The joy of having desi sweets
It has been more than half a year since I have stayed away from India. While there are lot of things I have done in Munich so far, there are somethings I crave to do here which I can only do regularly in India; having desi (something or someone from Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi origin) sweets is one of them. The joy of having desi sweets is completely unparalleled.
I was born and brought up in Chennai in a Bengali household. It is common for a Bengali family (this might be true for many other Indian cultural backgrounds also) to store sweets in their house on a regular basis; not only for them but also for all the unexpected guests. So having sweets inside the fridge despite being in South India was not uncommon for my family.
The first semester exams were about to start and my then WG mate Arif Anna got me a box of Mysore Pak, Kaju Kathli and Laddoos from Adyar Anand Bhavan, a very famous brand for sweets and chaat items in Tamil Nadu. Thank you Anna.
The first semester exams were nearing its end. Many friends of mine booked their tickets to India. When the exams ended, for the next two weeks I would see someone or the other checking into Munich airport traveling to Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, and so on. Being the shameless person I am, instead of wishing them a safe journey, I would just go comment “Bring sweets for me”. I would comment and say the same every time they texted me or checked into some restaurant in India.
I was at someone’s place when I saw my friend Raghavendra Kamath (or Kami as he is popularly known) walking to the grocery store. He told me he had come back from India the previous day. He invited me over for dinner and then offered me Mysore Pak from Nandhini, a popular dairy product company in Karnataka. Thank you Kami. My long lost love affair with sweets had begun in Munich once again.
I was off to my solo trip to Luxembourg and Belgium two days later. I received a message from Sohini, another Bengali friend of mine, who specifically asked for the sweets I like. Since she and I are Bengalis, I asked her to get Sondesh specifically. Sondesh is a very famous Bengali sweet and if you are a sweet lover, you must definitely try this once. The day I came back from my trip, she came and handed me over a box of sweets containing Laddoos, Son Papdi, Kaju Kathli and the heavenly Sondesh. Thank you Sohini.
A few days later Dinesh and Swetha, the two makkal (citizens in Tamil) from South India texted me to come over to their place. Dinesh handed a box of Mysore Pak from Adyar Anand Bhavan and also made me taste the Mysore Pak made by his mom. I found no difference between the two; it was so delicious. Kudos to your mom my friend, convey my regards to her. Swetha gave me another small box of sweets from Shree Mithai (a popular shop in Chennai), Lays packet (more like Air packet with a few free chips) and the less-popular Karachi biscuits which some of my other friends wanted to try as well. Ironically, my friends from Pakistan have no clue about what Karachi biscuits are. Thank you Dinesh and Swetha.
Aritra and Tiasa, my friends from Durgapur, the place where my Pishi’r Baari (Aunt’s place in Bengali) is, also promised to bring sweets. I am sure they did but they stay somewhere else and I will not be surprised if it would have got over by now. Aritra did ask me to coordinate with Tiasa and Tiasa did tell me to come over a couple of times. My bad, I could not squeeze out time to meet them yet. But nevertheless, thank you Aritra and Tiasa. And thank you Kireet for handing over the sweets to the Emirates officials. Smuggle and bring it next time mate!
Finally, on the 15th of April 2016, my two angels Priya and Pratiksha came back from India and got me an assortment of all my favorite sweets. They, in fact, got butt loads of sweets for everyone. Kami, Kiran, Arpit and others would concur with me here. Not only did they bring sweets, but also many other snacks items. Although I cannot thank them enough for many things they have done and do for me, still, thank you Pratiksha and Priya.
Long time back when I was coming to Munich, I remember I had 10 Kg of free space left and I filled the entire remaining space with sweets asked by many others. I could not give everybody although I wanted to, my apologies for that. Later when my relative came back from Kolkata, I asked him to bring some sweets and I thank him a lot for that. I shared it as much as I could. I agave some to my friends from Pakistan as well and they loved it. Who does not like desi sweets after all, especially if you get to taste it after months or years?
I was about to save some from Saveez Bhaijaan after having promised him but I failed. I had apologized to him for the same and his reply was, “Main zyaada sweets nahi khata. Aapne yaad kiya, yahi kafi hai (I am not fond of sweets. You kept me in your thoughts, this itself means a lot)”
I would like to say the same to Kiran, my Kannadiga Maadi (Kannada Dude from Mysore), who was feeling guilty when he could not save Mysore Pak for me. Chill Maadi, Aal Izz Well! I will still make samosas for you!
Also, sorry Saqib Bhaijaan! I know you had asked me to try sweets from Lahore but I could not make it because of my exams. Next time, pakka!
While some got hell lot of sweets for me, some gave me little and asked me to excuse them for the same. I would like to say what one of my friends, Qassim, once told me when I told him, “I am sorry! I have less sweets and this is all I can give you!”
He said, “Thoda baatne mein bhi pyaar hai (Sharing even little bit is a sign of love)”
Thank you all once again!