The Art of Rolling Tobacco

The art of rolling tobacco, in itself, is an entertaining, skill oriented, patience seeking, and nerve calming. Pre-rolled cigarettes may be comforting and quick, almost always reliable – never have I come across a cigarette which has failed to entertain its consumer, except for the times when you smoke it on an empty stomach and feel nauseated, or when you light it at the wrong end, making it unfit for consumption.

Rolling a cigarette out of tobacco is charming – sometimes to an extent where the roller, after enjoying the smoke, sets upon the task of picking up the tobacco pack again and pondering over the prospects of rolling another cigarette; this, perhaps, may be addiction in strict judgemental terms, but I like to look at it as simply the pleasure of rolling a cigarette.

Cigarettes are usually rolled in small rolling papers which must be not more than a couple of inches in length – long enough for a satisfying and pleasurable smoke. For new rollers, it is important to make sure that the rolling paper they get hold of does not disappoint them with the glue, which means that the end with has the glue line for sealing the rolled paper should stick well. Another thing that should be kept in mind is the size of rolling filter that is to be used, I remember a certain occasion where I happened to buy a pack of fine, Dutch blend tobacco, flavoured with rich, dark Kentucky tobacco from a shop which seemed to be the Mecca for tobacco lovers – it had tobaccos of different flavours from several places around the world. What I bought besides the tobacco was a pack of rolling filters, which turned out to be a regretful possession. It was not long and thin enough to be wrapped easily in a rolling paper. Rolling a cigarette with that filter was a tedious task – putting the fine rollers into work; only the finest of them could roll a cigarette out of it successfully. It should be, thus, kept in mind that appropriate sizes of filters should be used – small and thin filters for small rolling papers and longer and thicker filters for larger rolling papers.

Rolling is a delicate process. The best of it, I believe, can be enjoyed when the mind is focused on the act – much like meditation. A pinch of tobacco, a rather large one, should be carefully and evenly spread on the unrolled and unfolded rolling paper, followed by the placement of the rolling filter at a suitable end of the paper. All said and done, the setup must be sealed in a way in which no tobacco falls out – the most delicate part of the process. It is to be noted that a calm mind can seek much joy in the last part of this process.  What comes out of these steps is a cigarette well rolled, something which has no intentions of disappointing you in the short-run.

“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ”
― Jerome K. JeromeThree Men in a Boat

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