However is it of any relevance whether the air-tight, zip-locked packages commence their journey from Afghanistan, transiting to sprout a bit, in Pakistan to find some penetrable porous leeway making it to Rajasthan which lorries its way, post-haste to Punjab after disseminating to neighbouring Haryana and wherever else? Leaving children, not only the “youth” with their heads turned inside out; brains nothing but a bowl of drivelling gloop shaking unctuous slugs of fractured blankness leading initially to an epic sense of entitlement followed by epic rage when withdrawal sets in. So why all these furrowed-brow indignant discussions of where these parcels hail from?  Why bother with the geographical route? Is it about the historical silk route?! A movie on Udta Punjab—localising a festering gangrenous gash, that is amputating the entire Nation. Udta Bharat,  yes. Before proceeding into the Drug Dungeon, I believe, a trip to one’s neighbourhood Chemist is mandatory. There are so many drugs, as in medicines, that under no circumstances, one can procure without prescription. That too, with the licensed chit not being I think, a day older than six months. Commendable, given the fact that certain medicines are classified as Lethal and Hypnotic and are meant to treat specific cancerous and mental maladies and drilling-down- to-the-bone-marrow illnesses and not for racoon-eyed insomniacs or those on the look out to anaesthetise their semi-physical or partially self-created draggy emotional state. So even what one would view as a harmless strip of Calmpose is off-limits; kept in one’s bedside drawer to clock in a couple of hours of piled-up sleep, eluding one on account of the daughter’s late nights, to return home with scattered, distanced laughs accompanied by a wobbly walk. Or the disturbance generated by the Meals-on-Mopeds that the son thinks is Mum’s dear duty to open the gate for his a la carte, and knock on his double-bolted door for hand-delivery. Calmpose, not as benign as one would think. Accumulate 20-odd strips and a recipe for killing oneself off. Thus, a prescription! (As I write, it came to mind that with the doc’s attested authorisation, anyone contemplating suicide, can with no trouble, do the needful; in plain speak, the good doc, who is more a friend than a medical practitioner, be forewarned. Can one re-eally, without half of a thought, put a green arrow on the check-list box of symptoms validating the bona-fide acquisition of the sedative?!) Since pharmacies meritoriously abide by this law, down to the last letter, then how is that drugs of all kinds—be at Hash, Marijuana, Angel’s Dust, LSD, the names that readily roll of the tongue are available off-the-counter perhaps, in all probability at the Paanwala, a pebble’s throw from one’s home ? Kids, as young as 12, 13 racing not on mopeds but on motorcycles to Lajpat Nagar, Dwarka, Subhash Nagar, legitimised dens? Sweaty palms are exchanged. No handshake—the seamless transaction of moolah and maal. Digress, I must, hastily however: does not one have to be 18 to be zipping around the city in a driver’s seat, and does not one need a license after touching that number which permits one to be zooming around at Vamper-esque, pre-dawn or daylight hours? A common sight to see teenagers, with a shadow of a stubble, driving Papa’s posh cars. Going by the numbers, Police Thanas should be overflowing with parents taking the rap for letting their kids, with half-moon shadows under their eyes suggesting not hardships but a wholesome consumption of acid or whatever, drive in their underage status. Given this scenario, Lock-Ups should fall increasingly short, forcing the Government to build gaols in the far-flung Himalayas. A kind of replay where English Convicts, were sailed off to Down Under due to scarcity of space in Great Britain. Underage driving is an eminently sustainable arrangement with our Police Force?! And so they turn a blind eye and go tin-eared to the unlawful car woofers. Money makes the Mare go, of course, a time-immemorial truth but where fled limp-wristed pretences?

To at last return to Drugdom, after what was supposed to be a whistle-stop digression, so very many Bharatiya kids on mind-bending drugs; morphing into blurry presences, disembodied voices playing out from the dark, darker, darkest recesses of fogged-out minds. A wall-to-wall collage of symptoms—a shaky scroll of a signature verifying the smogged-outusers Aadhaar card, a lock-jawed stammer with a life-long shelf-life, unclipped grime-encased toe nails bending backwards… Need I go on I go on with these noisy visuals?

A few weeks ago, the Hyderabad-High matter came to light, and as always, TV channels went on an overdrive as if it was some Discovery of India. Girls as young as 12, one is informed, in pop-eyed horror, are ready to WhatsApp nude pictures at whichever angle desired by the Drug Dons in return for LSD or whatever chemical is needed to put one on a 12-hourhigh. And boys ready to pleasure same gender muscle-men as a swapping act in anticipation of the soon-to-be-handed-over substance, the impetus. A Proustian Rush? Some, of who, later are deployed, to bring in more business by luring younger kids thus getting a weekly free-fix, besides overhead expenses.  These, the well-heeled ones coming fromaffluent families perplexing one further, since one Sarkaar after the other, has gone hoarse in its defence that drug-abuse has been triggered by unemployment. Deciphered: once jobs are generated, drugs automatically will be history. Simple and Sweet Solutions. Now with druggies whizzing by in their top- line Audis and BMWs, this doss, one-syllable thesis, is split wide-open.

For the Owners of these Hi-Low Lifestyle glossy Velcro-ed pouches, satiated with dope, the question is : children, what are you running away from—the roses, the chook-chook of the Cooker promising a breakfast of crispy cutlets…Where, in the first place, is the low that necessitates a synthetic high?! Here, an Ice Pick, insufficient to break open a Stoned Mind.

Dr Renée Ranchan writes on socio-psychological issues, quasi-political matters and concerns that touch us all


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