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Spitfree - An image of leaves stained by paan spit | copyright Picturejockey : Navin Harish 2005-2008
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16th October 2008 :: Spitfree

“Spitting spreads TB. Please don't spit.” This is the sign you can see at least once a day if you live in Bombay. So we have identified spitting as a potential health risk. Apart from just spitting, there is the pan spit. There are more people chewing tobacco in the form of raw tobacco, khaini or pan masala then there are smokers in our country. Their spit can not only spread TB, it also makes the whole country dirty. The spit stains can be found anywhere in our country ranging from historical monuments to government buildings. The other menace is the small packets of pan masala that are thrown just about anywhere. Are we thinking about banning this too? I for one don't like my house painted red by pan stains.

All of us have trained to block out certain things, I have blocked out seeing men spitting pan. Picture this. You stop at a traffic signal, there is a car parked in front of you, the door opens, but no one gets out. The car I am talking about is not necessary a low end model, it can be Skoda, a Chevrolet as well. Then you realise there is a head coming out, not at the normal sitting position but bent forward and very low, then the mouth opens and a disgusting red vomit comes out of it. It is of course not a vomit but the pan spit. The head is kept low to avoid any splashes on the car. I am amazed at how a mouth can store so much of shit in it. So now when I see a car door open at an intersection, I look the other way.

We have just completed a website called Smokefree for the World Lung Foundation. Do check it out.