It is a known fact that majority of the population of Kanpur is into the business of selling pan masala and the entire population is into eating pan masala. However, Kapil Dwivedi, or fondly known as “Mishra ji” just because he eats pan, has created a profession out of eating pan masala. Popularly known as Painter Mishra, Kapil is one-of-his-kind painter who creates abstract art by spitting pan masala on a white paper or canvas.
It was not until age 6 when Kapil discovered his talent. He says, “I started eating pan at the age of 4. Yes, I was late as compared to other kids in Kanpur but I didn’t give up. By the time I learned to spit properly, I also developed the ability to make patterns by spitting pan masala.” He further added that despite his delayed start, it was his dedication to spit that brought him all the success.
Kapil’s mother, who initially didn’t support his profession, is all praise for him now. “I was very frustrated because he spat on the walls of the house. After a point in time, I gave up on washing the walls and simply covered them with white paper. To my surprise, they developed into amazing paintings and I could earn money by selling them to art lovers,” she said.
Kapil has the best clientèle in Kanpur; ranging from art lovers to politicians, the walls in everyone’s houses are decorated by paintings made out of Kapil’s pan spits. He also visits other cities in India to sell his paintings and earns his livelihood.
Recently, Kapil was spotted in Film City, Goregaon, on the sets of a Bollywood movie. Our reporter went up to speak to him but he didn’t utter a word. After completing his shot, Kapil spat his pan and said, “We were shooting a wedding scene but the art director forgot bringing sindoor to the sets. Hence, I was called to spit pan masala on the bride’s forehead to make it look realistic,” he said and walked away for his next “shoot”.