paanPaan khaaye saiyan hamaarowhite-dog-in-fall1
Paan khaaye saiyan hamaaro

Karnal ke kutte pe cheent lal lal
Paan khaaye saiyan hamaaro

I must admit I tend to forget things after a couple of drinks. I’m not sure if it was a kurta or a Kutta in the original song!

Paan –  India’s indegenous mouth freshener made of moss green heart shaped leaves having a liberal filling of all sorts of wonderful condiments. After a mouthful, your speech changes drastically (Queen of Hearts may sound as cooing of aarse; we love our lifes may sound as we rubb our wives ). So beware. Among other interesting side effects of this magical morsel is the irrepressible desire to shoot your slobber around, the higher and the farther the spatter, the greater is the satisfaction quotient generated.

The practice of chewing of paan has a rich and colourful history. Its basic kinky quality was best described in the Kamasutra of Vatsyayana. (Hope you’ll find the link extremely… er… educative.)

“After cleaning the teeth and having looked into the mirror and having eaten a tambula to render fragrance to the mouth, should a person start his day’s work”.

Woohoo! What Vatsyayana actually meant by ‘starting a day’s work’  is really anybody’s guess. Imagine him saying, “C’mon guys! Let’s work harder and beat the f**king recession!”. Moreover, in those days of glorious liberalism, ‘day’s work’ didn’t have to wait for the stars to shine and the night to descend! I guess Vatsyayana must have grinned and winked hard at his students while penning this verse! Furthermore, it is widely believed that the more red your tongue gets stained after chewing a beeda, the more you are loved (or is it lusted really?) by your lover. Alas Linda Goodman never had a paan or else she’d have promptly written a bestseller on ‘Linda Goodman’s Tongue-in-cheek Love Signs’.

So, quite naturally, a study had become terribly necessary to dispel myths, and more importantly, to frame a set of rules for paan (betel leaf) chewing. Since most of the leading researchers in the blogworld are heavily occupied with determining the exact duration of mating calls of adolescent tree frogs, the onus (I said onus) of this research automatically descended upon my shoulders. So here I am, with my findings begging for your fertile attention.

Rule No. 1 – A Paan A Day Drives Your Blues Away

What the world badly needs today is a paan for everybody (no paan intended). Paan is said to cure digestive disorders of the mind. Disorders which otherwise cause cerebral constipation leading to an excess of pongy ideas within the skull which then find a way out by means of earth shaking intellectual farts. Intellectual farts smell awful. And they also stain your psyche’s undergarments. So to avoid such disasters, have some paan. And see the world change around you.

Rule No. 2 – A Paan A Day summons The Dentist Straightaway.

Rule No. 1 is just for amusing you. Don’t really take that seriously. While paan may really put an end to bad blood between battling bandicoots, regular intake will surely give you bad breath and teeth like Miss Palampur’s (the cow…you remember/ from the Cadburys ad?) freshly laid manicure (or is it manure?). Teeth may also demand an early plebiscite to break free and your gums might resemble the bombarded mountains of Tora Bora with loads of smelly-shit transported from Pinjrapole Gaushaala.

Rule No. 3 – Enjoy the juices…. leisurely

Paan is not your Bandra ka vada pao which you would gulp down in a hurry. The delicate flavours of a well made paan are released slowly and sensuously. So place it in one extreme corner of your mouth (don’t push it down – or your balls, I mean eyeballs, will pop out, therefore push sideways) and let the juices flow. Masticate leisurely.cow1

Masticate = the exquisitely pleasurable action of chewing slowly with eyes half closed and with a grinding, cow like action of the jaws; not at all to be confused with all other exquisitely pleasurable actions beginning with ‘mast’ and ending with ‘ate’.

Now let the juices and the sweetness dissolve thoroughly in your soul and stir up corny love songs of Jeetendra  – Sridevi – Jayaprada films. (Tohfa –tohfa –tohfa-……..Laaya – laaya – laaya….)

Rule No. 4 – Peek (throw your slobber) around with care.

woman-hanging-oversized_~BCP019-24You may need to get rid of some of your saliva from time to time to be able to breathe, speak or survive, so always keep your eyes open for appropriate places. Your neighbours car (right next to the rear door handle), their potted plant across the balcony, or his white Amul Macho underwear drying on a line may challenge you if you are an expert slobber chucker. Else, just spread your legs wide enough, do a dead drop straight down and walk off. Of course check your pants and your wife’s (or girlfriend’s) saree/ salwar / jeans to ensure that your colourful shot did not land there. You know, some very uncomfortable questions may follow afterwards if this precaution is messed with.


Rule No. 5 – Mardaa….No zarda please.

