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Delicacies Food of Kanpur.. Must Read

One of the highlights of this industrial city is the sweet shop which sports the strange name'Thaggu ke Laddu' (Laddoo for the cheat). A favourite destination for sweet lovers, the shop which is around 45-years-old came into limelight in the year 2007 when it first featured in the Bollywood movie "Bunty and Babli" starring Abhishek Bacchan. The life story of its founder Ram Avatar Pandey seems to resemble a Bollywood film because he says he ran from his house and came to this industrial city and to earn a living started selling laddus from a plate. "Ram Avatar ran from his house and started selling laddus on the streets on a plate. A few years later he went on to buy a small shop near Chandra Plaza. At present there are six outlets in the city," says Rajesh Kumar Pandey the present owner of 'Thaggu ke laddu'

Pandey recalls an incident when Ram Avatar went to Delhi and attended a sabha of Mahatama Gandhi where he said sugar is white poison. Feeling ashamed of the fact that by making laddus of sugar he was cheating people of both their health and money, he named his shop as 'Thaggu ke Laddu'. Beside the shop, a small kulfi counter sells a range of kulfis in exotic sounding names. The Kulfi named as 'Badnaam Kulfi' is sold at the rate of 400 Rs per kg and is one of its famous delicacies. The owners say they do not want to increase the items sold at the shop in a view to maintain the quality of the products. "We try to maintain the quality of the products that are made here and that is the reason we have not increased the number of items being sold at the shop," says Pandey.
Famous one-liners like 'Aisa koi Saga nahi, jisko humne thaga nahi', 'Mehmaan ko Chakhana nahi, tik jayega, Chakhte hi Jubaan aur jeb ki garmi gayab' are written on the walls of the shop and have attracted celebrities from Bollywood including Rani Mukherjee and Abhishek Bacchan to TV stars such as 'Lapataganj'. "All the one-liners that are written on the shop and around were given by Ram Avatar even though he was not well read but he read newspapers from where he got all the ideas and knowledge," says Pandey. The catchy one-liners were used in a song in the movie "Bunty and Babli". With six branches in the city, the owners want to confine themselves to Kanpur and do not want to open branches across the country. "We won't be able to manage all the branches together," says Pandey.

By Richa Banka,
 Kanpur, PTI