I saw a string of people around a petrol pump, when the tanker arrived to pump in gallons of petrol. Just for a strong whiff of the liquid. Same goes for Vicks too. Vicks is so addictive. Breathing in without inhaling Vicks will not let you sleep. And Iodex should be spread on the bread evenly and then consumed. It gives you a high. Or maybe, there are a lot of syrups easily available with the chemists, which can be bought without a prescription. Say Korex, also serves the purpose.

The list goes on and on, with the mention of whitener, ink, moov, amrutanjan and others. And whitener is so common. First, both whitener and thinner are mixed in a polythene. The face is then covered with a polythene/ paper bag and then inhaled. Drug addicts who are addicted to Heroine, Hashish, cocaine do have rehabilitation centers as their saviors. Though there aren’t a lot of rehabs in India. But what about that kid who sweeps the floor in Panvel-ST local train. He swings more than the train does. The look in his eyes says it all. And then you realize there are close to 8,000 children who are addicted to whitener, ink remover, thinner, shoe polish and vulcanising solution. Above that, the consumption of such substances is not even covered in the Narcotics, drugs and Psychotropic substances act.

There was a time, when I had to travel a lot. Mostly in places where low income groups stayed. And that is the time when I saw a lot of these things happening. There were people sharing injections in Mankhurd, sitting near the garbage dump. Now what concerns me is ‘SHARING INJECTIONS’ and ‘NEAR THE GARBAGE DUMP’. We are all addicted.

The obese population is addicted to junk. They can’t stop themselves from eating at various food ‘joints’. Alcohol makes an entry now. But now it really looks microscopic, if I talk about alcohol. Because everyone is addicted to something or the other. Some need tea early in the morning, some others are addicted to Saunf. You heard it right. I know people who are addicted to saunf. They wait for the bill to arrive more than the food.

All these are subtle addictions. Unlike Alcohol and Marijuana, Hashish and cigarettes would be much more harmful if consumed on a regular basis. Cocaine and Heroine might create large holes in your pocket and your entire system of thinking and movement. But consuming medicinal syrups in large quantities, Iodex, whitener can be a lot more dangerous.

So the next time you see your friend at a bar or at a Tapri, before asking him to stop doing it. First, ask yourself ‘What am I addicted to?’ And you will get an answer back within a matter of seconds.

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