Day 53

day 53
मम्मा, आपका पान से प्यार जगज़ाहिर है। वो तो आपके दाँतों ने धोका दे दिया वरना आज भी तीसरी generation के बच्चे पेड़ वाले पंडितजी से पान ला रहे होते। (Mumma, your love for paan, the beetle leaf mouth freshener, was well known in the family. Your tooth decay years ago did not support your consumption of paan and unfortunately you had to give it up. Had that not been the case, our third generation kids would still have been running up to the paanwale punditji to get you your daily paan).
You were so addicted to it that you had to have one after every meal–breakfast, lunch and dinner in your heyday. आपका बस चलता तो “जब तक है जान तब तक है पान” सच हो जाता।
(If you had had your way, this routine would have continued until your last breath)
I recall you enjoying paan once again over later years (of course with lesser condiments and beetle nut) when we had plenty of leaves on our vine in Accra, Ghana. We even carried the leaves around on our trips to friends’ and families’ homes in Canada and US. You took so much pride in sharing our homegrown paan with one and all. The twinkle in your eye as you proudly boasted that it had been grown in our own backyard bore testimony to your love for not just the paan but also the spirit of sharing and good times that the delicacy stands for.


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