SURYA NAGAR IS A SUBURBAN RESIDENTIAL AREA IN JAIPUR, which I did not left for the whole day. After arriving 6am in Jaipur. I took a tuk-tuk to Sunny’s house in Surya Nagar. My stay at Sunny’s place would be my first offical stay at a Couchsurfer’s home with the family. Having high expectations for this, I sighed a quick relief when I noticed how big-hearted my host is.
Sunny works for a British insurance company and lives in a big house with his lovely wife, Neelam and cheerful brother, Sumit. My room at the basement is spacious yet secluded, and I enjoyed a long nap after the bumpy overnight train.
The whole afternoon was spent drinking tea, and chilling out with Sumit while discussing Jainism and Indian food. I was contended with relaxing near the village and watching people at the nearby temple getting ready for tonight’s Lord Krishna’s festival. This being India, I expected surprises, but today was so peaceful, I laid my guard down. Up until evening, everything seemed really calming.
We were then joined by two other couchsurfers, Gueye and Emilie, a couple from France. We bought vegetables while I practiced my broken Hindi at the local market. We showed great team effort while peeling and chopping up them. We were told that Sunny is a great cook. I sat by his side the whole night (at the rooftop), listening to him explaining all the complicated steps in cooking mixed vegetable curry. All the spices were added at different timings with different amounts, such delicacy never seen back in my kitchen.
Until now, all seemed normal, and we had our dinner on the floor with thick chapatis filling our stomachs. Sunny offered to let us taste Bhang lassi, a local drink which contains Bhang, a type of plant grown only in Rajasthan. Bhang is often compared to marijuana for its ecstasy effects, but it is a legal drug here, and does little harm to the body.
Always seeking for an adventure, me and Gueye agreed to try, and the expert Bhang lassi maker, Sumit, made us two glasses each. It tasted like sweet lassi with a little spices but it looked green, similar to a spinach shake. After an hour, we all started feeling tipsy, and Sumit was constantly laughing on the floor.
For me, the Bhang felt unusual. I was relaxed but my mind wanders so fast it feels like it is going to explode. After a few rounds of stupid games and card tricks, Gueye started to speak differently and seemed very confused.
The night ended early, because Sunny thought that it would be better that we all rested before we got too high. I felt my mind racing for another two hours while I lay on my bed, before throwing up my very heavy dinner. It was really embarassing, but I felt better thereafter. So, after a night of craziness, I went to sleep, the best sleep I had in India. No headaches or hangover, but it felt like a really big bang on your head, just like its name – Bhang. (Bhang is said to give good sleep, leaving the person energized and focused the next day)
Chopping vegetables on the floor, very Indian-like ain’t it?
Sunny is the chef of the day, Gueye serves as his personal photographer
Vegetable curry – the end product of our team effort
The curious Bhang lassi that has effects resembling marijuana