My initial growing years were in Jaipur at my grandfather’s house – it was a typical joint family scene with loads of other cousins to play with (there were 5 of us and more when some came down for their vacations too)
Jaipur is a pretty hot region and the grownups loved taking a siesta in the afternoon. We would be cajoled or scolded into it too but we learn to sneak out as soon as their slumber reached a deep place.
Now with the adults asleep, the whole house would be our playground. We would devise many games to play but one strikes up in my memory as very special.
We kids were fascinated with Paan which we were not indulged in at all. That made it even more exotic and one of my older cousins made a game for it.
So he would don the hat of the paanwala, while we were sent to ferret out supplies to make the erstwhile filling to go in it.
Now you might be wondering how on earth would we source these supplies? Raid dadi ma’s paandaan perhaps?
Nah…. She didn’t have one as my grandfather abhorred it.
My genius cousin had a fusion version in mind. We kids used to munch on leaves of several trees in the garden with varying degrees of success of digestion We have eaten leaves of guava, gooseberry, tamarind and even jade plant – yeah I know we were adventurous to say the least.
So the guava leaf became our paan leaf. Sugar, aam choor, salt, red chillies and drinking chocolate powder (Remember the Cadbury tin? I could devour the entire tin in one sitting; I think I still can) became part of the inner fillings.
Yes there were two paan versions- one sweet n sour and the other chocolate. No points for guessing which was our favourite.
My grandmother would lock up the kitchen and store while she slept. So we had to really use all our ingenuity to get inside the kitchen store and raid it without waking the adults.
Once all supplies were in places, my cousin would start dishing them out as we queued up for them.
I still can’t believe we used to eat this concoction and with such relish. I am sure you are all disgusted by this food fable and are wondering what is wrong with me But I am telling you it was quite delicious to the 5 year old me!!!!!
Do you have any such childhood memory? Do share it with me.
An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.
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