Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Stoner Cult of 18th and 19th Century Calcutta




We have heard a lot about scoring stuff and rolling joints and making weird bottle-cut bongs and submarines and blah and blooh and getting stoned over the internet. Many human beings who study in colleges and universities of my city tend to be subtly proud difference with the hoi polloi when it comes to consuming weed and its arts. Of course, folks out there are mildly aware of their prole counterparts and their kolkey or chhilim but most of them call what those proles and often they themselves smoke from as ‘chillum’, a Hindized version of the same thing. Upto this is common knowledge. Often these beautiful people become aware of the ‘prole’ forms of art from their mutilated commercial mimicries (Baul gaan = Baul Thek = lots of weed = 420 <3 420="" a="" also="" and="" aware="" become="" couched="" ending="" existence="" font="" from="" handful="" hellyeah="" in="" isms.="" of="" often="" studies="" terms="" the="" their="" these="" weird="" with="" yeahyayeha="">

But because our attention span towards stuff that contain a lot of words ending with the suffix ‘ism’ is all of 7 5/9 seconds and because we are jealous of and hence contemptuous towards those measly snobs whose attention span is more than that and they swear by weird books such as those written by a cranky old Brahmo Bong in the 19th century omfg <3 19="" 420420="" a="" bloom="" bloomboom="" bong="" boom="" by="" corrupted="" doped="" drunk="" dude="" in="" or="" rich="" shit-stoned="" sup="" the="">th
century let’s get out of this place
and I don’t remember how I started this sentence.


Anyway, so around 250 years ago there lived an absolute scum named, erm, honestly, let’s just name him NKD.  

(honestly, I’m trying too damn hard and I’m in a good mind to continue trying too damn hard because I want to.)      


So this abominable abomination, he sided with another scum, this time one from the beautiful West who couldn’t stay there and so the West had banished him to wreck umm yeah whatever.

And this first scum, NKD by name, made a lot of money and build a huge palace in a new city which is quite old now and where I stay and he organized a lavish worshipping ceremony of this weird but great ten handed mother goddess where he made this something like a three or whatever feet temporary stage made entirely of sweet and edible substances and wait I need to approach the refrigerator now and yes, he made splendid and scantily glad chicks dance and wait I need to approach the bathroom now

Yes, so, he did all these to please that other scum from the West.

However, he was not all scum, the NKD dude. (The other one was beyond redemption). He was a patron of poets who would sing the most splendidly perverted of all profanities at each other in perfect rhyme, meter and rarely in half decent but mostly in totally fuckuped voices. Many other rich scums who had settled in the city to have similar fun (lucky bastards) emulated him and thus the city was filled with these profanity rhymers and I bet it was fun wait I need to approach my time machine fuck I can’t find it.


Fick, I can’t fnid my time mahcine and I am depressed.     




Thus, this NKD dude was not a scum in entirety. He had a friend, a rich brat alright, but a princely tripster, who set up this group of people called The Birds and they turned turned turned.

They also crushed and sorted and blew from a type of clay pot whose generic name was kolkey. Of course I am sure every individual member had a name for his own pot. Mine is Aragorn today. Yesterday, its name was Goldilocks. You didn’t read the last sentence.


And boy, did they smoke their stuff! Their shack was by a river, deemed sacred by the proles now and by all then, and the river flows through the Northern reach of the city. That place is still dotted by several similar joints and if you wish to soar by the river, feel free to go there and enjoy the sight of thousands of transparent polythene packets containing, mostly, weird yellow flowers which were marigolds a few days back and weird green leaves which were weird green leaves a few days back floating by along with several other strange trippy things such as straw-heads and straw-limbs and straw-torsos of which were idols of pagan gods and goddesses a few months back.    

What all did I just say?






Yes, so, the important question on whose answer everything depends. Why were The Birds called The Birds?  

= 42+0

Urban legend has it that they each time they would finish smoking their 108th or its multipleth bong, they would get a brick. And they would have to build their houses with those bricks. The bigger your house becomes, bigger a Bird would you become. Eg: If you have a small house, you can be named a sparrow whereas, if you manage to stay sane and build a bigger house in course of your journey towards avian glory, you can become a hawk or an eagle.

It’s complicated and very confusing. Only jobless stoners carry forth the torch of such urban legends.

This legend had been half-affirmed by a cranky old Brahmo wiseguy around a hundred years later. Because this man was old and wise and educated and had Santa Claus beard that the stuff he wrote is considered authentic. If I become like him *shudders* the stuff I write will be considered authentic *as if*.

So this niceguy, the friend of NKD, was the founder of The Birds. His name was ST.

Around a hundred years after the Birds were found came a rich perverted guy who used to write cool stuff, and was a huge stoner (and doper and junkie and also a boozer). All in all, a cool brother, who lived fast, wrote fast, blew fast and died young. He conked off when he was 30. Let’s call him KPS.

KPS said that ST, the Big Daddy of The Birds did more to a handful of beautiful souls than what RRM has done for the Bongs. He (ST) taught them (The Birds) how to fly. RRM was great Bong reformist whose history-book picture shows him posing like an exotic Oriental Raja with a weird turban. I’ve lost count how many times I have used the word ‘weird’ and I wasn’t counting and maybe I should have and it’s all goddamned confusing     

 Qs: Do Bongs know how to fly?
Ans: No.


