My First – and Last – Drug Run

True Crime

My First – and Last – Drug Run

Illustration: Akshita Monga


accha Pait Mein Zinda Hai.

These five words – “Baccha Pait Mein Zinda Hai” or the child is alive in the womb – were supposed to be Sarita Bahadur’s passport to a new life. The ₹8,000 that she was going to earn from smuggling charas into Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, across the porous Indo-Nepal border, would ensure her two young sons would go to better schools. The last few months had been difficult for the 27-year-old: Her husband, a daily-wage labourer, had been out of work. Their house, a single-room tenement without a toilet or a kitchen in Daang district, was crumbling.