Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Government Sanctioned Stoning

"Researchers have discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two but can't remember what they are."

Matt Lauer

I was exploring the marketplace outside of the Jaisalmer Fort after dinnertime when I accidentally stumbled across something that immediately called disbelief to arms. Snuggled within a small niche in the looming golden fort walls was a tiny shoppe which looked as if "seedy" was the primary concept the interior decor guy was basing his entire design on. It's dark inside and the only source of light came from a half-dead orange light bulb in a corner. There wasn't a single customer inside (which was seriously strange considering their products) - only crooked chairs and tables standing forlornly about, and looked as if they are trying to huddle together for warmth. In a smaller niche beside the entrance of that dodgy establishment was the place where the proprietor prepare his stuff, and it is considerably cheerier, better lit and has a fridge (yay).

The part that made me rub my eyes and went to take a closer look was the big painted sign in front of the shop,

Any government cool enough to do this has my vote.

That's right, it was a government authorised Bhang Shop. Like far out, dude, hur hur hur hur...

Take a look at this Wikipedia article and the picture in it. It's the same bloody place, right?

Bhang, dear people, is yet another entry in the long list of words that means happiness marijuana alongside pot, herb, grass, weed, cannabis, ganja, reefer, doodie, moon juice, Abba-Zabba, man's other best friend, bong and James Bong - and many many many many others which together adds up into the hundreds. "Bhang" specifically meant the leaf and flower of a female Cannabis sativa plant and in India, it's one holy weed. It's associated with the Lord Shiva (who is one of the coolest gods ever kowtowed to by mankind, in my opinion) and his worship. One of his epithets are actually "Lord of Bhang"! And no, he's not at all like that stoner 30-year-old jobless loser who lives in you neighborhood and is known by the local kids as the Lord of Bong. Shiva is said to be the one who discovered the awesome properties of the marijuana plant in the first place. He had since shared that knowledge with masses of the world, which became a slightly better place till it was finally outlawed in most of countries in these modern, barbaric and unenlightened times.

Am I the only one who thinks that an effective supervision program of the weed trade can be a lot more beneficial than outright prohibition?

Very respectable business card.

It's a pity that I did not try any of this awesome sounding stuff they were hawking. He tried to unload some bhang cookies onto me but at 50 rupees (about RM 3.80) apiece, I simply had to pass. After all, I was on a super-saver back-packing trip and the amount of cookies I needed to scarf to get high is enough to pay for a night's bunk in a seriously respectable hotel.

But Magic Lassi - now that goes into my big scrapbook of Life's Greatest Regrets. Every single syllable of the phrase sounds like it promise me a world of bliss, stoned ecstasy and pink baby pygmy hippopotatomushrooms. Occasionally, out of nowhere in my mind I'll hear it calling out to me in a haunting, barely perceptible voice going "Come back.... come back..."

I did try this though,

Ooh, the glasses reflect light like disco balls!

This is Bhang Tea, which was basically chai with magic sprinkles - you can see a bit of them floating on the surface of the beverage.

All I got to say is that it was a total ripoff! Firstly, at 40 rupees per glass, it was ten bloody times the price of a normal cuppa in anyplace in India. Secondly, it was no different from drinking ordinary tea! There was no high, no buzz, no sense of wellbeing or any of that 'all's awesome in the world' feeling. My companion and I both find the experience a huge let down. It's like the mountainous expectation I had for the seventh and final Potter book and found that in the end, Harry didn't freaking die - and to add insult to injury, he named his kids James, Lily and Albus fucking Severus.

After we finished our tea, the creepy shop guy showed us a small packet about two or three inches across in size filled with shriveled little brown-grey stuff which were presumably dried bhang.

"300 rupees. You can smoke it in the city or in the desert," he spoke in a rather disinterested, faraway tone belying the eternal sunshine of his potted mind "Perfectly legal. The police will not catch you."

I was severely tempted to do that but it was honestly overpriced (not that I know how pricey weed really is, of course, hahaha...) and when I actually got somewhat high from a 10 rupee experimental dip into a packet black opium paste back in Jodhpur, 300 rupees came off as plain astronomical. We passed on that as well and headed right out again to look for some back alley pusher who might charge a lot less for his holy weed.

Oh, in a related story, I had a psychiatry class recently on the mental disorders of substance abuse and the lecturer explained that a study in the UK showed that there are three types of personality when it comes to drugs and other awesome stuff that you Mom and the goverment won't let you have any - the abstinent, the experimenting and the one who gets into shit and can't dig themselves out. The abstinent personality rejects outright the use of addictive substances for fear that they might be snared. The experimenting personality is open to sampling these substances but shows no interest in making a habit out of any of them. The last category is your standard druggie who would try some, want more and screw up their lives. It is interesting that the second group, the experimenting people, is considered to be the most mentally stable of the three when it comes to substance abuse. They rarely ever get addicted to anything.

That's me. I rock, as usual.

P.S. Ran a Google search. I call dibs on the coinage of the phrase "Eternal Sunshine of the Potted Mind"!

Wants a Bhang Cake for his birthday,
k0k s3n w4i


Falcon said...

bhang tea...marijuana on the street...so cool man

pamsong said...

I rock harder. =p

phoebe said...

u so vain T^T i duno wher 2buy bhang cake T_T so fussy la u >_>

senorita.. said...

all these ppl trying to sell u stuffs at a hiked up price... of course they wont put in enough amount of the 'magic leaves' to even make u feel anything laa... and i m in d 2nd grp as well... =)

k0k s3n w4i said...

falcon: marijuana on the street? o.o

pamsong: prove it

phoebe: bake own self! I where got vain wor. I'm just really straighforward :D

senorita: I mean, if they really wanna sell their stuff, they ought to at least give enough to entice potential customers mer. *high-fives fellow second grouper*

senorita.. said...

most of their sales are first-timers.. they only aim to attract not retain


mrbherng said...

It takes quite a bit of your bhang to have any effect if given PO. Smoke it the next time round.

Rileen Aya said...

magic lassi *o* im already high just by reading its name