The traditional cherished stuff almost vanishes from Paan Thelas in Nagpur
The situation has come to such a pass that the much enjoyed PAAN has almost been vanished from Paan Thelas. The saddening reason for disappearing the PAAN is Kharra or Guthka. Previously many hosts were feeling proud and glory by serving the Paan in any of the parties at house or receptions for various celebrations. The Paan has now almost become a part of a glorious history, one may say.
The sight of Meetha Paan, the Kapuri Paan and the Bangla Paan has become rare phenomenon. The sale of these Paans has taken a big hit and are rarely demanded by the present generation. Almost 80 percent of Paan Thelas in Nagpur don’t sale the cheerful stuff. The Kharra or Guthka has taken the traditional place of Paan. The stuffs have almost “killed” the Paan. The Kharra or Guthka is prepared by a mixture of baked betelnuts, majja, various brands of tobacco like 120, 300, Tulsi or the likes of tobacco brands and the lime (chuna). The mixture, after putting it in foil, is rubbed on a rubber pad in full strength by the owners of Paan Thelas. The mixture gets wholly mixed as a one product. The product is called Kharra or Guthka which the present generation of youths and even the aged cherished notwithstanding the bad effects of the products.
Previously, or say 10 years ago, Paan was an important means of enjoyment for every person including women, young girls and even kids whenever any celebration took place at homes or parties. The famous juicy Meetha Paan, Kapuri Paan and the Bangla Paan were easily available at Paan Thelas. The Kapuri Paan was the speciality of Maharashtra, and the Meetha and Bangla Paans were brought from various parts of the country specifically from Banaras and West Bengal respectively. People were seen strolling after the dinner in the nights and headed towards Paan Thelas nearby to enjoy their favourite stuff. Even the die-hard habitual customers used to go to distant Paan Thelas of their choice to have their much wanted Paans. The people were not only enjoying the Paan but were seen discussing various crucial happenings across the nation and also talking of difficulties faced by them on various fronts. However, the scene has got cut from the present picture.
But the Paan enjoyment has not been fully finished. The “shaukeen’ in the language of Paan cherishers, still treasure the all materials needed for a Paan in homes and enjoy the moment. Only Meetha Patti Paan is available at Paan Thelas now-a-days. Consuming Paan is supposed to be good for health. Paan has a medicinal value too. The Paan contains digestive enzymes, minerals, iron and calcium needed for a healthy body. The Paan is also a major part of any religious ceremony. The Puranas (a genre of important Hindu religious texts) have also explained the importance of Paan.