KARACHI: “Our ancestors used to have a paan after every meal to get rid of the smell,” explained Ahmed Bhai. “It was considered to be polite and good manners but now everyone has a paan stuffed in their mouths.
“They spit it out and stuff in another one. Chew a paan the right way and for the right reasons, not because it looks cool.” He added that on a monthly basis, they imported large quantities of betel leaves from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
More than half is kept aside for Sindh while the rest is distributed between Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. A betel leaf is sold for Rs15 or more depending on the quality. The chaliya or areca or betel nut and sawnf or fennel is sold for Rs100 per kilogramme.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.
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