Apart from his gel-fixed hairstyle and waist of jeans low enough to flaunt a Calvin Klein underwear, a pack of Marlboro lights cigarettes placed above his smart phone used to be a part of Bittoo Singh’s style statement at his college in suburban Mumbai.
But Bittoo became a hot topic for college gossip after his friend spotted him filling Chhota Gold Flake sticks into Marlboro Lights packet soon after union finance minister increased excise duty on tobacco products.
Bittoo who maintained two Facebook accounts – one for family and extended family and another for college buddies – had recently uploaded his profile picture in which he was seen flashing a beer bottle in one hand and a lit cigarette between his lips.
“Sala, what does he think of himself? That profile pic got him more than 150 likes, 91 from girls alone. Ever since then, Bittoo has always been flaunting his brand of cigarette in public,” Bittoo’s classmate Atul Udhas told Faking News.
Udhas who had kept a close watch on Bittoo just to find out the reasons for his popularity among girls hit a jackpot on Thursday when he found Bittoo buying five Chhota Gold Flake cigarettes and putting them into the imported brand’s packet discreetly.
Just like anti-corruption sleuths catch officers red handed taking bribes, Udhas too caught Bittoo while he was inthe middle of the act.
Like a jungle fire, the news spread into the entire college and within half an hour Bittoo was bombarded with messages like ‘badi badi baatein, wada pav khaate‘ on whatsApp. But the last nail in the coffin was when his latest girlfriend sent him a stinker saying, “Hope it was not nimboo pani in the Bacardi Breezer you offered me last night.”
Confiding in this reporter, Bittoo finally confessed what made his take his drastic step of filling local cigarettes in an imported brand packet.
“My latest girlfriend Sonya whom I befriended by liking and commenting on her random pics on Facebook was impressed by my use of branded products. Initially my pocket money would be enough to buy a Reebok shoes or a UCB T-shirt in monsoon sale. But making Sonya my girlfriend made a huge dent in my pocket. I don’t remember when I went to a local hang out with her. Either it would be coffee at Star Bucks or a burger at Mc Donald’s. I had to cut down somewhere without losing respect and charisma. So I decided to retaint he pack and replace the sticks. Had I not been exposed, my next step would be mixing Royal Stag in a Teacher’s bottle,” said a visibly shattered Bittoo who left murmuring cuss words to Jaitely and company who raised excise duty on tobacco products from 11 per cent to 72 per cent.