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'Ye paan muhabbat wala': Paan gets Valentine's Day touch in Jaipur
It's the Valentine season around in Jaipur with flowers, chocolates, gems, jewelery, candle-lit dinners, get-aways and dance parties. But, along with all this, 'paan' too has got the Valentine touch, both at paan vendors' shops and in hotels to round off a romantic meal as a Valentine aphrodisiac dessert.

The special seasonal paans in Jaipur not only have special flavours suitable for the Valentine’s season of seven days but are being packaged with special wrapping papers also. The chocolate and rose flavoured paans wrapped in paper with prints of red roses have become latest craze in the city. The paans of the Valentine season are being called 'Ye paan muhabbat wala'.

The heart-shaped paan had a love connection since ages. In ancient India, women used to chew paan to acquire a loveable redness on their lips serving as a kind of lipstick then. In many parts of the country, there is a wedding custom where the bride holds 'paan beeda' in her mouth and groom is asked to bite a portion off it. According to the local culture, the act is deemed as a pledge of life-long love.

Paan or beetle leaf has areca nut pieces, slaked lime, katha paste or mukhwas, mint and flavours to freshen the breath. It is said that the practice of chewing paan was adopted by Buddhism in India and later spread to China and other eastern countries.

HIndi cinema has also popularised the love connection of paan. There are many erotic scenes and songs based on the sharing of paan between lovers, on women putting a paan into their lovers’ mouths, and poems comparing women's body scents to the scents of paan.

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