So what did you get from or give to your brother/ sister this Raksha bandhan? And what do you plan to give this Diwali to your friends and family?

Ok, let me tell you what I did. I gave a food hamper, a box of brownies, dark chocolates, a cookie tin to my brothers, while my husband got hampers with Quaker Oats, Britannia NutriChoice biscuits, protein shakes, Special K cereal and Nature valley granola bars, Pringles and Oreo cookies along with chocolates and cupcakes, this Raksha bandhan.

Let’s look at the older generation – my mother gave her brothers, food hampers of whole wheat pasta and condiments to go with it while my father got a plate of sugar-free sandesh, variety of muesli flavors, multigrain khakras. Notice, in this long list of things – there was only one mithai! Only one! Rest all the gifts are foods, but none of the traditional variety….

Even in the rakhi thalis – I carried Patchi chocolates, my husband’s sisters fed him cupcakes, my mother took another variety of chocolate coated almonds.

My uncle’s company has already started planning for its Diwali gifts and guess what that is – it’s another food hamper! With dry fruits (not the unhealthy, roasted and salted variety), box of chocolates, green tea bags, granola bars, range of multigrain cookies and crackers, salad dressings and juice cartons.

The birth announcement of my niece was a box of animal-shaped chocolates, not the traditional ladoos, pedhas and rasgullas. A friend recently had a baby and her birth announcement was a box of assorted brownies from Theobroma; while another sent a jar of hazelnut and chocolate spread from Leonidas along with Moshe biscotti.

When was the last time you took a box of mithai when you visited a friend or family member? What did you take instead? Bottle of wine, gourmet chocolates, fancy desserts, delectable cakes, hand-made ice-creams or frozen yogurt?

Have you hosted a dinner recently and instead of (or maybe in addition to) serving mithai with dinner, you’ve opted to serve a dessert post dinner?

Think about it.

So, have the traditional mithais finally been replaced with chocolates, and other sweetmeats? And perhaps even with other foods? Not only in personal gifts but also corporate ones?

Is this switch across consumers or is it restricted to a particular consumer segment?

Does this explain the emergence of chocolatiers and bakers in every other household? Can this explain the cropping up of so many bakeries and patisseries across neighborhoods? – I think it does, at least to some extent.

Also do tell us about what you did this Raksha bandhan or plan to do in the upcoming festive season.


Roshni Jhaveri