Why Indian Uncles Shouldn’t Mix Drugs and Parties


Why Indian Uncles Shouldn’t Mix Drugs and Parties

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Cocaine is one hell of a drug.

When Eric Clapton sang about it, he spoke on behalf of a lot of people in the artistic community, whose art was born of its whole-hearted use. Robert Louis Stevenson, the man who wrote Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, famously wrote 60,000 words of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in six days in the throes of a coke bender. Martin Scorcese and Oliver Stone, both cinematic czars, have openly admitted to playing in the snow, one time too many, all while doing some of their best work.

Cocaine certainly is one hell of a drug – if you aren’t Indian that is. Actually, barring weed, any narcotic is a disaster when it comes to Indians. If our use of alcohol is any indication, drugs and Indians just don’t mix well.  

Take all our deep-seated issues with everything from women to caste, add a sprinkling of narcotics, throw in a bunch of testosterone-addled uncles, and what you’ve got is a recipe for disaster, which I was unfortunate enough to sample at a rave. Did I say rave? I meant launch party for an uber-luxe lifestyle brand at a private villa in Goa that just happened to have a DJ playing a mix of Bollywood and EDM, with Russian models and a BYOC (Bring Your Own Coke) policy.

And bring their coke they did, uncles from all over the country, in tight V-cut T-shirts. The tables looked like you could make little snow angels in the fine layer of white powder that blanketed the surface. This party, that would put a smile on Pablo Escobar’s face, was full of specimens like Count Cokeula.

Count Cokeula

Count Cokeula is about 60 years old and is a successful business tycoon with a family. He has enough money to ensure that everyone at the party has a crisp, rolled-up ₹2000 note to funnel coke into their nasal passages all night. You will find Count Cokeula dancing with all the hottest women at the party, and by dancing, I mean vibrating in place. This relic from the party days refuses to stop or die – it’s like the cocaine is keeping his heart going. Thanks to his high net worth, Count Cokeula immediately makes everything about himself. Be it a dance party or an all-white do at sundown, Count Cokeula will show up with five grams of snow in tow, and throw all your plans of simply chilling with a couple of friends out of the window. God help anyone caught in his entourage where freak snowstorms, due to all that cocaine being cut, are an everyday occurrence. Running through one of these snowstorms with reckless abandon is…

Mr Pill-ai

The middle-aged man whose nipples are poking through the near-sheer material of his designer T-shirt is Mr Pill-ai. He’s as south Indian as chicken tikka and gets his moniker thanks to the burning question on his lips, “Pills hai?”, which he also uses assertively  thanks to his inability to perform without them. Mr Pill-ai, pushing 40, is in charge of all the count’s logistics, including his transportation from party to party in his luxury SUV blaring some of the pind’s finest RnB, i.e. Raftaar and Badshah.

Take all our deep-seated issues with everything from women to caste, add a sprinkling of narcotics, throw in a bunch of testosterone-addled uncles, and what you’ve got is a recipe for disaster…

While stoners are likeable, the annoying part about someone like Pill-ai is his aggression, best witnessed when the DJ pumps out some Prodigy. Watch him get triggered quicker than a third-wave feminist at a khap panchayat meeting. Try dancing in a group, and he’ll probably bust it up by nagin-dancing his way across the floor, just to show you up. Turn down his request to bum a smoke and he’ll probably burn the place down out of spite. Tell him to chill out, and he’s ready to fight, which means he’ll probably pay the bouncers to kick your ass, lest he get blood on his Louboutins.

Charles Sober-raj

Watching this whole charade with a grin on his face is the only likeable person at this shindig – the 30-ish Charles Sober-raj. He’s probably friends with Pill-ai and might be his lawyer, on account of the fact that chemically he’s the yin to Pill-ai’s yang. MDMA is like running through a field of daisies in the clouds naked  while still being functional enough to perform basic tasks such as carrying on a conversation with strangers at a party without wanting to kill them. And so it is with Sober-raj, the most experienced of the lot when it comes to drugs. He’s probably defended murderers ’cained out of his brain without even breaking a sweat. He’s not drinking, in case he needs to drive home, and knows that a breathalyser gives no fucks about the amount of molly on his breath. Charles Sober-raj can be spotted in animated – but always respectful – discussions about veganism or spirituality in a corner of the room until he stops talking altogether thanks to his clenched-shut jaw.


The last person on this list is also the last person who should be doing drugs. Onebytwo is new to this game and cannot afford a proper habit, but dreams of making it big only to do better drugs in the future. With his moderate use of cocaine, MDMA, ecstasy, crack and cutting chai, he puts the “upper” in upper middle class but sticks out at such a party like a sore thumb primarily due to the lack of an entourage behind him. An entire gram is out of the question – too pricey – which is when he starts looking for partners in crime, but finds none. He finally snorts a stray gram or two, half a tab maybe, before proceeding to pickle his liver with alcohol. Go back to your investment banking job and the Saturday night doob, Onebytwo, your parents worked hard to give you an IIM education and you’ll never really fit in with this crew.