I grew up in a small town, which was famous as it hosted a Cement factory . Our little town was the perfect blend of rural and modern life. And we had a special advantage, because it was our hometown- the place where my dad grew up. The streets he had roamed on with his friends, wiping his nose on the back of his palm, pulling his shorts ups with the other hand, were the roads we walked on. Even thinking about my time in Lakheri fills me up with so much joy.
Almost everyone knew my dad and his family. His Grandparents were sort of the community elders and my dad started working at the factory, after he finished his Masters degree. We lived in the Company Colony and went to the local sabji Mandi( vegetable market) for all fresh produce. I can still picture the dusty sabji mandi, set up in an orderly manner.
We also had the local tailor, stationery shop, food hawkers , flour mill , sweet makers and a grocery store. I am told that the flour mill belonged to my great great grandparents at some stage. Every month, my dad would drop off the monthly list at the grocery store & the old gentleman that owned grocery store would keenly watch his helpers( usually sons/ nephews/ grandsons) pack everything in paper packages made from old newspapers. These packages were then neatly stacked in a huge cloth bag and he would set out on his bicycle to deliver them to our house.
And every time he came, he came bearing gifts for us – for my sister and me. 2 packages containing hot Kachori and Jalebi. And that my friends, is how my love for Kachori began. He would plant himself on the swing in our porch, my sister and I would run to fetch him a glass of water, which he would accept graciously and shower us with blessings, “ Khush raho, bitiya”( God bless you,daughter) and give us the hot Kachori & jalebi packages. If mom protested, he would tell her lovingly, that he had the rights to spoil us because he had known our dad since he was even younger than us😊
Once the list was tallied up , he would ask mom for a cup of tea, drink his tea, bless her and be on his merry way. This and many other beautiful incidents is what made my childhood so special. As my sister and I always joke, we feel like Princesses in our beautiful hometown. There is so much love and goodwill there, it fill my heart and soul with so much happiness.
Recently, I found a lovely home chef that makes these yummy kachoris and every time I eat them I am instantly transported back to my childhood home, sitting cross- legged on the cold porcelain floor, wearing a cotton frock, eating hot kachoris and jalebis with the syrup dripping , hearing the faint rustling of paper as a little hand dug in to find another little treat..
What’s your favourite food from your childhood? Do leave a comment and share with me 😊