Holi fervour: 'Bhang ke side effects' (Holi is on March 17)
Karan Jaiswal, 28, can't forget his first escapade with 'bhang', a popular concoction made with the buds and leaves of the cannabis plant, during Holi. For almost six hours, he felt he was flying free in the air.
"I get nervous at the thought of it now," Jaiswal, who was 23 back then, told IANS.
Pakoras, thandai, laddoos, kulfi and many more consumables laced with bhang are a hit during the festival of colours. Youngsters in urban cities lap them up at fancy parties, where music, alcohol, scrumptious food and dance dominate the festivity.
Ritika Chopra, 23, went to a farmhouse party where bhang-based products were in abundance.
"Three years ago, I consumed two glasses of thandai, and I couldn't feel any effect. So I drank a can of beer, and that's it! I left my parents scared like never before. I was lying on the grass and started shivering.
"I was cuddled up and trying to speak something but couldn't because I started believing that I was inside a coffin and somebody had shut my mouth," she recalled.
Ultimately, she was taken into a room and made to sleep well. She woke up 10 hours later to realise the "side effects of bhang".
Careful consumption of bhang is ideal to get a kick out of it, but don't go overboard. And don't let others trick you into it.
Mohit Kapoor, 27, didn't speak to one such friend of his for a month.
"I still shiver when I remember getting drenched with loads of water to stay attentive, and I ate half a jar of pickle after I had bhang," he said.
There's also Apar Mathur, a doctor, who had his first brush with bhang during his first Holi in college.
"I was laughing for hours and hours altogether. Ultimately, I had to be locked in a room to be pacified," said Mathur, recalling that while he was laughing, his roommate began crying after consuming bhang.
Charu Mehendiratta has a funny tale to tell: "My dog became really slow after having bhang last year. His eyes became droopy, he went out for a walk and sat down in the middle of the road not knowing what to do next!"
Over the years, Bollywood films and songs have touched upon bhang intake and its effects in various ways.
Remember the "Jai jai Shiv Shankar" song starring Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz in the film "Aap Ki Kasam" - where both of them dance in an inebriated state.
Who can forget Amitabh Bachchan's immensely popular "Rang barse bheege" from "Silsila". It's an epic Holi song, which sets the mood for almost all parties during the festival.
There are also songs like "Ang se ang lagaana sajan", "Soni soni ankhiyon waali" and "Madhubala", which have shown revellers intoxicated with bhang.
Dance on to these numbers, but be wary of excess bhang in any form.
(Posted on 16-03-2014)