Paan is the pride of India — the favorite food after food. It’s beautiful in colors and delicious in taste.
It’s a culture and is available in many sizes, tastes and the cost also varies. One vendor sells it for Rupees 1,000. It contains thin leaves of silver and gold. That’s insane but people are crazy about this stuff.
In the Indian subcontinent, chewing of betel leaf dates back to circa 2600 BC. Formerly it was a custom of the royalty, and lovers because of its breath-freshening and relaxant properties, hence the attached sexual symbolism.
While it has a symbolic value at ceremonies and cultural events in the south and southeast Asia, day-to-day use is as a palate cleanser and breath freshener after a meal, and also often offered to guests and visitors as a sign of hospitality.
Other than its curative properties, the leaf is a natural anti-depressant and stress-reliever. Classical singers often chew on betel leaf to relax after strenuous performances.
Although this is one the main reason for red walls or roads in the country, most of us can’t live without it.