Jayesh pulled open the netted door. The door creaked a little as it opened. A musty yet refreshing smell welcomed him. He tried to pin it down to the source. Surya Red and marijuana.
A welcoming cheer from the group of boys and girls followed. “Aau. Come sit here,” Seema patted besides her. She was sitting down on the large mattress that was dragged onto the floor. Around her were two boys and another girl. With a smile, he went and found his place within the circle.
“Suna sabaijana yeta. Everyone listen to me,” Neha took the floor. A bout of silence except for a low-volume of Ktaharu singing from the cheap mini-speaker followed. Neha continued, “we have limited space in our prisons. But a lot of them are filled with offences related to marijuana. Growing, transporting, selling, possession, what not.”
Heads nod in agreement.
“I saw there should be reparation by the government. A full release with monetary settlement. I do not know the legal procedures and all that shit but that’s what I think justice means,” Neha stopped.
I felt a nudge on my left hand. Gaurav was handing me over the half-smoken blunt. I grabbed it by its end. Through the white translucent paper, I could see the filter made by a piece of hard paper ripped out from inside the Surya’s box.
As I held the herb to my mouth, Gaurav blew out the puff of smoke that was still in his mouth and said, “Tei ta. I agree. Look at us. All of us should be in jail. The ones who help us get this stuff are in jail and here we are not giving a damn about those people.”
I took a long drag and let the smoke dance inside my mouth for a few seconds. I pulled it all into my lungs and then blew it all out through a small O-shaped opening in my mouth.
I took another drag but this time I did not swallow it. I made a larger O-shape with my mouth and tried pushing out smoke rings. It did not work.