Oh well, MTV Desi has me pegged. They’re exactly right about me but at least they acknowledge that I also acknowledge that I am one more gawking American.
And I can’t complain about being named an honorary Desi, sort of.
New York Press Delves Into the Paan Game
When I first saw the headline “Confessions of a White, Middle-Aged Paan Eater” on the cover of this week’s New York Press, naturally, I grabbed a copy and asked myself the question you’re asking yourself right now; What the hell is the New York Press? Well, it’s a paper that’s running a cover story about something inherently Desi that’s breaking into mainstream culture. And why not? It didn’t take long for Americans to adopt the more…CONT’D AT MTVDESI.COM>>
The Asia Society also commented and was a tad less snarky than MTV (but who am I to complain about being snarky in a blog post from time to time, eh?).
A Paean to Paan
by Aliya Sabharwal
…From describing his initiation into the practice of paan-chewing to drawing interesting comparisons to the tobacco-dipping culture of his Appalachian relatives, Stanley seems to have seriously and diligently researched this “local” practice. But the result is a riot for those familiar with paan chewing or chewers, if only for the novelty of reading an eloquent homage to the substance. CONT’D AT ASIASOCIETY.ORG>>
Well, now it’s just too much. My paan habit has also made the celebrity gossip page of India Abroad, the major newspaper for Indian expats around the world, getting top billing over Tom Cruise’s tweets to Anil Kapoor (see p. 6). I’m truly honored and humbled.
The cover story on this week’s New York Press, “New York’s Plummy Weekly Newspaper,” is my monologue thinly disguised as an essay, ‘Confessions of a White, Middle-Aged Paan Eater’, the title a loose parody of Thomas de Quincey’s scandalous 1821 memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.
Enjoy the article, go to your nearest Indian grocer and enjoy some meeta paan, and if you’re craving more dope on the delicacy here’s a short clip of me ordering it from a paan walla just across from the ancient Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the state of Orissa in eastern India, this past January (footage courtesy of documentary filmmaker David Gaynes).
Confessions of a White, Middle-Aged Paan Eater
Jeffrey Stanley is addicted to what may arguably be India’s most disgusting export
I pull my hat low as I pound the rain-slicked sidewalks of Curry Hill around noon on a frigid November weekday. I look about furtively as I walk up Lexington, stopping outside of a DVD shop before I dart inside. There I meet my sugar man, a Punjabi who only goes by the nom de commerce Arora. By now I know his real name, but he likes to go by the one-word moniker. I’m happy to…CONT’D>>