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No laughing matter

entertainment Updated: Mar 09, 2009 18:35 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

It’s that time of the year again when the streets come alive for a whole day with the noise and colours of festive cheer. It’s also the time for that special something — bhang.

A drink that can be traced back to the Vedas — the Atharvaveda mentions its potent anti-anxiety properties.

God sent
Bhang has been called the food of the gods (indracanna) because Shiva loved it. Twelfth-century folk songs extolled it as the drink of warriors too because it gave them courage in the face of battle.

Holy men still see it as a step towards attaining that state of ultimate ecstasy and communion with God. Of course, lesser mortals merely drown in never-ending spells of laughter or tears.

A colleague once slipped into blissful silence after a bhang-and-vodka shot. A glass of bhang lassi, and another friend’s uncle decided to spend the day writing his will. Even Amitabh Bachchan fell for it in Silsila. So what’s stopping you?

Legal pleasures
Take some bhang leaves (available in government-authorised shops) and sugar, and grind them. Add to a pan with water and ghee and boil. Once cool, blend the mixture into a paste. Put a spoonful into lassi or thandai and voila you have a potent drink ready!

To try something a tad different, just keep some of the ground leaves in warm water for a few hours. Add the leaves to a bottle of vodka or rum and let the liquid stand overnight, then strain. Your bhang-infused liqueur is ready. Mix it with juice or just take a straight shot.

Go take a trip down high street this Holi — in moderation, of course.

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