India in pictures

A laddoo for your time

6:07 PM

laddoos are Indian sweets often handed around during festivals and as prasad after special pujas and special events.

The lifts in our building are both operational. This has been our building's massive upgrade of the year. They took down one lift at a time to upgrade them as much as they could considering the age of the building. A painstaking job that left dust and fumes in our hallways for weeks. They removed all that they could remove, repainted everything, gave us prettier elevator doors (the old style ones that look like a door because that is all we can have).
They started with one lift, then once they were done, tore down the second one. 4 months later, and it is all done.

Today, the second lift got its puja done. Blessing it for a long life and ensuring the safety of its passenger is one of these typically Indian things. In Europe we would probably cut a ribbon, make a speech and call it a day.
Not in India! The lift got a finally polishing this morning, and got decorated in flower garlands before its blessing. Once that was done, our society manager went door to door to hand over sweets to all the residents. A token of appreciation for our patience this past 4 long months of noise, paint fume and marble cutting dust.

I personally love the gesture. I really do. In Switzerland we would never even have had even a notice telling us the lift was back and operational, they would have waited for us to figure it out. I am not even sure a new lift would even have been cause for a celebration, or any inauguration really.

Here, I get a laddoo (make that two laddoos...manager's order) for my time and patience. You know, sometimes, it's those little things in life that matter. I'm glad it is still done in India and I hope it won't disappear.


  1. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Yum. Motichoor laddo my favourite among Indian sweets after rasmalai and kaju burfi.
    I find it really weird that Indian sweets are considered unhealthy. Just because the end product is greasy doesn't mean our western desserts aren't any richer. If only Indians knew how much butter and sugar goes into our cakes they would be thoroughly surprised, inspite of which i can eat two slices of cake but will stop at one laddo. Lol.

    1. Kaju burfi are my absolute favourite.
      I think the whole cake thing depends what kind of cake. I am really not much of a fan of buttercream filled and iced cakes. I prefer the "naked" cakes we do at tea time in Central Europe and these have far less butter and sugar than Indian sweets. I think European cream pastries are neck to neck in heaviness with Indian sweets. I can't eat more than 2-3 laddoos, the same I am absolutely done after one chocolate eclair or other choux pastry.

      All in all I prefer savoury stuff :-) so I could totally stuff myself with samose, kachore and pani puri just the same I could stuff myself with ham croissants, mini quiches and pretzel sticks.

    2. Anonymous12:45 PM

      Go easy on the ladoos. This particular laddo is soft and tasty. I personally love the laddoo which is slightly brownish, crunchy and with dry fruits. I am not particularly fond of those big motichoor ladoos. Besan ladoos are quiet heavy.

      About the celebrations, in India we heave a sigh of relief when something gets done and is operational. The challenge is how long will this work. In the west perhaps things are meant to work anyway. So, no celebrations just a routine thing. In India sometimes people do not let thing work smoothly. Divine intervention is needed to protect it from the people who end up using it.

      Every time I board the metro I count my blessings and pray that it runs the way it has been running. Now, as its network is expanding, there is increased strain on the trains and it is getting more and more difficult for the commuters. Anyway better than old rickety buses.


    3. I ate only those two in my hands since they were all the laddoos I got :-) but then I would not even have eaten more even if offered because I am really not that much into sweets.

      I don't like besan laddoos at all. I find them too dry for my taste, ditto with the dried fruit ones. The only Indian sweet I really really like and would have some degree of difficulties stopping at a few pieces are Kaju and Badam barfi. All the other sweets are something I will eat to be polite, but they don't really rock my boat :-)

      Savoury snacks on the other hand is a whole different thing, that I will eat and find it very difficult to stop.

    4. Anonymous9:21 PM

      have u eaten beingali sweets like sandesh. It is light sweet which melts in the mouth. Bengali sweets are typically lighter than north Indian sweets. try going to a bengali sweet shop. After rosogulla misti doi is very famous.

      recently there was a controversy about who invented rosogulla. everyone knows that rosogulla was created in Kolkata in the eighteenth century. However orissa claimed that they have been offering rosogulla to god jagarnath since the fourteenth century. now a new theory has emerged that it was the Portuguese who bought the technology of splitting milk with them and were making cheese to kolkata as it was a major trading centre. In Hindu belief splitting milk was considered inauspicious. In this age of patent products I guess everyone wants to claim the legendary rosogulla as it own. It was basically invented because the sweet syrup balls fresh for a long time. many stories many legends. It was shown on a TV programme.


    5. I don't really like rosogulla either :-) if I have something swimming in syrup I prefer gulab jamuns, but again not something I will really crave much as I really am not much of a sweets eater. I also prefer cakes with minimal amount of sugar and preferably no buttercream filling or even icing, or continental style cream filled pastries.
      I rarely even use sugar at home. I think the only time I use it is when I make cakes and cookies and that too in recipes that demand less sugar.

      I really love savoury things over sweet ones :-)

    6. Anonymous9:34 AM

      I think you should try sandesh which is less sweet and dry. This is how it looks

      Most of the bengali sweets are made from cottage cheese and therefore are lighter than north indian sweets.


    7. They look extremely similar to the South Indian milk Peda, which I really don't like, to dry and crumbly for my taste, but I agree less high on sugar.


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