'Paan' - the National symbol of India - got its real boost last week when the paan tainted wash basins and walls were posted all over the Internet!
The CWG village's pictures depicting paan in all its glory is the treatment it should have got decades back! The pictures have offended a few 'foreigners' but the fact is that deep down every Indian is thinking that this matter has been blown out of proportions - what is wrong with a few paan stains here and there after all? We have come to live with them in perfect peace and harmony and they may look a little out of shape but they, in fact, are our favorite design patterns on walls and streets! I would be little surprised if most of those paan stains came from some minister or a senior authority inspecting the village for its cleanliness! After all, no official visit happens without the offering of a paan to the authority first! (My sources tell me that leaving a few festive days, Ms. Shila Dixit does not usually eat paan which is the reason why she has been chosen to do the final rounds of readiness checks!)
We have often paid heavy price for our these stains of paan but our love for the magical flavour and the laid back life that it advocates and instills has always won over those minor hiccups. Filthy trains, stations, roads, offices, homes, buildings, an occasional red color shower sprinkling on the road commuters from atop a bus or truck are but a few of the things we have been willing to accept in lieu of giving up paan. If you question the public of India in private (anonymously) they would tell you that they would rather give up CWG than chewing (and most importantly, spitting in most awkward of places) paan!
Long live the Indian culture, long live paan and the colors of joy it brings with it!