A Lifelong Appetite

A Lifelong Appetite

George Bernard Shaw said, "There is no sincerer love than the love of food". Mrs. V. S. Kangya demonstrates this very kind of love of food. Mrs. Kangya is all of 90, but she has not lost her taste for Paani Puri. This lady has a record of sorts – she has not missed her daily plate of Paani Puri since 40 odd years. “Maybe more”, says Dilip Sachdev, who runs the Pani Puri stall started by his father some 5 decades ago. “She is our oldest customer”, says Dilip. “Every evening, after finishing her daily prayer at the ‘darbar’ she visits this stall.”   She simply gives “prasad” to Dilip and doesn’t even ask for anything, it is implicit. Dilip knows her preferences since he was a child. His older brother initiated him, who in turn, was initiated by his father.

Mrs Kangya has a “sporty” attitude towards food. At 90, she doesn’t have any plans of giving up her addiction. She doesn’t seem to be too bothered about her health and abstains from her routine only once a month for her fast.  

But she’s not alone. In fact her whole family is obsessed with Paani Puri. Her son and daughter-in-law have continued the “tradition” for more than a decade now.  All of  Dilip’s clientele fall into a similar category. While he is at it, he relates a story of another old lady who was as stubborn as Mrs. Kangya. She was the grandmother of Luke Kenny, former Channel [V] VJ. Mrs. Kenny was a die-hard lover of Paani Puri and even though she was diabetic and was proscribed against all that is sweet, she still did not miss her plate of sweet Pani Puri till she died a few years ago.

Mark Twain once said, "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside." Mrs Kangya will agree.

 The Lost Planet
 “Where is Planet M?” asked a young man driving a Sumo filled with keen and enthusiastic youngsters. Turned out that they had asked for directions for “Hiranandani” at the Majiwada junction and were pointed towards Hiranandani Estate, Thane. On reaching Hiranandani, they asked a friend of this reporter where Planet M was and were told (with a grin) that it is located at Hiranandani Powai. They were obviously confused. “So which is this Hiranandani?” one of them asked. Poor guys! If only they knew how lost they were.

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