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  • Writer's pictureNishant Mittal

6th book of 2020: Bhujia Barons, by Pavitra Kumar

The Haldiram story is as messed up as your hands get after eating Chhole Bhature, as entangled as the wires on electric poles of Chandni Chowk. And at the same time, as simple and round as the bellies of most people in the Baniya community. If you think that's impossible, it's not. What's simple could also be complex. It's not binary.

A 12 year old boy really liked making Bhujia. Premium Bhujia was his "calling" just like art was for Da Vinci (or perhaps Cocaine was for Escobar). And so he prepared it with his family in a small, 8x8 room. The folks worked in blistering heat; day after day, year after year. A few hiccups aside, customer delight took them from Bikaner to Calcutta, Nagpur, Delhi, and eventually around the world. But before being a global brand, let's not forget that "Haldiram" was once just a little boy. It was a nickname given to G.B. Agarwal by his beloved Bua. This was a family affair.

And so the story goes from being an inspiring tale of unworldly hardworking entrepreneurs, to a riveting piece about brothers' clashing ambitions and their long drawn legal battles. While one branch of that family came in the news for opening a Hospital, the other got a life sentence for attempt to murder. On the same day. If you talk about contrast, this story surely takes the Bhujia.

I'd like to share my heartfelt thanks and congratulations with the writer for doing such a great job. She took on this mammoth challenge and went all Khasta Kachouri on it. You couldn't have done a better job. Three cheers, lady! :)

Would highly recommend. #52booksin2020#46togo

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