It is a most unattractive habit but one that is regrettably very common – the chewing of gutkha (chewing tobacco) followed by a stream of red spittle deposited anywhere and everywhere. Those disgusting emissions – paan ki peek – can be found deposited on roads and footpaths, stairwells and lift shafts, trains and busses, and apparently in planes as well. This image of a gutkha stain inside an aircraft is viral.
This tweet by Awanish Sharan, IAS is viral. People who chew gutkha wouldn’t be objectionable (if someone wants to court mouth cancer, that is their funeral) if they didn’t display a complete inability to control that urge to spit.
While these actors don’t actually endorse gutkha, it is clear that ‘paan masala’ and ‘flavoured elaichi’ ads are surrogate advertising for gutkha.
Having celebrities endorse such brands lends credibility and glamour to a product that is actually a social evil known to be a leading cause of mouth cancer.
This commentator tried to suggest that this could be a coffee stain – pretty sure uncle chews gutkha.
Most of us who view this as a disgusting habit would like to tell people – chew tobacco if you must, but try and sort out your spitting issues.
A rough translation of this tweet: a village uncle travelling by air for the first time may have fallen asleep with Vimal in his mouth. Upon waking up, he presumed he was in a bus and tried to spit from the window.
Some assumed that just because someone had disgusting public manners, this was because they were used to a more economic mode of transport. Decent behaviour has nothing to do with money. In fact, it is often the most wealthy who behave in the most boorish and entitled manner.
Someone generously left their chewing gum on the seat of the plane.
This is like leaving behind a sign of one’s upbringing, culture and family says this tweet from another IAS officer with a strong social media following.
A lot of people expressed their disgust and outrage over the gutkha stain inside the aircraft. They expressed their disapproval of what can be seen as an act of public vandalism and asked for the strictest of exemplary punishment. I wonder how many of those outraging are themselves guilty of littering, damaging public property and breaking other rules of a civilized society?
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