The memorable instant.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The sun has set but the sky isn’t dark yet. One evening The Delhi Walla is walking in Nehru Park. The city seems to be winding down for the night.
A young man is meditating on the grass. A woman is walking slowly in circles. A couple is seated on a cement bench. And a cluster of people are circled around a man in a wheel chair. He is dressed in white, and his pearl necklace is as white as his white moustache. He is looking very familiar. In fact, a lot many evening walkers are stopping to greet the man. He is holding a phone. Each time some admirer stops to shake his hand, the phone is handed over to one of the men in the entourage, who takes the stranger’s photograph with the famous man. I’m also clicked.
Suddenly, the penny drops… MDH’s Kitchen King! He is the man who endorses MDH masalas on TV. A quick Google search on the phone reveals him to be Dharampal Gulati, MDH’s founder. A generation grew up seeing this man awkwardly waving his arms in the television commercials of his spice firm, whose turmeric and red chilly powder tetra paks are in my kitchen shelf, and probably in yours, too.
It turns out that the Kitchen King takes a turn in Nehru Park every evening. (Anybody here who greets him gets a candy as gift.)
The procession soon leaves for another part of the park. At one point, the Kitchen King gets up from his wheel chair and starts to walk. It is a beautiful moment.
The emperor of masalas