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Ode To Paan

I now understand why people say those who live abroad live by the Gmail and Facebook. You are so cut off from everyone that you do log on for a few hours everyday just to be in virtual touch. More so, if you have not got a job yet. So I now have a G &F habit, almost replacing the paan :)

Funny how when friends ask me if I miss Delhi my prompt reply is "I miss paan". I get ample advices on overcoming or rather coming to terms with this vice I inculated over years of staying in Delhi and being surrounded by paan-wallahs, a few of whom had become my friends too.

Sanj: u missing delhi
me: no paan
Sanj: why don't you grow paan ka pattha at home
me: trying to grow chillies at the moment

me: and nowadays i am always wearing my heart on my sleeve. i snapped at laurie one day and i said this is the most vulnerable stage of my life - without a job, without my family, without my PAAN!
scribe: PAN... did i hear it right?
scribe: you are a SPECIAL CASE
me: when gita went to the chanakya panwallah he asked her indira ke liye bhi pack kardu? and she told him woh toh ab yaha nahi hain... when she told me this it was emotions unlimited for me..
scribe: ohhhhhhhhh my god.. can't believe... the paanwala is thinking of you... please please write a blog on this... your homework for today
scribe: from where u have got this paan love?
me: does it take long to have a vice?
scribe: no not at all.. certainly not in your case
me: thank god i wasn't introduced to cocaine

Hence this piece. Lolo goes to the extreme. "Smoke if you feel the urge to paan". But if I were the type to smoke, I would have had no complaints, really. I miss chewing beetle nuts, laced with lime and 120. After a good dinner and lunch, I get an ultimate high!

Few years back, a young English colleague coined a term for me. "Paaning. So you are paaning", he would remark sometimes. I even taught him to buy me one. The first time, of course, he got me the horribly sweet sugar laden paan (not knowing the difference in the variety-filled paan shop), which Lolo, in our initial days of courting, started chewing to express paan-ship. When asked of the taste, he said it was like chewing wood. Prodded further, he said, "I have reached the saw-dust stage."

But as the relationship progressed, so was his loath for paan. I admit red paan stains on the streets, walls, etc., is not a pretty sight. He called it a peasant habit. Before coming here, my dentist had a field day scraping the paan stains off my teeth. "Kick the habit and start taking gutkha chewettes", she said, an advise I am following to date. I buy nicotine gums.

I have not eaten paan for a long time now but I would be lying if I say I don't pine for it every now and then. The power of paan - it doesn't let go off you completely. Like an old lover! Nostalgia to me comes wrapped in paan.


Sabarmati View said…
desi chick, missing paan....
i loved this blog... but for your bhagwan's sake, stop nicotine gums... they are no good...
enjoyed reading the other ones too..
take care

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