Save earth it is the only planet with Zarda Paan- Author
This may not be an easy thing to write. I have been keeping this successful secret in the dark for so long, trying my best to hide it away from people and friends. Despite some close friends and family knew what I am into, but most of them don’t. This might not be a great deal to you, but this is the demon I am fighting, something I can’t beat!!
All through my usage, I told myself, “I can handle it.” Even if this was true in the beginning, it is not so now. The tobacco handled me. I lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a person whose life is controlled by drugs. All of us have preconceived ideas about what an addict is. There is nothing shameful about being an addict.
I started while I was in class IX quite a long time ago, then I needed only two paan to get me though the day. I really started eating like 5-7 a day from my first year in medical school, it’s been three years now. I hope you can imagine how much I have eaten how much money I have wasted to make my teeth red!
I admit I have a problem with zarda paan, but I don’t consider myself an addict for quite a long time. I never thought I had an addictive personality I was pinning that tag on everyone else. But that night that fateful night I forgot to buy the usual packet of the finest brand (original) of BABA 120 Zarda, the 250gm Supari and the Mithrapati paan (betel leaf) for my two weekly dose. Boy how I wished I rather die that night than not having my zarda paan. I can’t function, I was alive, but dead. I was paralyzed I can’t sleep, study is far far away. The only thing that night was a palm size mithrapati with lime almost all over it with 5-6 suparis and enough zarda to pack a punch in me. This addiction is killing me and to be free from it will be a hell lot more difficult than I think it will be.
Sometimes I wonder why I use this substance which brings me nothing but shame, wasting my money, my teeth to turn red and if only it isn’t awkward to laugh with mouth closed then it will be alright. But I am not that type of person who regrets something I did and I don’t regret taking this thing. You may call me stubborn, but I am me and that’s just me.
So, I am saying tobacco is the greatest plant that God ever set upon the earth. No other plant has given more people more delight. Zarda paan is comfort, pleasure, tradition, and civility. It is a gift of Nature. Zarda paan addiction is hard to explain to people who haven’t experienced it, but its sort of like this: zarda paan is my passport out of awkward conversations, my built-in break from class works, my digestive aid, my antidepressant and my cure for boredom.
Tobacco products are banned almost everywhere now, with talk of banning it in public places, airport, hospitals and parks as well. The Government, whilst making billions in taxes from the sale of tobacco products, continues to bleat about the dangers of tobacco and when I can actually hear them from all the way up there on the moral high ground, the anti-tobacco brigade, whilst reeking of smugness, dare to criticize the informed choice of adults who want to enjoy one of life’s last great pleasures. Do they think we zarda paan eaters aren’t aware of how damaging this thing is? I know exactly how bad zarda paan is for me. And, yet I also know the wonderful benefits of it. It dampens my appetite, dampens my feelings, provides welcome relief from the mind-numbing hours of studies, gives me something to look forward to after every meal, allows me to remove myself from dull conversations with friends and miraculously helps me both relax and concentrate all at once. Everyone is like a little hug.
What can normal citizens do against the anti-tobacco, anti-zarda 120, anti-gutkha? Without a few thousand rupees probably not a whole lot. Therefore, I am doing the only thing I could think of; I am writing this blog post as evidence that people really do love zarda paan. I think it’s a great means of expression: Eating zarda paan really does feel good!
I’m really not interested in having cancer or having a red teeth throughout my life and smells like shit all of the time- but I love eating zarda paan. People who abstain from all bad habits still get cancer. Then, what’s the point? Not getting tumors in my body because of eating zarda paan is the point!
(Jorhat, 21st July, 2013)