Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay 

Dear Grandchildren,

I remember stirring the batter with a wooden spatula as my grandmother added the ingredients of her renowned gajar ka halwa one-by-one in the iron saucepan. The All-India Radio broadcast, which was playing on the transistor in the background, was interrupted to announce the annexation of Goa. It seemed like a regular Tuesday except, my grandmother, who usually remained quiet and focused while cooking, spoke up. She told me how her Gajar ka halwa wasn’t her creation and that this recipe was handed down to her by my great-great-grandmother. “You will have to pass this down one day to our grandchildren!” she exclaimed. As a twenty-year-old, the very idea of having grandchildren seemed far-fetched to me, let alone being a vessel that handovers generational knowledge.

But here I am, sixty years later, laying on my deathbed attempting to live up to the legacy of my ancestors and providing you with this recipe which truly is a metaphor for my regrets in life. Hopefully, you would learn how to make mouth-watering gajar ka halwa and instill these lessons in your life.

1. Grating carrots: To please the taste buds of others, a carrot sacrifices itself by being disintegrated to its core. Throughout my life, I moulded myself to please other’s tastes and preferences, only to crumble and lose parts of myself. Always remember to be your true and authentic self.

2. Adding milk, sugar, and butter: They are somewhat the main ingredients that add immense taste and value to our shredded carrots. It is necessary to surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Learn to trust the right people and know when to ask for their help and support.

3. Preparation time- 6 hours on the stove: Patience is the virtue of life, I regret taking shortcuts which seemed extremely tempting at the time, but I eventually realised they don’t do you any good. Any less than six hours on the stove and your halwa comes out uncooked and nothing beats the frustration and regret that follows.

4. Serve with a smile on your face! Nothing good in life comes easy, but approaching each challenge with a positive mindset gives you the courage to face them.

Pro-tip: There may be times when the carrots are bitter. No amount of added sugar would neutralize the bitterness inside the carrots. After the long process, you’ll only end up regretting choosing the bitter ones from the start.

Therefore, learn to let things go, holding grudges and keeping things inside of you will only make you bitter and will do you no good. Having a sweet core is what makes a Gajar ka halwa delectable!

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