There is a phrase in Bengali, “Beshi bhalo, bhalo noi” meaning too much of anything good is definitely not better. It is almost 3:30 am and suddenly I thought of doing a quick post.
During my four year term in college, I found myself becoming an addict; no, not the hardcore drug one but not the soft-core one either. Well, when you have a considerable portion of the 20-40 gram marijuana allocated daily for you, you have to become an addict. This was happily coupled in with alcohol, cigarettes, bidi (the Desi, shorter, limper version of cigars), Diluters, tablets and dendrites on some days, special days. I even tried the tail of a lizard once. But so much marijuana made me dependent, made me escape reality every time I wanted to escape.
It was like crossing a thin line to “the other side” of trance and hallucinations. I still remember the first time weed took control-the whole world was fiery and so full of intense pain, a pain I could not control, a pain I could not leave, a pain that had taken control. Every moment seemed like an infinity and every clock seemed to conspire against me, trying hard to conceal their true time beneath a superficial camouflage; a deathly facade. I promised myself I would never smoke again, even wrote it in my diary to remind myself every day. After all, I am my family’s only heir to the middle-middle class throne, who would take care of my Maa and Baba if I were dead?
It so happened that the next day, that particular page of the diary where I had scribbled my warning message to self was used for an even greater purpose: to grind the weed and mix the tobacco. Yes, life works in mysterious ways; but addiction tops it all. It works like a charm.
Music tastes best when you’re tripping and my whole college life could be summed up perfectly in two words: Music and intoxication. Both coursing through my veins and arteries; throbbing and pulsating as it flowed.
My hostel had a big roof, all the more reason for getting high as a broken piece of furniture. I remember that night my ex-roommate had his birthday; he spent a lot of money getting booze for his friends. Fortunately, I was one of them. I drank till my body could suffer, and then poured it all down; I vomited till I could, a warm, squishy mixture of alcohol and dinner forcing its way out through every exit available. My mouth and my nostrils burned at the amalgamation of stomach acid, alcohol and bile, “I’m…”
“He’s okay,” someone shouted. “Yes, I am,” I replied, in my mind.
I lay on the cold terrace floor, warmed at the right places by my own vomit, unaware, unable.
It felt good to relinquish command sometimes; it was just that the ‘sometime’ iterated itself every day, every month and every year; like the seasons. The only difference being, unlike the seasons, it felt the same. I had already crossed to the ‘other side’ far too many times now. I was a guest once, but now I’m its permanent citizen. The line was too thin and too shallow for me, I guess.
The first time I tried a diluter sniff, I was in school. I was in class eleven or twelve maybe; I don’t remember. Doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is, it burnt my spinal cord like it was on acid. I felt good. In fact, I never felt more alive. I loved it. I lived it, the moment. Though it literally felt nerve wracking, I still enjoyed it. I called it my own.
I am an introvert and tolerated the company of certain friends as it was a necessary evil. College end saw the forced habit die along with it. I was relieved, for if it had continued for another year or so, I would have surely found myself screaming my lungs out in an asylum.
‘You cannot get high alone,’ for it would have disastrous consequences on your psyche.
Ultimately, my reclusive nature saved me. I started disliking company and solitude became my primary addiction.