If drugs were people you met at a party ganja and hashish would be the middle-aged guys in dirt-starched jeans sitting on the terrace strumming a guitar. They would say things like 'dude check out the moon' a lot. Acid would be the amateur DJ mixing Buddha Bar and Ibiza trance trying to catch all the pretty colours drifting from the sound speakers. Ecstasy the young girl touching herself touching everybody touching the walls making love to the world...Heroin. She's the bitch in the corner man just an ageless coldhearted bitch in a business suit. Billy Joel wrote a song about her.
Not far from Mumbai is a rehab called Land founded by Dr Yusuf Merchant (or Doc as he is known among his patients). A meeting point for those suffering from a range of addictions and behavioural disorders Land holds extraordinary stories of tragedy fortitude and survival--including Doc's own story.In White Magic Arjun Nath looks back on the time he spent at Land as a recovering heroin addict: the rules and rituals the agony of withdrawal and the moments of lightness he shared with his fellow inhabitants. Woven into this personal record is the tale of the maverick doctor's several incarnations: from Ismail to Yusuf to Bhai to Doc.Sharp sensitive yet full of swag White Magic is an outstanding achievement.