Qais Mujeeb gives an interesting account on Paan and Lucknow.
Qais Mujeeb is an infopreneur based at Lucknow. He is passionate about creating content that informs, appeals and entertains the readers. Qais is the founder, director at Ascezen Consulting Pvt Ltd.
I love his site. It takes me on a nostalgic journey of my childhood.
Here is a glimpse:
Paan is not only a delicacy but has been a part of the Awadhi culture since the time it was included in the luxurious lifestyles of the Mughals and the Nawabs. Paan chewing is more than an activity. It is an important aspect of the lavish lifestyles of the kings of Awadh that continues to be an integral part of the social life of the city even today.
Read it here
More about Paan in general and its historic connection:
So steeped was the Paan in Indian culture that allowance given to women would be called Paan Kharch. French traveller Niccolao Manucci referred to Mughal emperor Shah Jahan allocating the revenue of Surat for meeting the Paan expenses of his daughter -this meant allowance not as expenses for eating Paan!
In the middle east paan is banned because people from the sub continent spit all over. in Muscat I heard if the police catch someone chewing paan they tape his/her mouth and take them to the police station!