Qs: Did The Birds know how to fly?
Ans: qwertyuioppppppp



Legend has it that once some local dudes asked KPS for some money for the worship carnival of that goddess I was talking of somewhere up above the crazy diamond in the sky with lucy. KPS asked them why they need money. Now, this Goddess, as her idol shows, sits on a lion and pokes a demon with a trident. So these brats who wanted money told KPS that her lion had broken a limb while she was coming down from her heavenly abode in heaven and so they needed money for the poor lion’s operation. KPS gave them the money.

Now, during the carnival, KPS went inside the makeshift temple where the idol was placed. He saw the lion’s idol and he (KPS, not the lion) was stoned and/or drunk and/or doped and he (KPS) broke the lion’s idol and stood in its place carrying the goddess’s idol on his back till, I guess, it (his back) ached. Things can’t get any, umm.

KPS died, out of presumable causes, three years after a friend of his overdosed on morphine and/or snakebite and passed out and away in his garden.

Morphine/opium was a common dope back then. There were loads of little opium joints where they would roll the stuff in little balls which were called ChonDu and dopers, mostly sad old men, would smoke those balls from a close cousin of what we call water-bong today.

These sad old man are still there all around the city, but they can be found with newspapers in hand and discussing politics and cricket and football and politics, instead of being with those cousins of bongs in hand and soaring into those splendid realms.   

This is how all beautiful cities die slow painful deaths.    

And of course, just like many people do the stuff because cool hipsters would do it in the West 30 years back and indulged in profound stuff such as staring blankly at the star spangled, dynamic nightsky and jerking off like a mad rapist, many among the rich city folks of the 19th century would do it because cool hipsters did it in the West thirty years from before their (those rich city folks’) time and did profound stuff like writing of one crazy mass-slaughtering rapist clan leader drinking the milk of eternity.

Cool hipsters 30 years back from these times did weed. But the cool hipsters 30 years back from the times of those 19th century city blokes did opiates. Ergo, these city folks did opiates and the smart ones among them, such as this devout Hindu dude, who, like most devout Hindu dudes, hated Muslims and considered the female species inferior to the male species because I guess they don’t have pippies but above cattles because they talk in the same language that human beings, i.e. males, do, umm, where was I?

Yes, so this smart junkie who hated Muslims and Women alike would become immortal in history of literature as the founding father of Bong novels by writing Bong novels about how Muslims and Women were the root of all evil. These, I guess, are some influences of poppy, though I can hardly speak much about this particular gift of nature and its effects. This smart junkie father of Bong novels was once so doped that he was talking to a cat for a few months and wrote all his conversations down and it became a masterpiece just the way all of Hunter S Thompson’s writings became.  

 And then there was this other bald and wise guy, a celebrity in local junior-school ‘know the greats’ books and highschool history textbooks and walls of schools, colleges, and occasionally, on walls of little club-rooms dotted throughout a large section of the city. Till my adolescence these rooms would often double up as bars and joints at nights.  But now the state wants the city to be more civilized and hence, the music has stopped and the bridges have been broken.  This is how all beautiful cities die slow painful deaths.    
So this bald hero was addicted to opium. But this person and the previous junkie hated each other. At least the previous one hated this one a lot. There’s some evidence somewhere.  


Another common dope was Datura. They would make little incisions on edible fruits as those fruits hung from the trees and would put in the Datura seeds and would let them swell up inside those fruits for a couple of days. Then they would gulp those swollen seeds down with milk or water or whatever. This was a terrific/ble trip and its memory has faded out from the distant husky voices of city, ever whispering, ever bullshitting.


 Anyway, I have no personal experience on these and thus I hardly care. If and when I do, maybe I will.


Here’s this super-lame super-duh anecdote about the beards penned by the important Birded guy.
I think I messed up the last sentence. Nevermind.

This story is supposed to be funny. Apparently, some Bird had attained the level of Woodpecker when his dad came to the joint looking for him. (Shit. Our dads are mostly much better.) Poor daddy identified his little darling boy and went to him (the darling boy) and called him by his real name and told him to come home. To this the darling boy made weird sounds remotely akin to that made when a woodpecker pecks wood because woodpecker is a politically incorrect bird with a curious name.  One day I met a tiger and I killed the tiger and the tiger killed me.

And then the darling boy pecked the poor daddy’s, umm, hand I guess. At least the Important Bearded Guy says that it was the hand. The anecdote ends here.


What’s worse, many people find this funny and even think of this a splendid example of sharp old-school humour. People and their priorities. Me and our tails.


One of The Birds became famous as a stoner poet and you can still find his singing statue at a big white-columned building in the city which was important when the Brits were around. Even the city was important when the Brits were around.


Close to the city lived this prole whose name was Sita. But he was a guy.

And that’s not all.

Sita’s life was all about the paradise and he wrote a poem, almost an epic in fact, about the origin and spread of smoking according to which Tobacco was the Essence of the Earth and Weed, Bhang and Datura were its Avatars. Green. It dealt with how the gods and the demons tortured a snake and how several good things such as tobacco and weed and an elephant and a horse and etc came up and some really bad things such as, umm, poison and some other really bad things came up and how tobacco and its avatars were worshipped and how the bong and the hukkah were created.  

The scheme was grandly copied from these old scriptures and the only other person I’ve met who has read this one had found the whole thing to be super lousy. I find the fact that this thing exists and all the presumed probable and improbable facts and factors relating to the circumstances that led to its existence to be immensely intriguing.


And thus, things happened. More and more links are getting snapped every passing second. It’s scary.  



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