chapter  XXXV
6 Pages


OPIUM (afyitn, afflm) _is the inspissated juice of the opium poppy (papaver somniferum). It is used in various forms by Musalmans, particularly by those living in cities, but in rural districts the habitual opium-eater, known as Afyfinchi, Airmchi, Pinak, ' drinker ', or Shahdmakkhi, ' honey bee ', from his fondness for sweets, is rarely seen. Opium is taken in the form of pills,followed by a little sugar or sweetmeats,or dissolved in water, and, if it is impure, strained or mixed with saffron. This last, the liquid form, is called Kusumbha, ' saffron ', and is commonly used by Rajputs. 1 It is often taken in moderate quantities to flavour tobacco and as a febrifuge and stimulant. Though much evil results from the excessive use of the drug, the demoralization said to be due to it has been much exaggerated. Very moderate consumers take about I Tola, 180 grains Troy, 11·662 grammes per month, and the average consumption by an habitual opium-eater is believed to be about 5 Tola per menscm. In some cases it has been reported that as much as a 'fola a day is taken boiled in milk. The worst forms of the drug are Chandii and Madak or Madad. Chandii is made by steeping opium in water till it becomes soft, when it is boiled and strained. It is thus reduced to symp (qiwam, qimam), which is kept for use. The pipe (bambil) is cleaned with a wire (gi-rmit) and the Chandii is heated in the flame of a lamp till it becomes soft, when a little is placed in the pipe-bowl (dawat), lighted and inhaled. Madak or Madad is made from the syrup of opium as above described, or more usually from the inspissated juice (pasewa) of the opium, which separates as it dries after being collected from the capsules, and this juice when co1lected on rags is known in northern India as Kafii. This syrup is mixed with chopped betel leaves, paper, acacia leaves, cardamoms or chopped coco fibre, and it is sold in balls. Chandii is smoked in a

special pipe (nigali), but Madak in the ordinary tobacco bowl (chilam, mahru). A form of opium constantly mentioned by the older travellers is Post or Koknar, a decoction of opium capsules, which was administered by the Mughal Emperors to princes or other men of rank whom it was desired to reduce to idiocy or remove without scandal.1