Sunday, May 14, 2006

Chennai Potter

When I was back in college, smoking pot was a big deal. A really big deal. Only landing a girl was considered a bigger deal. Before college, I had learned to smoke, to drink and more importantly to hold my drink. At least in small quantities. Pot is Ganja, and nobody I knew smoked it till I started my PG course. Ganja was then to me the equivalent of LSD, which it is not. Pot grows on plants and LSD doesn't. I didn't want me to become a drug addict. So the first time somebody offered me a drag, I simply refused. That college was in Chennai, and this is not a blog about the harmful effects of drugs. You already know that. This is about how you smoke pot and still survive. And about how you it can even be a learning experience.
Anybody who doesn't drink or smoke or doesn't have any of the so-called "minor vices" is suspect in my book. I always look at such puritanical people with a healthy amount of suspicion. It helps. It's like this guy who goes to temple twice a day and his forehead is the repository of all prasadams. But he is also the biggest fraud in town. Well, praying doesn't help if you really are a dirty rotten scoundrel. I like people who don't pretend to be pure. I like people who pretend to be more corrupt than they actually are. There is a reason why I am boring you with this. Somewhere between all this philosophy I will get down to telling you how my first drag was. So hang on.
There are a thousand reasons why you should not smoke. But if you do, you really have the best excuse in college to drop in on your buddy's room. The camaraderie felt while sharing a Charminar is rare. Try and beat that when not smoking. Drinking breaks ice in college hostels. That's as true as sun rises in the east. My friends and I used to get drunk every Saturday. Or so we said. But it was more like I had a peg or two every month or so. But we used to spend countless nights talking about the last party, that hostel life itself felt like one long party. So drinking and smoking helps making friends.
It's not that guys who didn't drink didn't make any friends. They sure do. But they more often than not turned to be assholes. You can test this. So when my friend invited me for a pot session, I first refused. Then I was in two minds. Then he convinced me that pot was actually not a drug at all. It was less addictive than nicotine, which is what you find in ciggies. So the trained potter, a virgin potter and then I - three of us - sat together one night, rolled one, and smoked it.
Buying pot in Chennai is very easy. If you are a regular customer you can buy it even on EMI. But I won't tell you where. That kinda information is closely guarded. The ultimate test any pot smoking senior student in college- and it seemed there were quite a few - gave his junior is sending him out with money to buy him pot. Once you did that, the chained of loyalty would be sealed. It's almost like marriage. And there is better trust between the people concerned.
Ok, let me get back to the session. There are ways that you actually smoke pot. It's very different from smoking a ciggie. But I again am not telling you how. Anyway I cheated, because as I said, I didn't wanna become a pothead. But my friend, who was new to this business, didn't cheat. He was the adventurous type. So he puffed on, and soon he saw a snake under the bed. And he screamed. And he screamed. I was miserable. I didn't care then if pot was less addictive than ciggies. It was really mind-altering and my dear friend was a living example. I was disgusted and so I left the room. But my friend screamed and moaned for quite a while before he rocked himself to sleep. That snake really troubled him all night.
And next morning, of course, he remembered everything. Except the damn snake.
Recently, I was watching Being Cyrus. Nazureedin Shah plays a pot head who has fried his brain with you know what. I don't think his potrayal was authentic.
I have had acquaintances who smoke pot day and night. They are intellingent, well read and well meaning people. They are not drug addicts except when they are under the influence. I decided after that session that I don't like pot. The statement 'why drink and die when u can smoke and fly' didnt quite work for me. I rather drink and die.