Tag Archives: Weed

The Music Festival Guide to Drugs

Having walked into a dozen or two music festivals and having tumbled out or escorted or thrown out by security, I’ve had first hand accounts of the harmful effects of drugs on naive festival-goers. First up, hide it well when you’re going in. Secondly, there’s no doubt that drugs are bad for you, including the ones you get across the counter at medical stores and chemists. In case you’ve been blinded by TV commercials and Shah Rukh and MS Dhoni’s Royal Stag testimonials, even alcohol is a drug.

According to the WHO, A drug is any substance (other than food that provides nutritional support) that, when inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, absorbed via a patch on the skin, or dissolved under the tongue, causes a physiological change in the body. – wikipedia

‘Drugs’ as per the commonly abused definition of the word, are against the law. Then again, in India and most other ignorant countries, so is homosexuality. The law is dumber than the dude who decided this demonetization thing. So if you get caught, you’re on your own – like I learned at NH7 Weekender 2010, 2012, 2014… and still learning. In this post, we’re only talking about the drugs that the lawmakers and music festivals talk about.

More often than not, you don’t hear of scary stories. But there’s that one idiot who gives the whole crew a bad name by overdosing on some suspicious material, or mixing it all up and then face-planting into the sound console. So before you go all into your fear & loathing at the festival mode, it’s best to educate yourself about what to expect when you’re tripping balls. And luckily there’s enough ways to stay safe and alive.

  1. Weed/hashish/charas – the good stuff can be sniffed out from a football field away. So if you see those big bouncers running towards you, empty your pockets immediately and be ready to beg them to not tear your festival band up. Also stay close to the food stall so you don’t get lost trying to satiate your munchies craving. Caution: Do not mix with hard alcohol.
  2. Alcohol – yes, just because all your festivals are sponsored by them, and your dad drinks, and your grandpa drinks, it doesn’t mean alcohol is not a drug. It is, but the morality of it being legal is a different discussion. Stay hydrated. Eat well. And go easy. You don’t want to projectile at some unsuspecting chick dressed like a fairy. Caution: Slow down. Do not mix the darks and the whites. And remember all that coke and sprite and whatever mixers you use, have an obscene amount of sugar content. Make sure the ice is made with filtered water. Or skip the ice.
  3. Cocaine – now we’re going hard. It ups the energy levels. But it can also up the douchebag levels. Tends to make some feel aggressive. If you have that tendency, stay off the coca. Do not walk around like you dipped your face in snow. Caution: stay hydrated. Don’t start a fight. Somebody will clock you out.
  4. MDMA/extacy/molly – everybody’s fave party/rave/festival drug. Will help you dance 15 hours straight, but the body ache recovery post festival will take 10x that time. Also, you’ll be feeling the love a lot. But don’t get too touchy-feely with random strangers, aaite? The bouncers are always watching. Caution: There’s a lot of bad MD going around, especially at festivals when those greedy scumbag peddlers are out to make a fortune. So go easy. Watch out for really bad downers and anxiety attacks. Both cocaine and MDMA tend to increase your tolerance for alcohol. But when they wear off, the alcohol side effects will make life hell. Very dehydrating, so carry a ton of oral hydration salts or glucon d.
  5. LSD – magical colours, patterns, and love will exist where they never did before. Also this is probably the least harmful drug, physically. But if you have any case of mental or emotional trauma or baggage, stay off absolutely. LSD takes a while to wear off. And if you’re stuck in a painful psychological trip, you might even consider killing yourself to get out of it. Please don’t give the drug a bad name by dying. Caution: stay hydrated. Fresh juices/fruits are best.
  6. DMT – if you take this at a music festival, you’re probably out of your mind. Literally. And some of those EDM acts while tripping on DMT can be akin to sitting in a pitch black torture chamber listening to nickelback for days together on loop. Caution: certainly not to be mixed with other chemicals or alcohol or greasy food.
  7. Ketamine – aka fertilizer aka horse tranquilizer aka don’t touch that thing. But more often than not, this has been passed around as MDMA among unsuspecting festival goers. Given its low cost, its also become a popular choice of drugs among the youth. But honestly, I cant think of a worse drug than ketamine. If you DO end up using, make sure you stay hydrated and keep chewing gum as well. Those jaw clenches can be gnarly. And really, the 3-4 terrible days of recovery period – where your tongue burns and your jaws hurt and you have no appetite – is hell.

