live without smoking.
To help him understand that he is the only reason behind his own problems, I gave him one simple solution. I told him upfrontly that if he wishes to see his own baby in this lifetime, then he has to give up smoking because smoking can have adverse effects on male sexual function, which can lead to erectile dysfunction and marital disharmony. I gave him the two options to choose between cigarette or his yet-to-be-born baby.
I didn't wait to see his reactions to my firm response but later that night, he did message me asking the contact details of a good relationship counsellor and tobacco cessation clinic. It made me happy to know that my friend was willing to begin a natural, non-toxic lifestyle.