“Bloody hell!!!Why the f@#k is Kurt Cobain’s eye starting to move?”
“What the heck is happening? This is f@$#ing insane. Do something guys, I’m losing my mind. Crap, are these aliens around?”
His voice was hoarse by now. He was shivering and fidgeting where he sat. After a while, it got too bad for him to stay put where he was. He got up, pushed the door open and tried to run out of the room- all this while, he kept shouting at the top of his voice about seeing invisible foes and losing his mind. I thought he was just messing around with us- just having fun. And I expected him to wrap up his charade any minute and just snap out of the drama he was putting up and then we’d all laugh about how realistic his acting had been and then we’d all go out to have dinner just like we planned to. But he didn’t stop…..he seemed incapable of stopping….he went on screaming till the neighbours peeped out of their windows and opened out their front doors to see what the fuss was about.
Now, this was a sticky situation as ever that we could have ever landed ourselves into. It was scary; it was surreal and even now when I think about it, it’s hard to believe I witnessed something like that happening to somebody so close to me. Everyone told me how doing pot was no big deal. Everyone did it; it’s just grass – just a relaxant that would set me out on an ‘up trip’ on a bad day. I never knew it would have such consequences. Who could have imagined that marijuana was capable of causing this!! It was not LSD, not cocaine…just plain old weed….totally ‘safe’….’handle-able’….’mild weed.’
We were clueless on what to do. A couple of guys with us had done this before so we were looking to them for solutions but even they seemed dumbstruck – they had never encountered a calamity like this before. I was silently talking to God and promising him that if He would help me get out of this horrible mess safely, I would as long as I live never even think of even touching any of that kind of stuff, no matter how adventurous or reckless I feel (btw I know how lame it is to bring God into manmade mess but I was only being human). Our intelligence was totally muddled- maybe it was the smoke, maybe the sheer shock of the situation. We kept looking at each other’s faces and I’m sure we would have forever done that until our eyes gave out, but right then another of my friend’s panicked shrieks woke us out of the trance. We all started to stir and got ready for action.
People started looking up their contact list- for friends/acquaintances/cousins who are preferably the constantly doped types or are pros at it. Right then someone suggested hospital and we jumped at the idea. We hailed a cab and went off to this renowned government hospital where the doctors are all ‘geniuses’ as are their interns because to get through they have to pass this fancy tough exam that ensured only the best minds got through. As we entered the white building, the knot at the bottom of my stomach tightened. It was smelly, the crowd was funny looking and the doctors will undoubtedly be the first in my list of unfriendly, unreceptive, unhelpful, unkind( and a lot of other bad adjectives) people. But of course, they can say in their defence that living in that dreary place day in and day out surely has its drawbacks.
At last a doctor came to us and decided to waste a little of his time on the shrieking kid. He asked what happened. This was when I realised just how bad the situation had gotten. We had to confess now!!!! Holy c@#p!!!I mean we could not expect the doc to treat our friend without telling him what started the delusions and panic attacks. We had to go ahead and tell him and we sang to him- like canaries. I was glad that at least he kept his face impassive and didn’t go ahead wrinkling his nose in distaste. He left us for a minute and then came back with a bunch of his intern friends….we squirmed under their collective stares which shouted loud and clear- ‘serves you right!!!’ Their antagonistic expressions were belittling. We were the villains in the drama….a bunch of spoilt college kids who got into a mess that they truly deserved to be in. Very soon every single person in that stinking general ward found out why we were there (and the place was jam-packed so that makes it a lot of people!).
One of the doctors had his fill of admonishing us visually and he thankfully proceeded to administer some help to the patient. My friend’s condition was only getting worse. He was given sedatives and then the doctor talked to him a bit and I have to grudgingly concede that he actually did quiet a good job of calming him down. He told us that all he needed was sleep and everything would be back to normal one after that. He said we could take him home. I was so relieved to hear that- my mind had already started being haunted by images of my friend ending up in an asylum, my parents grounding me for life and the police coming home to arrest me. I was glad our lives were not permanently changed or blemished in any way.
I went to the doctor to thank him and then he told me in that totally detestable tone of his,” you could have got into real big trouble. We are nice people so we’re sparing you. This could have been a police case and all of you could have ended up in jail.” I had never felt guiltier in my entire life than at that moment. I prided myself in being responsible and being capable of making smart choices and the whole experience was like a slap on my self-confidence, self- esteem and ego. I mumbled thank you again and we left the place. My friend had calmed down by now and someone called his mom to tell her he’d be sleeping over at this other friend’s place. I left for home, really happy everything was behind me now.
So this was an account of how my first experience with gravity bong went seriously wrong for me. Hardcore dopers or even the less-experienced but informed ones would call hallucinations, panic attacks and delusional behaviour a normal consequence of doping. But for me, it was one hell of an experience….literally!! I did a bit of googling on hallucination and marijuana and the finds were surprising. A lot of people out there seem to find it hard to believe that one might be caused by the other. Also, gravity bong the first time itself was a real bad idea which I found out too late. I thought it was just me and my friends who knew little about it….but there are scores out there who scoffed at the idea of marijuana being remotely harmful. Of course, I felt less like a fool after reading people’s incredulous reactions to the idea that marijuana could cause more than just ‘peaceful blackout’ but I also realised how uninformed a lot of people are about things like these which seem so much fun from a distance. So even though I don’t want to sound sermonising but I want to tell you this- next time you guys want to try something new- do so knowing the possible consequences and realising that it is in our interest that we should make informed choices. A bit of researching won’t really kill the fun!!! As for me, I’ still thanking God because he saved us from what could have been a catastrophe. I survived (meaning, my parents didn’t find out about it and neither did I have to sit on lice infested hospital bed sticking my tongue out for some unfriendly doctor to examine). Thank God and good riddance!!
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boodoo/37996009/]