So yeah, I’ll recycle this post just in time for the next festival season. But keep these general tips in mind anyway, and stay psychologically undamaged/alive.





While Pierre, me and the rest of the crew were behind the bar, Manuel, Isaac & Antoine had their own parties in their dorm. Manuel came to me every evening with a huge glass and asked for ice and coke, gave me a hit of his spliff, and headed back to the dorm. Every night. Sometimes the first thing i did when i got off the shift was head to the room. Busy nights, i did that every 30-40 minutes. Lima teenagers can be a mind numbing bunch.

On one not-so-busy night, I got in the room to see Manu wide-eyed, hand stretched out to point the joint at my face.

‘Try this!’

2 hits.

‘DAFUQ is this?!’

‘Good no?’, Manuel.

‘UHHHH… my brain feeeels… confused. WHAT IS THIS.’

‘Yes! That’s what Antoine said too! What happened is, all my coke fell into my bag of weed. I tried a lot to separate the mixture, but after 2 hours I thought what the hell, just roll and smoke the mixture.’

‘So this is essentially a crack joint?’, I took another hit.

‘Exactly! Crack joint! We didn’t want to throw away the whole mixture. Too much to waste.’

‘Why didn’t you use a sieve?’

‘A what?’

I went to the bar, came back with a sieve and waved it at his face.


‘A sieve, Manu.’

‘PUTA MAAAADRE! MIEEERDA! Leave this here please.’

Jungle Jam

I have a long story coming your way about my time in the jungle. And the whole Ayahuasca ceremony, and seeing the light, and getting rapé seeds blown into my nose by a shaman and feeling like Christopher Nolan’s papa, and seeing things i’ve never seen before. And not seeing an AC/TV/fan/electricity for more than a week in 37 degrees C and still being able to make it out alright. But i’m still finding the words for all that.

But before i get to that, i have another story for you. This happened a day after the ceremony. This happened after 9 days of sobriety, when i headed back to town to the Spanish family i was living with, and they had a jam session at their hostel the same night, where Ronald and Percy were to get together and lay down some tunes. Well, Ronald, Percy, and a percussion player who never turned up. Fucking drummers.

So Ronald asked me if i’d play. And though i passed the audition with flying colours, just an hour before the music started, Don gave me some weed.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.33.43 pm

He said, ‘it’s just OK weed man, nothing too great’.

An hour later he was saying, ‘shit man, i shouldn’t have given you that weed, we’ve totally lost you’.

(Don’s a dude who lives in Miami and smuggles ayahuasca for his hippie friends in the US to sip on and feel like they’ve seen heaven. Doesn’t work like that though.)

So i take this jam jar filled with weed, make a nice little joint, and spark and take a hit like my lungs have missed it for years. And slam.

It might have been the ayahuasca from the ceremony still in my body that those 3 drags kicked off. But OH MY GOD. I do not remember weed slaying me this helpless. Such potent shit.

So the makeshift percussion player that replaced the percussion player that didn’t turn up had to be replaced by Ronald’s girlfriend, who had the experience of being a makeshift percussion player on occasions like this.

Ronald is a German who had a choice between India and South America back in 1978. I think he made the right choice. He’s been in Peru or Colombia or Chile mostly ever since. Tagging his guitar along. Once a hardcore alcoholic and cocaine addict, today he’s as clean as the amazon air. He says the jungle showed him the path. That usually means many ayahuasca ceremonies. But he has been sober 32 years and counting. And he’s fit as a fiddle for a 60+ year old. And his girlfriend is probably just as old, but would put most 21 year old supermodels out there to shame with her body.

It’s funny most people settled here from Europe, and America, and Australia came here to get an abundant supply of the cleanest cocaine in the world. But just as soon as they land here, they go clean.

And when i say the cleanest cocaine in the world, trust me. I may have been sober most of the time here, but the few days i cheat, i really cheat. This was one of those nights.

So mid afternoon in the jam room, they got together and started a little rehearsal, prepping for later in the evening. First Ronald had on a yamaha 5 string bass, but later he put that down saying he couldn’t sing and play bass at the same time. Common band problem. So he picked up an acoustic and Percy had the electric guitar. I sat in on a few songs cos the percussion player came in 30 minutes late. This was my audition.

