Two days ago, Dhruv Shah, 21, received a message from a friend that read: ‘The ghost busters are back, Aghori Tantrik will be hitting the town; get into the forest of darkness’.
It didn’t take long for Shah (name changed) to decipher the cryptic message. It was an invite for a psy party or a rave and included details of the venue along with the contact numbers of the organisers. Aghori Tantrik is a popular deejay known for his psychedelic music mix.
The invite was sent to Shah on his Blackberry phone’s messenger service as well as his Facebook page.
As rave party organisers rely heavily on social networking mediums to publicise their events discreetly, the government’s decision to monitor such forums after the Khalapur rave may make sense, but the implementation is going to be a tough, if not impossible, task.
Shah, a college student, has attended several such parties with friends. He said organisers usually stay in touch with regular partygoers.
Once an event is planned, they send out invites on Facebook or other networking forums to the regulars and ask them to circulate it among interested friends.
“If a person is interested in attending such a party, he or she has to speak to someone who has received an invite to get the details. The circle used to be small, but it is now increasing as several people are getting to know about it through Facebook. My friends’ inboxes are filled with such invites,” said Shah.
To an ‘outsider’, the cryptic invite makes little sense and seems harmless. These parties are known by several pseudonyms such as full moon and eco-friendly trance fests.
“Passes are sold for Rs 700 to Rs 2,000, but this does not include beverages or alcohol. The rate can be higher depending on the scale of the party,” said Sarah D’souza (name changed).
D’souza said she attends such parties because she enjoys the trance and psychedelic music genres. But there are many who attend such events for more than just the music.
“If it’s an indoor event, most people who want to do drugs do so before they enter the party as most venues have bouncers for security and vigilance. They know they are risking it, but they want to experience the thrill,” added D’Souza.
At the rave party in a hotel at Khalapur, which the police busted on Sunday night, drugs such as ganja, charas and cocaine were seized, and around 300 youngsters were rounded up.
“Several people who go for these parties are usually under the influence of drugs,” said Shah, adding that not all people are there for the drugs.
“Some people come for the music, but that number is quite small.”