Or Zafrani patti or tobacco in any form. If you need a high, here’s a practical and very safe suggestion. Just ask someone to kick your butter really hard. This is a quite successful method with results guaranteed. Trust me, at any given time there will be atleast 10 blokes around you happily willing to give your butter a resounding boot (personal experience). But avoid paan and tobacco …for that’s a deadly combination, literally!

So go ahead and enjoy your bite. If you wish to have your paan and eat it too, just ask the paanwallah to cut that big kalkatta patta into two and rape (wrap….still not out of that awful ‘English’ hangover) one piece in cellophane. And don’t forget to ask for extra gulkand, tutty-fruity, mishri and elaychi; after all your paan is nothing less than Woodward’s Gripewater for the soul!


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20 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Amit June 15, 2009 at 3:01 am -

    Now this post has left me aching with desire! Where the hell would I find a paan here? 🙁
    While I was in Chennai, there was this paanwala near our house who knew us by our names because of our fetish for paans! 🙂

    • Rofl Indian June 19, 2009 at 6:42 pm -

      Is a paan too hard to find where you live? If that’s the case, please find out ASAP if Fed Ex or Blue Dart offers shipment for this category. You’ll get one from me soon 🙂

  2. nursemyra June 15, 2009 at 3:24 am -

    Is it available in Australia? Not that I’m thinking of trying any…..

    • Rofl Indian June 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm -

      What is the Australian word for this…?

  3. ~uh~™ June 15, 2009 at 10:53 am -

    Not only you took the pleasure of masticate onto your onus alone, but enlightened the world about the paangent truths (for self) and paanishment (for others) associated with chewing paan.
    That Tohfa-tohfa-tohfa metaphor was mouthwatering.
    Wish you could add a peice or two of the essential Areca nuts in the compaany 🙂
    Quite a paandimonium, this post can create.

    • ~uh~™ June 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm -

      Karnal ke kutte pe cheent lal lal
      Is it the place Karnal or ‘Colonel’ ke kutte ?
      I think possibility of the later is grave.

      • rahul June 18, 2009 at 11:50 am -

        it’s malmal I guess 🙂 but whatever

        • Rofl Indian June 19, 2009 at 7:19 pm -

          Malmal ka kurta or Karnal ka kutta..? Kee fark painda? 😉

    • Rofl Indian June 19, 2009 at 6:52 pm -

      I was afraid if it would open a Paandora’s box…!
      Btw, I wonder if the Japaanese do know about these things….

  4. rahul June 15, 2009 at 3:15 pm -

    ROFLAMO..what a paanoramic view you have created with this post..brilliant post..loved your ingenious on-liners like ‘Peek (throw your slobber) around with care. ‘ 😛

    keep paaning!!

    • Rofl Indian June 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm -

      C’mon, I’ve never been to Karnaal to be able to comment upon the revered canines of that abode. Colonel in Hindi sounds Karnal, and many Karnals walk their dogs in the morning.

    • Rofl Indian June 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm -

      Thanks for the compliment 🙂

  5. Witsnnuts June 15, 2009 at 8:03 pm -

    “Cooing of aarse” & ‘We rub our wives”
    … JUST too good …
    Not to forget the Amul macho underwear matter.
    LIKE rahul says
    keep paaning.

    Cheers 😀

    • Rofl Indian June 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm -

      Thanks for the appreciation Wits. 🙂

  6. Vidooshak June 18, 2009 at 11:36 am -

    How do you end up making funny all the way to the end of a long treatise on a simple betel, not even Bailey? Awesomeness again. Sorry I don’t end up on this blog everyday– it is extremely distracting at work 🙂

    • Rofl Indian June 19, 2009 at 7:14 pm -

      Haha. As I read this, I’m getting a sarge of emotions 😉 And thanks for he precious visit….its almost like waiting for a rare migratory bird 😀

  7. le embrouille blogueur June 22, 2009 at 1:10 am -

    Amazing and how ironic… I guess it is a Bengali thing .. check this out if you have time .. when I went all nostalgic about my Paan and Paanwalla….

    Thanks for the visit ..your blog rocks !!

  8. Eias July 7, 2009 at 2:06 am -

    paan is awesome.. i am getting all the stuff to make it for my self from my paki-indian grocer. the chandan calcutta mitha pan is great but i want some really old school fresh stuff. i like it with and with out tombac. he is so cool. i love indians.

    the Indophile..

    Rofl Indian: Great to have you here Eias. Enjoy your paan 🙂

  9. The Count September 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm -

    Panwaari re, jeene ka sahaara tera paan re,
    Isko khaate hi aa jaati hai jaan re! 🙂

    RI: True