The Soul of a ‘Paan’, Pichukkhh!

Redness at the,
Corners of my mouth.
Redness that you think is blood, Redness that I just spat out.

Filthy you think this red is,
While I make the surrounds,
A beautiful red,
OH! Come on… its just a dye,
Used in coloring, your designer clothes,

Graffiti on the walls is,
A common occurrence in the west,
Why blame me, while I try to keep,
An ancient art alive,
This social service costs you nothing,
Mosaics of red, on your walls,
Is the story of an emerging India right from the mouth.

The woody smell of a betelnut, emanating on my breath,
A kiss on your cheeks,
Would be just appropriate,
A dab of redness, on your skin could color,
Your imagination forever.

The leaf of my Paan is green,
And its tobacco from a plant,
Chewing this concoction,
Is a duty divine,
‘Cause someone has to do it for Green Peace.

The Punwaadi daubs it with a bit of honey,
To overcome the harshness of poison,
Some nourishment of the soul is,
Necessary when countering the green devil.

Liberated lasses think of me as unhygienic,
Little do they know, that cleanliness,
Can be red too,
And why should the teeth be,
Just white!
When their nails are painted,
In so many colours?

They tell me chewing,
These exotic herbs,
Can cause problems to my health,
Don’t they know?
How many poor souls survive,
Growing betel and tobacco.

In my darling India,
The Paan represents the soul,
Of this great nation,
Where everything toxic and bloody,
Is en-coated with a layer,
Of non-violent green.


Ejaz Raboodi Gosani is an MD Doctor, and an Alumni of the SKIMS Medical College, Bemina.

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