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Saturday, January 9, 2010

The wonderful world of Ravi Naik

It is settled then. The best world one can live in is Ravi Naik’s world. Just think of the fun we could all have if Ravi the eternal optimist, was not in government, holding the Home portfolio, but was instead running a private business, or a multi-national conglomerate. If his business was going down the tubes, he would say, what nonsense. Everything is fine, profits are up.

The police department he heads has been hurtling from one mess to another. They try valiantly to take a leaf from their boss’s book and attempt to put a different spin on the law and order situation in the state, which is in free fall, but they just cannot pull it off with Ravi’s élan. You see the desperation in their eyes.

It’s not that one does not like the world we live in right now. We have so much to talk about, shake our heads sorrowfully over. We have fingers, and we can point them – one away from us, three towards ourselves.

In our world we have drugs liberally used not just at Sunburn, but everywhere else. There was this funny smell in my immediate neighbourhood and a middle-aged friend from my college days, sniffed experimentally and said wisely, “Ganja”. There was no one puffing on anything for as far as the eye could see, so obviously someone was taking a trip indoors.

Go to any shack, any stretch of beach, any discotheque, any club and you will find drugs. It’s difficult for the non-user to recognize a drug dealer, but users can spot one a mile away. In our world, you can see drugs being smoked, they are inhaled at the more exclusive lah-di-dah Page Three parties, and they are smoked or inhaled in the slums. Drugs are not falling like manna from heaven and rolling into reefers, or lining up on glass tables for snorting. In our world you know they are being sold in large quantities to a large number of people. We know, because we see more and more people in more and more households turning into addicts.

But in Ravi Naik’s world and his is a good world; it is not a crowded world since it is peopled only by himself; there are no drugs sold in Goa. These people who are stoned out of their skulls at music festivals and other venues bring narcotics in from other places as part of their luggage. They bring it for their personal consumption and not for sale. In Ravi’s world, Goa is a place of great beauty, great happiness and great peace. I like his world and want to live in it.

But like my children have been telling me from the time they were in school that drugs are sold at gaddos near the better schools and colleges in the state, anyone's children, Ravi Naik’s included, would also be able to tell him that drugs are available in plenty and in great variety anywhere and everywhere. Something for every budget.

His children may be even more aware of the real world, and may even be able to tell him the names of those running the business -- the carriers, the routes, the sources, the destinations. We don’t grow the stuff here, but one wouldn’t be surprised to hear that lab drugs like crystal meth are manufactured right here in the state. I did a little reading up on Angel Dust which killed a Delhi girl at the Sunburn festival and I tell you solemnly, it is pretty scary. Its chemical name is phenylcyclohexylpiperidine or PCP. It is hallucinatory and stories of addicts of PCP would make your liver curl.

In our world we know that ever since the Hippies strayed into Goa and dug in deep, so did the narcotics trade way back in the 70’s. In our world we know that everyone’s in on it – the Russians, the Nigerians, the Israelis – and they are all eagerly helped by local Goans. That’s our world.

In Ravi Naik’s world there’s nothing of this sort. But I forget. In both worlds Ravi’s and ours, people die. Like the Delhi girl they die of drug overdose, or like an addict I knew who died in a road accident, their brains rot. Those fighting the menace are found dead in their apartments and the autopsy shows that they died of “natural causes”. Come to think of it, that autopsy is just the kind of thing you would find in Ravi’s world.

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