Wednesday, July 01, 2009

BIDIS ~ India's Answer To The High Cost Of Lung Cancer

My photographer friend in Dehli, India, Mukul Dube, is the one who turned me on to bidis. I'd mentioned the soaring cost of cigarettes in the U.S. as both the states and the feds are trying to balance their budgets on the backs of good law abiding patriotic smokers. Mukul told me about these low cost cigarettes in India, so low in cost that it's just the low class poor that smoke the things at penneys a pack. I decided to look about and see if our local Indian population was being properly seviced by our local convenience marts.

The first two that I checked out said "no". I had high hopes for the third one though. It's located directly across the street from what had been an Indian restaurant until it was done in by the current economic situation. A good sign was that the guy at the counter looked Indian and had the proper accent but he seemed taken aback when I asked if he had any bidis. "You know, Indian cigarettes with the leaf wrapper and the silk thread" I added. He reached under the counter and handed me a pack of Sutra Full Flavor Bidis. I asked price and was told $3.00. I put $3.21 on the counter. He took the bills, pushing the change back to me while saying "no tax".

They have a sightly sweet taste and they did a good job of keeping my nicotine addiction in check. They go out almost before you finish taking a toke so they last a long time. I just counted what I have left. I still have ten of them! Not bad at all compared to American smokes. A day's smokes for a buck and a half! I smoke about thirty cigarettes on an average day, and at much higher prices. Thank you, Mukul. Pretty soon I can buy myself a new SUV with the savings!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pack says filter! I don't see any kind of filter?...and btw have you ever seen or smoked a class B cigerette? I haven't.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess with a few bucks, you can buy a pack of filters to smoothen things out a bit. SUV......hmmmm, are you talking about from Buick?
Dennis from HK

9:45 PM  
Blogger Al Kaplan said...

The "filter" is a little tuft of cotton rolled into the base of the bidi.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NC Street Photography:

Class generally refers to the prevalence of defects in a cigarette. So a pack of Class C cigarettes could have holes in it and be unsmokeable. No one sells them because you're unlikely to put down 5-10 bucks for a pack of cigarettes that may be completely unuseable.

2:23 PM  

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