15 March 2012
For them, shelling out Rs 4,000 for 1 gram of cocaine is no big deal. Yes. We are talking about the drug of the rich and the famous.
Gulping down a drink or two during parties is a passé for the affluent class of the city as they are now saying ‘hi’ to high. Their new friends include C, coke, charlie, powder, white, snow and blow (from Johnny Depp’s movie of the same name about a cocaine smuggler).Now why are the pseudo names important?
“These are the code–words that we use while ordering drugs from the dealer so as to play safe. What if the phones are tapped or our conversations are overheard?” says Atul Mehta. He further explains that all one needs to do to get the supply of drugs is call the peddler. “He won’t pick up just anybody’s call. The dealer should know you and trust you. If he has your number stored, only then will he receive your call. If a new person wants to start buying from him, then he needs to be introduced or recommended by one of the dealer’s already loyal customers as this is a risky business and the dealer doesn’t want to get busted,” explains Azeem Khan, an entrepreneur while talking about how to ‘score’ the drug.
After calling up, the client and the dealer meet at a decided place (mostly a bustling area) where they exchange the money and the ‘maal’. Cocoaine costs anywhere between Rs 1,000 and Rs 4,000 depending on the quality, bargaining skills and relationship with the dealer because if he likes you or is close to you then he will always quote you a cheaper rate.
The different types available in Pune range from Columbian, Cuban, Brazilian and South African. Many Mumbaites also come to Pune to buy coke as it is believed that in Pune you get better quality than Mumbai. The same goes for LSD/Acid, MDMA, and Ecstasy which are more easily available in Pune than Mumbai.
“LSD (lysergic acid derivatives) more popularly known as acid or Hofmanns (after its inventor Albert Hofmann) is another popular party drug. Different varieties are available with the peddler at various times depending upon what stock he has. You get Shiva, Hofmann double dip ice mints, Dalai Lama, Avatars etc.,” says Deepika Mehra. She added that these are drops which you get either on stamps, blotters and sugar cubes. Each drop costs Rs 750. People enjoy this due to the hallucinations they get after consuming it.
Every year in Pune, January 11 (Hofmann’s birthday) is celebrated in an underground manner.
Ecstasy known as X, E or pills comes in a little coloured pill form. Varieties easily available in Pune include, white scorpion, blue dolphin, pink lexus, pink star and Mercedes. “Initially, these would cost Rs 400–500. But with the demand up, they now cost Rs 1,000,” says Sheena Awchat, a graphic designer.
But, on top of the list in popularity after cocaine and weed amongst the city youth is definitely MDMA which is more easily available and gives a clean high with a slight buzz. “It usually comes in powdered crystal form which is crushed and put inside capsules. One capsule costs Rs1,000. But, one gram of MDMA for Rs 4,000 in zip–lock packet gives you 6–8 ‘hits’. You feel the buzz after half–an–hour to 45 minutes and the feeling remains for around 3–4 hours,” explains Siddharth Shah, a banker.
Besides these drugs, another form of drug consumed by a rare section of the city is ‘heroin’ which is also known as ‘safed gudiya’. Speaking about the addicts among the affluent class, Sanjay Bhagwat, project co–ordinator of Muktangan Rehabilitation Center, said: “Compared to addicts of alcohol or gambling, it is very difficult for cocaine, MDMA or Ecstasy addicts to leave their addiction. The major reason is that these addictions have very acute withdrawal symptoms and, hence, it is difficult to de–addict such people.”
When contacted, Satish Deore, senior PI of the Anti–Narcotics Cell, Pune, said that there haven’t been much cases of cocaine or ecstasy peddlers in the city that have been registered. “Last month, we arrested a peddler who dealt in charas, and was himself an LSD addict,” he said.