Saturday, 3 October 2009
Pan Wallahs In Mumbai
Panwallah is the common sight on the streets of Mumbai. They sit perched in a small cabin surrounded by betel leaves, betel nuts, tobacco and caustic white paste. Every panwallah will know his regular customers, who drop by to buy cigarettes, pan masala or betel leaves stuffed with sweetened rose petals. Panwallah takes betel leaves, sprinkles tobacco, add few crushed betel nuts and add white caustic paste, and rolls it up into a triangular shape, which his customer may pop into their cheeks to get that dizzy feeling. Many people are addicted to pan and have a habit of frequenting these stalls after their meals.
You see the strawberry colored swabs on the streets or on the walls at the staircase? After masticating the pan for sometime, people have a habit of spitting out the residual juice randomly without any civic sense. Nobody has a habit of using a tissue.
However, if you are lost in Mumbai and you don’t have Google map on your mobile, look for a Panwallah, he is the right person to ask for directions.
The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),
.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” .....as it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.
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