Krishna Prasad Bhattarai has confessed that he still chews 30 paans (beetle leaves) a day. He made the admission while addressing a recent convention of the Paan Business Association of Nepal. Bhattarai also said this was the first time that the chief guest of a function complemented the occasion, and that he was very happy to be addressing the association. Sambhu Prasad Chaurasiya, a paan-wallah told all present that Bhattarai was a true paan connoisseur after which the latter was presented with a bundle of paan, which he graciously accepted. He chewed paan throughout the function.
Bhattarai started chewing paan when he was living in Benaras. He spent 14 years in Sundarijal prison, where he did not get to chew paan. But he has compensated for the discomfort after he was freed. He said perhaps the administration of the time thought they could break him if they did not provide him with paan at regular intervals. It didn't work, he said. He added that all paan lovers shouldn't just pay for the paan they consume, but should also invest in the business. Bhattarai, who has been living in Kathmandu for 50 years, said he had given loans to many people to begin selling paan. In 1951, he said, Rs 100 was enough to open a paan shop. He might as well have opened a paan shop himself-Bhattarai says he once paid over IRs 100 for a mouthful of paan.