Open House by Anuradha Khandelwal

It may be a little late for me to write this, but the feeling of meeting Anuradha Khandelwal is still very warm. I had actually gone to the Open House, one fine afternoon, having planned to walk out in sometime after meeting the birthday girl. But it was such a day that I just could not walk out for a long time eventually. 

To begin with, the whole concept of Open House in Gurgaon was brilliant. I give full marks to the one who was the mastermind behind this event last year to celebrate Anuradha Ji’s 60th birthday. It was perhaps the best way to pay a tribute to this food legend who never gives in.

open-house-by-anuradha-khandelwal

Well, let me tell you – like many others invited for the Open House, Anu Ji, until then, was my Facebook friend with whom I got in touch through mutual connections on her Facebook Page Anu Can Cook. I fell in love with her passion for cooking and the way she plays with words is truly awesome.

Sketch by Anuradha Khandelwal’s granddaughter Nandini

I walked in with contemplation combined with happiness. The house was so beautifully decorated, full of love and warmth. Every small detail was taken good care of by sweet little elves. Lights in Mason jars, runners, flowers, in-house plants, a beautiful cheese platter full of exquisite drooling stuff and not to forget the awesome aprons with ‘Anu Can Cook’ bright yellow logo on them.

Anuradha Khandelwal

The Anu Can Cook workforce was all in blue denims and white logo T-shirts and completely in sync. As I walked in, wine was flowing, music was relaxing and then I saw the birthday girl. She was behind the Chhole and Muradabadi Dal counter, serving each one herself, full of energy and vigour.

And we hugged, as if we knew each other since childhood. A bond only Anu Ji can create as she is always so full of love and warmth. After that I only ate! Every platter, every grain of food laid out there was a victim of my hunger for the famous – ‘Anu Can Cook’ bandwagon.

Anuradha Khandelwal

Absorbed by the goodness of the ambience and the great hospitality of Vaydehi, Shriti and others in the workforce, I spent many hours there. Simply digging into each morsel with sheer pleasure. To drown it all, a cup of warm tea was the best of all.

I carry many sweet memories of that day spent with Anu Ji for which I can’t thank her enough. It was truly lovely to see her. I also collected my box of ‘Anu’s Magic Masala’ made by Anu Ji herself and drove back home.

And guess what… I had to go to another party from the Open House. There, I met another fan of Anu Can Cook who was from Germany and follows the Facebook Page from there religiously. Not only that, she told me how much did she enjoy ‘Anu’s Magic Masala’ in Germany. And when I proudly showed her my little box, she quickly grabbed it and stashed it in her bag, saying ‘Happy to get the original one from Anu herself.’

Anuradha Khandelwal with Geetanjali Kaul

The famous Anuradha Khandelwal in pink with yours truly at the Open House.

Thankfully now, Anu Magic Masala is available on request and I can order as and when I want. In case you’re interested, drop an email at k.vaydehi@gmail.com along with your address and contact number. Today, I wrote this post maybe because I’m looking forward to more Open Houses from Anu Ji.

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