"Sumathi, Have you ever tried Bhang?" My friend's husband asked as we squatted on the ground to have our dinner.
"Bhang! Yes! No! I don't think I ever got a chance to taste Bhang." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhang
"Let us celebrate Holi with Bhang ! Let us enjoy!" My friend got excited and she insisted on having bhang ki tandai.
"Its a bad intoxication I can say " She began narrating her experiences and her relatives experiences after bhang. As a newly wed , at her in- laws place; a couple of her relatives gave her Bhang to taste and it was so heady, she could not walk up to her room from the kitchen. She sat in the middle of the room, refusing to walk a step, saying she felt had been walking for days together. In the kitchen while preparing rice, she felt she had been stirring the rice for ages. Finally when everybody carried her to her bedroom, she clung on to her bed screaming that she would hit the ceiling if some one did not tie her to the bed. And that is what they did exactly. I laughed aloud at her story and my curiosity to have bhang increased.
When she was in college ,her father after consuming Bhang, during Holi, had gone round and round in front of their house, stopping passers by, to help him identify their house. Her Uncle was supposed to drop her at her place , midway he stopped his scooter. When she inquired the reason for his abrupt halt, he told her that he cannot move further because a huge wall blocked his way.
All credit goes to bhang.
Its more than a decade since I played Holi, the festival of colours. This Holi I had decided to spend it with my friend her family. That after noon her husband brought Bhang ki Tandai and we had it during lunch time.
(Bhang Ki Thandai (Hindi) is a drink popular in many parts of Indiawhich is made by mixing bhang with thandai, a cold beverage prepared with almonds, spices, milk and sugar. Consumption of Bhang and psychotropic substances has been forbidden by certain Hindu religious sects such as theShikshapatri, and is also forbidden in Islam, though not in all sects.
"Listen, it so happens that what ever action you do while consuming Bhang, the act continues. If you are laughing you may continue laughing , or continue crying or continue dancing.So be careful. Keep your cool , okay?!" My friend warned me.
"Sure, I will keep my cool and wait for its effect. Meanwhile I will watch television." I said with determination.
"Let us see." My friend's husband said, "I will observe you guys." And he slouched on a bean bag in front of the tv set.
i lay in front of the Tv set like a zombie, watching Dance India Dance programme. I had watched it the previous night. But we continued to watch, it did not matter. I was alert not to fall asleep because I wanted to experience the effect of Bhang. I neither laughed nor cried. I did not dance even. In the evening I declared that I am immune to Bhang and its effects and that It cannot intoxicate me.
"You have not taken a sweet after Bhang to feel its original effect. Come on taste this sweet." He added little more bhang with the sweet and offered me a small bowl.
Just then I received a call from one my friends to wish me a happy Holi. I went out to the balcony for privacy. The cold breeze and sweet together wove their magic into my head. I looked at the rising moon and fell in love with the moonlight.
I told my friend on phone that I had consumed bhang for the first time and nothing had happened and I have been waiting for something to happen since afternoon. All of a sudden I realized that I had been waiting all the while for something to happen and what had continued to happen has been the waiting.
I burst out laughing and my poor friend could never understand the reason for my outburst. I went in to share the news of my discovery. How silly I had been all the while waiting and waiting for something to happen!
I giggled at this thought and continued to giggle the following day too. I became a part of a lost world. Nothing mattered to me. Like in a movie; people , objects, buses and train moved in front of me. I was a part of it yet out of it. I belonged and yet remained alienated. The heady illusions continued for twenty four hours. When the effect weaned, I felt like a sun burnt cloth on a clothes line.
Boy, I was glad to come out of the delirium.
"Do you want more bhang"
"No way, Bang ! Bang!"
6 March, 2010
Causes Sumathi Mohan Supports
Child education, eradication of child labour and child marriages, promotion of education in slum areas. free thinking. MV Foundation, Hyderabad. CRY.