11 April, 2021

Paved In Psychedelia

As students trip on LSD and cocaine lines lead to Tollywood, the dig on Hyderabad’s drug rackets unearths more shocking finds

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
Paved In Psychedelia

Hyderabad, going by the popular image which it often plays up to, is famously laid-back. The 21st century has obtruded onto this space of charm and minars, as it must, via the inf­oczars who rule the city’s expanding western edges, and all the attendant yuppie markers of speed: fast roads, fast WiFi, fast consumption.

Yet it came as a shock when national headlines spoke of a different kind of consumption—that of synthetic drugs and hallucinogens—hovering like a dark haze over its yuppie salons. The clients: techies, Tollywood figures, and worse, school and college students. From the volumes of contraband, and the length to which the end-users would apparently go to lay their hands on them, this was no dalliance of a few snorts on the dance floor.

But it was through a tangential set of eve­nts that this whole dystopic scene came to light. First, a man was caught with large quantities of hooch, by the people whose original beat it was to go after bootleggers: the Prohibition and Excise (P&E) department of Telangana....

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