Last month there was a small article in the newspaper to say that the government was going to ban gutka - non Indian readers of the blog are unlikely to know what this is so with apologies to my Indian readers I can tell you that this is a concoction which is sold on the streets of India and according to Wikipedia it consists of :
a preparation of crushed areca nut (also called betel nut),tobacco, catechu, paraffin, slaked lime and sweet or savoury flavourings. It is manufactured in India and exported to a few other countries. A mild stimulant, it is sold across India in small, individual-sized packets that cost between 2 and 10 rupees per packet. It is consumed much like chewing tobacco, and like chewing tobacco, it is considered responsible for oral cancer and other severe negative health effects.
When chewed it releases a strong red colour and you will often see these red stains where gutka chewers spit on the ground or the wall or any area closest to them. The whole of Delhi is marked by these stains.
Drivers stop the car, open the door and spit. I guess they open the door so as not to get it streaking down the car door which would be unsightly and yet they have no compunction about staining every other surface anywhere else or littering the ground with their little shiny packets.Like so - these were collected in only one small walk with T.
Spitting is just a way of life here and I have asked to find out why it is done with such vehemence and voracity and the answer is something to do with cleaning your passages ....by fouling others ?
Perhaps the two concepts are not combined in their synapses.
So it is with some fascination that I will watch this latest initiative of the government taking action especially since I have seen no absence of these foul packets from any of the road side stores and shops.
Cheekily perhaps I wonder if they are not better off asking everyone to learn the art of swallowing ?