“Khaiyke paan Banaras wala,” is still one of Bollywood’s most famous songs, the remake of which had the same popularity as the original.
The only thing the song fails to mention is the step that usually follows chewing a paan: Spitting.
In India, people have a unique habit, the whole country is their dustbin. From spitting on roads, walls, surfaces, out of moving vehicles, and sometimes, even on people.
India’s problem with spitting in public is so bad, that almost every time before a foreign envoy comes or a grand event takes place, the first thing on the agenda is painting walls, because they’re usually covered by red-orange spit stain of betel-juice.
While there are usually fines to spitting in public, there practice is so normalized and so huge that people rarely ever get pulled up for it.
Desi TikTok, however, has found a solution (sort of.)
In the global pandemic due to new novel coronavirus, most Indians are being forced to wear masks outside. So what happens when you want to spit, but are wearing a mask in public?
കൊറോണ കാരണം മര്യാദയ്ക്ക് ഒന്ന് തുപ്പാൻ പോലും പറ്റാത്ത അവസ്ഥയാണ് ഗതികേട്
♬ original sound – Zayan Azizi
While this may not be a permanent solution and masks are easily removeable, Indians are less likely to take off their masks while out in public, or in a crowded area, and hence, might stifle the urge to spit.
And since there is so far no vaccine for the disease yet, it may be a while before Indians are back out on the streets without a mask.