Below are Ronald, Percy, and the perc player that was supposed to turn up…



But of course, the perc player did not turn up for the gig. And a little before the gig, the weed rendered me motionless.

This was hugely embarrassing for me as i had to hug a pillar to be able to stand straight to say sorry to Ronald with a straight face. But he didn’t mind much. The actual percussion played had disappointed him enough for him to be disappointed in me.

Ilka, the girlfriend had to take over on perc duties. And even if she was majorly off-beat on most tunes, Ronald had a way of telling her to go chill on the hammock without really saying it with words.

Half an hour into the gig i managed to stand and record a video. You must watch this.

They dished out some good tunes. But like most musicians face in their lives, 3 tracks after this one, tragedy struck.

The 2 of them fought, there was a Spanish face-off that sounded like:



Percy grabbed his stuff and walked out and Ronald continued to play guitars while also sitting on the percussion and basically finished the show with nobody else walking out cos there was nobody left to.

This was the most bizarre gig i’ve attended in my life. I thought Rahul and Sandy was funny. This one pushed it to a whole new level.

Fucking musicians, man.

Happy Hitler’s Hippy Adventures & Other Short Stories

Adolf Hitler did not commit suicide. Nor was he killed. He was cryogenically frozen by the juice so he could be punished by their masses when they repopulated on the planet.

Fortunately for him, their breed got greedy, and sold his frozen body to the highest bidder. The bidder was on his way to Japan to do tests on the great dictator’s temperament, when he decided a stopover in Manali was a good idea.

Within 7 days, global warming and insane amounts of smoke led to the ice melting. The tyrant was free.

But the first hit of fresh air had something in it…something he hadn’t smelt during his days as a monstrous murdering sonofabitch. and the music that played had an equally blasphemous effect on him. Marley’s ‘sun is shining’ was oozing out the speakers of the lil shack he was in.

His buyer ran for his life down the hills, but Dolfy just looked around in awe…as he felt his body go through warmth he had never felt before. He put on the red gown he found in the corner of the shack…and walked around, taking in a good whiff of everything he could smell. Loving every moment, loving the sunshine, loving the hills, loving the blue skies, loving the trees, loving the people… which was strange. The hill people didn’t know hitler. They mingled with him, and even tried to teach him how to ‘roll a doob’ as pot smokers these days call it. Since his fingers were still freezing thanks to being in ice for 60+ years, they told him to eat it instead. Adolf, for the first time in over a century of existence, was happy.

He looked at the red gown he had on, and it had a tag that said ‘The Assram’, Koregaon Park, Pune.

Next destination.

Happy Hitler then took a bag full of whatever the hill people gave him, and headed down south to amchi pune.

By the time he arrived, he had been numbed with feelings of ‘love and peace’.

Adolf Hitler had turned over a new leaf. He was hippy hitler now. He was happy. Hippy hitler was happy. He liked reggae music, and occasionally danced to rnb and west coast hip hop too, but condemned gang violence and ‘gangsta’ music. “those mutter-fukhhhurz are cressy”, he said “leave and let leave”.

He walked into a party@high one night and people thought he was someone in a costume. They tried to pull his face off thinking it was a mask. In a split-second fit of rage, he took an iron rod and beat an irritating bawa almost to death. He felt bad for a few minutes, but then continued dancing to reggae soon and he forgave the bawa for trying to tear his face off. They made peace, but for some reason, he saw history in the bawa. People don’t change, only circumstances do – he thought to himself. It was a strange feeling. He looked at the glass of juice a scantily clad woman was holding. he realized by now that juice glasses always glared back at him. He hated juice. He drank beer.

Hitler now lives in a nice lil house in Pune, surrounded by greens and good friends and a daft but sweet dog, smoking greens and chilling with greater friends, and occasionally going out to dance to reggae. He reads a lot. He reads about music and movies. About the great 70s and the hippies. He can’t understand why they were so difficult to understand. He reads about how the bushes and bills and the obamas and osamas of the world are desperately trying to do what he did many many decades ago.

Hippie HitlerSomewhere, he read about goa.

Next destination.