“Never trust a person who doesn’t like sweets!”

When my grandmother first gave me this diktat, I dismissed it as something old people say to make you eat more. 

However, over a period of time, I finally understood how no meal, no matter how delicious it may be, is never complete without something meetha after it. 

Growing up, ours was the kind of house that always had gajar ka halwa in the fridge during winters. Gulab jamuns brought out the animal instinct in us and be it kaju katli or motichoor ke laddoo, meal time was never complete without a bite (or more) of these. 

But amidst all the other sweets, there was something that came-in only with guests and stayed long after they left, sometimes, even for months. 

That poor thing was soan papdi!


The box would stay on in our kitchen, complete with the plastic sheet wrapped around. Because who gets excited seeing soan papdi, right?

No one ever bought a box of soan papdi in our house. It just came with guests who were probably trying to get away from it themselves. This usually happened around Diwali. 

And during the season that is known for gorging on sweets, who is going to pay attention to the poor soan papdi?


The ras malais and rasgullas always had a special place because they had to be finished soon after opening the box. 

In a middle-class household, it’s blasphemy to not finish a mithai before it expires!

And in a race with all the other delicacies, soan papdi looked like Cinderella before she went to the ball.


The poor thing just stayed in a corner and adjusted to all our demands. We, on the other hand, refused to give it any attention resorted to eating vanilla ice-cream for dessert instead. 

Soan papdi has always been the ignored middle child who never learnt to retaliate.

Does soan papdi even expire? I don’t think so.

Its light, flaky texture just melts in your mouth. You don’t even have to chew it and how can we not appreciate a mithai that requires no work from your teeth?


It’s not too sweet like jalebi that bathes in sugar syrup so ideally, it should be perfect after a heavy meal. But do we give it the respect it deserves?

Soan papdi is the friend-zoned mithai which has been trying to cross over to the other side for a long, long time.

The soan papdi dabba is finally opened when the craving for something sweet has reached its pinnacle. But soon after you put the first piece in your mouth and it melts like well cooked mutton, you wonder, why did we not eat it for so long?

It’s light as a feather and so delicate that the piece starts disintegrating as soon as you pick it. It rests on the tongue for seconds and soon, melts like butter. And as soon as it hits those taste buds, the feeling is calming and soothing and you can’t not have another piece. 

It leaves a lingering sweetness on your lips which stays good till the last lick.


When we finally start sorta-kinda liking it, we promise to keep that relationship going.

But enter gulab jamun and the poor soan papdi goes back to its own place. It’s there for us when we really crave for something sweet but we stop loving it as soon as something better comes along.

So today, open that box of soan papdi that has been sulking in a corner in your house take a piece. It deserves to be eaten!