The Art of Rolling

Origami is a fun, easy, inexpensive way to create art. This turning of a piece of plain paper to create an imitation of the world as we see it, has stood the test of time and technological advances. At 4:20 every evening though, the paper-folding is of a wholly different kind. But does that make it any less of an art form?

A quiet subculture has been hard at work, innovating joints rolled to mimic the form of tulips, submarines, planes, crucifixes, and even pitchforks. Just like origami. And just like origami, rolling a joint is an activity that requires practice, patience, and a fair bit of dexterity. But smoking any form of marijuana is, of course, still illegal in India. More importantly, it is immoral. Whether you ask Michelangelo, Banksy, or our home-grown Aseem Trivedi, important art has never been free from government intervention.

Thank God for the Internet, eh?

Today’s evangelists aren’t happy with the ready-to-sparks our parents have used since the 1960s. We’ve come from sliced bread to 3-D printed firearms — it’s 2016 and anything is possible. So it can’t hurt to assume that stoners are pushing the limits too. Hell, on most nights you’re more likely to find life-altering insight and engineering on r/trees and r/showerthoughts than on r/philosophy or r/DIY.

A good roach is the first and most important step to a good joint. Too tight and you’ll be inhaling until your lungs leave you for someone younger; too loose and you’ll have ingested your week’s supply of greens without having to touch methi or karela.

The most important thing I’ve picked up in my years as a pot-smoker is the chhanni. While most people delegate the part of crushing the weed to the biggest pushover in the group, a few years ago my boyfriend introduced me to the merits of using a chhanni instead of cleaning by hand. (Engineering college will do this to a person.)

If you don’t know what a chhanni is, it’s what mummy uses to look at daddy on Karva Chauth. What this incredible contraption does, is separate the seeds from the good stuff which falls through the mesh, in a fine powder form. This is much easier to roll into a smooth, lump-less J, that won’t have to be rekindled every three drags or so. This simple hack also ensures less wastage of both good pot, and precious time.

Now, on to the rolling.

The joint is a good, sustainable way to smoke pot. Vape-toting hipsters and chillum-slinging hippies will tell you otherwise… but more on that another time.

Also — and this is important — trash that fancy rolling machine your ex-roommate gifted you as an apology for using your laptop to rub one out while he thought you were asleep. Now stop thinking about your ex-roommate getting off, and focus. Rolling machines are to hand-rolled joints what David Guetta is to David Gilmour.

First off, you want to make sure you’re not positioned directly under a speeding fan, so you can get more weed into the joint than you do on your clothes. Mastering any art takes some sweat after all.

Lay out your leaf of paper on the flat surface before you (glue side up and away from your body) and place the roach on the edge of the paper on your dominant side. A third should be sticking out. Slim papers are better than regular ones, unless you like the taste of burning bleach, you sick freak.

Take a pinch of the green powder, and sprinkle in a straight line starting from the outside in, i.e. towards the roach. Be most generous with the sprinkling close to the roach to prevent limpness. See that the line of weed is only very slightly thicker than the roach.

The tuck.

No matter what you’ve been told, this is the real reason you’ve got opposable thumbs.

The lick.

“Just enough tongue,” is advice that’ll take you far. Stick to it.

The tap.

This step will ensure you are able to pack more pot in your joint. It’s also a little dance to celebrate the fact that you’ve gotten this far.

Pinch the last bits of paper together to seal the deal. There you have it, your lovely bundle of joy. Look at it! You made this. Watch how the dim light cascades off its slim, supple body.

Now stop admiring it, and light up. Smoke to celebrate your wonderful work of art.

Light it up, Bogart. Puff puff pass.