We desi folks are a sharing lot. What we have inside, we like to share with the rest of the world. Spitting is just such a humble gesture of how we want the world to see what we chew and how.
The art of spitting requires immense talent. It is a lot like the ancient art of archery. One needs to focus on the target at first, preferably somewhere white where one can leave a red mark like the indelible ink on our fingers that show our political rights and duties. The prestige of the spit is heightened if it is near some important monuments of historical significance. After all, history is no more perceived as only the stories of kings and queens but the lives of the common man vis-Ã -vis society. Thus, spitting allows such a common man to leave a mark on monuments of kings and queens. After all, a subaltern spit is as important as the beautiful Shahid Minar, if not the Qutb.
It also requires military precision: you don’t want to throw too little and you don’t want to throw too much, though an artful splatter makes it look quite like those new paintings whose charm lies in not conveying much meaning. If not thrown with the right force, the spit shall fall into a whimper and be wiped by next day’s rain. It can often act as missiles, and grieved victims of Spitters’ Association members write boldly on the walls, ‘Do not Spit’. This is a warning particular to our Indian culture, highlighting the respect and fear that the venerable Spitters invoke in us lesser mortals. It is like bird whitewashes from high above with the human glamour. Ah, classy indeed.
Sometimes it also shows how morally strong we desi folks are, unafraid of death and damage to the body. After all, it’s all Maya. The health departments humbly plead that chewing tobacco is injurious to health, but then we believe that life is transient and just an illusion; and so is the tobacco: there’s no harm in some illusionary chewing of an illusion, is there? See, We the Spitters are brave and philosophical men. Mere medical warnings mean nothing to us. For as some adverts say, once we have a spittable product in our mouth, the world is at our feet anyway.
And so we shall spit away to glory. Defacing the roads? But it’s artwork. Spreading infections? Nah, It’s all sharing, yaar.