Travelogue: PAN (Gutka) Eastern and Central India

1 - Ek

2 - Dho

3 - Theen

4 - Chaar

5 - PAN...

How could an entire state or a region have learnt the numerics like this? Because that's how it seemed to me.

A common man addictively consuming Pan in public and blessing everyone with a sprinkle of the holy red concentric liquid mixture of their heavenly smelling saliva and the healthy juice of the Beetel leaves couldn't have possibly driven me to mention it in a blog. Well, you know, that's the Indian TRADITION and one shall not be surprised or taken aback.

But, Alas!

(A few) Cultured men, tutors and even laureates whose dressing sense is no less than those of 'Hollywood James Bonds' are utterly failing to notice that their mouths look no different than an ancient sink, aging a few billion years, used by the Tyrannosauraus where they spit the excess blood and the unchewable remains during a delicious dinner. We all know how the Tyrannosauraus are trolled all over 'Facebook' for their shorter arms and obviously with those arms they could never have cleaned the Sinks. And, that's how the mouths looked like whence comes the explanation of 'Otto Cycle and MOSFET' and great ideas for educational reformation.

No matter how hard you try you could never ignore the existance of a respectable community of artists for whom their Teeth is the canvas on which creativity is splashed (LITERALLY) all over with a unique solution very skillfully mixed using tools not any other than their own teeth and the tactical tongue which handily becomes the Brush to paint their master piece which they put for exhibition everytime they smile at you.
One shall not assume that I'm complaining one region like the region I belong to is free from Pan. Pan is all around in one form or the other but the usage and the spread are not alike. I've never seen a school in any other place where they have thought to highlight with pride, 'PAN FREE CAMPUS' on the compund wall besides the name of the founder.

Parents and tutors are the role models whence the children and learners learn their habits. Pan, they have adopted, even more efficiently and enthusiastically without disappointing or failing their models.

There was a time when I had to wait for a train scheduled for 8 hours thence in Guwahati, Assam while I chose to walk and look around near the railway station for some 15 minutes than to sit idle, that too immediately after dawn but ended up spending 6 hours sitting in a tourist park.

When  I say park one ought to know how difficult it is (if not impossible) to find a seat to sit in a PARK than finding one in a crowded Mumbai train.

Now, don't imagine the park to have a legion of tourists.

There were around 50 seats very generously spaced and there wan't one more person than 50 pairs ranging from 'infatuated infants still in school uniforms' to 'hopeful hippies' and each has taken an entire seat for themselves. While if it was a place where I could also contribute in an argument if one breaks out between me and others I would have taken one seat ignoring the pair. But there, I couldn't do anything such, as if they are unhappy or annoyed, no matter how logical or rightful my explanations are, they would never understand.

Thus mentally fixing this in mind I scooted around trying to find a place to lay my bag while I rest and finally found a seat where there were 3 school boys who were talking and laughing louder than it is required except if any of their hearing is impaired. I eventually found that their AURO Audio effect is because of a group of dames standing a few feet away with the same school uniform whose attention these Romeos were trying to get and were succeeding occasionally. They could not be older than a 10th standard student and after every two sentence they finish speaking (or spitting) they spit the PAN (with style) after hitting a look at the girls.

I could not help but wonder how the girls are not offended by this action. In movies and real life I've seen since my childhood, when someone looks at you and then Spits, it is an expression of insult and with the utterance of 'Thuth theri...' the insult is stronger and deeper. However it was different there.

A Bus driver, a ticket vendor, a TTE, the Principals and the Correspondents, a watchman, a cab driver and with an exception of a few everyone mentioned or failed to be mentioned here chew and spit all around and round the clock.
One time there was a professor with a doctorate and a countable number of years of experience, dressed so perfect in a cosy car, was driving me to their institution. The car slowed down after crossing a speed breaker and the Professor suddenly opened the front door of the car and leaned out far and I was unable  to choose between shock and terror for I had no idea what he was up to. He leaned so low and so far ignoring the road and the vehicles in the front and SPAT. I was only relieved when his eyes met the road after he returned to his original driving posture. That was the first and last time to be surprised and then I have started to predict what's coming every time the car slows down.

There was another occasion where I was waiting at the railway station where a group of about 10 or 12 local people (looked more like the tribal) settled around me as there was enough room for 3 more people to sit in. Even while many others sitting around me until then started to move away one by one, I chose not to leave my seat as I had to wait for 3 more hours. 

It would be so foolish of me not to expect them to consume pan or spit it around while I've seen sophisticated men do it all the time even within the campus of an educational institution.

All of a sudden one woman in the group had a 'CIGAR' on her mouth. One as lengthy and as the one which 'Ajith has in the ASAL movie poster' and she ignited it which I did not look at first. Confused with the strange smell and the strong smoke I looked up and was taken aback with an expression of disapproval and annoyance seeing which one of the men in the group shouted something indecipherable to the lady and she moved a feet away smiling ashamedly at him and looking at me. Relieved I was, thanking the man, who advised her to move away, with a smile.

With common men I had at least the chance to express my vexation which I have not with the cultured and well-versed who should naturally be mindful of the troublesomeness it might cause to others. 

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