Once I was talking to a major star who at that time was about to make his debut in a film directed by a very close friend of mine.
This MSIM (Major Star In The Making) loved to shock. He once told me that he had seen his mother kissing with a female friend of hers. I was understandably shocked.He also told me once that he had seen his illustrious grandfather kissing the most revered artiste of the country. I was horrified.
Later my filmmaker friend who was directing this young future superstar , told me that this young chap lied all the time.So should I have believed him when MSIM said to me that he experimented with drugs specially cocaine while studying abroad? Should I believe him when he says that his illustrious cousins, superstars in their own right, had also experimented with drugs?
He was probably not lying on this. But at the same time it would be taking things too far to believe that the whole of the Hindi films industry is filled with doped stars and cocaine addicts.I do know that a coterie of star wives were heavily into drugs at these girlie get-togethers where men were not allowed. Their superstar husbands were only too glad to let them do as they like as long as they kept out of their husbands’ activities.
Do drugs get passed around at film parties? No. Definitely not. But I am aware a handful of stars do that ‘snort’ of thing in privacy. Once at a party I caught a major star snorting in the loo of a 5-star hotel. I stared in confusion. He grinned. We made no mention of the incident in any of our subsequent conversations.
So coming to the crux. How rampant is drug abuse in Bollywood? In my opinion not rampant at all. There are actors who smoke joints before they do an intense shot. I have no idea if that is a crime. What I do know is that there are far graver crimes to be dealt with in this country.why waste time over the smoking habits of a handful of stupid people? It’s their lives. They can do what they like with it.
And to end on a note of amusement. Some of the voices campaigning against “druggie Bollywood” were active drug addicts themselves in the past.I am reminded of Anand Bakshi’s immortal lines of rebuke for the moral police: Yaar hamari baat suno aisa ek insaan chuno jissne paap na kiya ho ja paapi na ho.