Kasol-Malana-Tosh & Indias biggest Narco-Trafficker. #taggedMonk.
They say almost everything bows down in front of money….let me tell you about something that brings money to its knees, something whose supply literally creates its own demand !
After a lot of failed plans, we(4 of us) finally boarded the bus for Kasol.
If you spot a lot of Bob Marley fanatics smoking and strolling sporting their deadlocks and tattoos, or if every cafe you walk into is vibrating with trance music, or if you see a lot of fit old Israeli’s on the street….you are not mistaken !…You’ve finally arrived.
Located at the foothills of Parvati Valley, Kasol proves to be a great launchpad to Malana, Tosh ,Barsheni etc. To save you a lot of research, Kasol is ‘the place’ for you if you have a thing for cafe’s and socializing with random tourists.
We met two Israeli’s . Omhri an off duty soldier who had bath alongside me in the hot spring up Kheerganga (picture below). He met us in Kasol too on our last day. Omhri was quite excited as he was leaving for Andaman the very next day.
The most interesting person I met in a while was the proficient Hindi speaking Ophir, a 54 year old retired Mossad agent who now was settled in Kasol with his family from the last 14 years. He told us how and why Israeli’s come to Kasol after their mandatory years of service to seek a therapeutic treatment.
After a brief stay by the river side at Kasol, we headed straight to Tosh and somehow trekked up to Pink Floyd Cafe by midnight.
Fancy getting intoxicated and doing a roof-top dance surrounded by mammoth mountains in a Full Moon Night ? Or rushing through the narrow pathways of a village of hashish farmers bumping into daunting foreigners(charasi’s) on the look for stronger ‘maal’? Or mixing Hindi-Hebrew playlists by the bonfire? ……Tosh has everything in store for you !
Tired as hell we fell on the bed….only to be woken up by the mesmerizing sunlight shimmering over the snow clad mountains and lush green valleys.
While our day started with a heavy breakfast gazing over a priceless view, around noon, we were on our way up the mountain making the KheerGanga trek. Little did we know who we were about to bump into. After trekking for about an hour, we stopped in a shack which had a spellbinding view of the Tosh Mountains. Couple of us were ‘high’ ,rest of us were sipping our drinks while snoop dog was echoing in full bass.
We could never be more relaxed…until….there was some noise in the deep valley beside us…leaves were ushering abnormally…we thought its just strong winds at this altitude. Suddenly a metallic white chopper rose up the valley by our side ! It landed in front of the shack, 2 men stepped down from the helicopter . A fit young guy of Nepali descent and a middle aged tall endomorphic man. For them, the shack was a mid way stop to collect a sack. They were on their way to the large Hashish Farms up the Tosh Mountains which were inaccessible to people like us. The elder one’s name was Taari Bhai . If you’ve been fascinated by Walter White, Pablo Escobar…..this is the guy that floods the International Market with Malana Cream(read:pure hash from Parvati Valley/Malana).
What I am going to tell you now is information from the conversation between us and the kingpin.
Taari Bhai has only 9 foreigner clients that he deals with. He calls them bi-annually , when the plants are ready to be harvested. Those 9 foreigners arrive in his choppers and leave with 100’s of quintal of pure hash. Why is it that only they get pure hash ? -only they can afford it ! Rest of it is diluted and multiplied in produce by chemicals which is consumed by most Indians.
I am sure, that just like us you might be having a lot of questions….let me give you a little context.
You’ll find almost no law enforcement in Kasol/Tosh/Malana etc.Very occasionally, the drug enforcement agency/CBI shows up and destroys the crop..and yes its only about keeping a count of showing up. Everyone gets their cut. As far as the choppers are concerned, we can think of only three ways it happens-
- Either the government or some politicians support or partner with Taari Bhai.
- Taari Bhai has his own private choppers ?
- The wild and unstoppable growth of Hashish and the villagers dependence on it has convinced the HP government to allow(if not facilitate) its supply outside India(to pharma companies as Hemp etc) and make it a revenue churning business.
Whether its Goa’s Casino-liquor-reality business, or the Pink Floyd Cafe’s of Himachal Pradesh….Taari Bhai is always in the business of good times and he never compromises in quality!Atleast that’s what he told us.
Could we get his contact number ? -NO , Could we get anybody’s cell number in that area ? — NO ! From the time he landed in front of us, the shack owner made sure all our cell phones/camera’s were switched off ..let alone exchange of cell numbers.
But did he give us a round trip chopper ride flashing his farms? — Hell yeah !
Taari Bhai didn’t just leave with 4 sacks full of Hash , he left us with an impression…and a sneak peek into the life a real multi millionaire(if not billionaire) supplier. Ofcourse, my friend who’s a connoisseur at this stuff was tipped off with a little something he could flash back on campus.
Fancy numbers ? A Tola (or 11.6 grams) costs $250 in Amsterdam.
To enter Malana and to survive Malana is possible only when a Malanvi considers you his/her guest. At Malana, people believe themselves to be direct descendants of Alexander, anyone else’s a down caste whose touch is to be washed with sacrificed goat’s blood. We didn’t just enter Malana, we even went to the Hash threshing rooms of the Hashish Farmers. Even saw quintals of bad quality hash been thrown down the Beas river! Thanks to Taari bhai’s contacts.
The last day was again spent in Kasol visiting Jim Morrison Cafe, Sunshine Cafe etc. While our trip did end when we boarded the bus back to Delhi, but somehow another ‘trip’ was carried back to our campus and that little bundle of ‘trip’ literally financed half of our trip. The same ‘trip’ is taking people high from the canopies of Shiv Nadar University. That’s for the only ‘trip’ and ‘Taari Bhai’ that I know about, yet almost every Indian college student is exposed to these — ‘trips’ !
Have you ever taken a trip ? or Will you take one in the future? Would you trade your cash for some hash?
Disclaimer- This is a travelogue/experience from a non-smokers perspective. Names, characters, and incidents narrated in this article are not necessarily real.Identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is solemnly at readers discretion.
(Trip credits — Taari’s tip
Pictures- some from net, some our own.)