The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Travelling stars and sweet-tooth ties
- From AB to Aamir, Bangali mishti great favourite with Bollywood heroes

Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan. Rosogolla, Abar Khabo sandesh, mishti doi. The Calcutta connection, which binds the reigning Bollywood badshahs, is their sweet tooth. And the trio is in good company. From Amitabh Bachchan to Govinda, Asha Bhosle to Sridevi — all are mad about the city’s mishti.

“Hrithik loves his rosogollas, but shows great restraint while devouring them, being extremely diet-conscious. Shah Rukh is mad about Abar Khabo and kaanchagollas, while Aamir adores mishti doi. All of them make it a point to pack huge quantities of ‘Bangali mishti’,” declares Rajesh Gupta of Gupta Brothers, who has struck up a “great rapport” with the stars, titillating their taste-buds, whenever they camp in Calcutta for a Bollywood bash.

The sweet sojourn, which began with Hope ’86 and AB-Kishore-Rekha-Jeetendra-Sridevi-Mithun, has now become a delicious routine with every song-and-dance extravaganza in town. Mohomed Morani, director, Cineyug, the production house that hosted the spectacular Lagaan show at Netaji Indoor Stadium this weekend, sticks to the brothers Gupta when it comes to refreshments for the stars and their backstage aides.

“I had to pack kilos and kilos of mishti doi and rosogollas for the Lagaan team and reach the stuff to the airport,” smiles Rajesh, stroking a special cricket bat autographed and gifted to him by Bhuvan and the gang.

The “figure-conscious” heroines who came down with the Lagaan XI, however, couldn’t care less for sweets. “Rani Mukherjee went for corn puffs and crispy chilli babycorn, while it was paneer dhokla and dahi vadas for Diya Mirza,” reveals Rajesh.

Being a stage actor himself — he played Lakhan in the popular production Khabsoorat Bahoo — Rajesh has found it easy to mingle with the stars and find out their tastes and preferences. “Kishoreda loved mishti doi, while Ashaji always asks for lots of chhanar payesh and radha ballavi. For Bappi Lahiri, it’s Abar Khabo and rosomalai, but Rajit Kapur prefers gulab jamuns.”

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