Delhi: Every night as the clock strikes 12, Sanjay Lal is done making his stock of Gulab Jamun, Rasmalai and Rasgulla at his Paharganj home. He then gets up at 4 in the morning to put a finishing touch to it. For him, it is an everyday race against time, as by 10 am he has to set up his stall at M Block, Connaught Place from where he sells these sweets. He has been doing this for more than the last four decades. The best part of visiting Lal's stall is that his smile is just as sweet as his Gulab Jamun and Rasmalai.
Sanjay Lal hails from Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh but has been living in Delhi and setting up his makeshift stall in the heart of this city for more than four decades. He has and still supports his family of five members by serving sweet delicacies to Delhiites. His family comprises of his wife and a grown-up daughter and two sons. His daughter is an advocate in the Karkardooma court, one of his sons helps him with the stall while the other one has a private business.
Though Lal sets up his stall on a street, the quality of the what he offers is never compromised. Sanjay Lal prepares the sweets at his home. He especially sources the milk from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh and buys paneer from the local market of Paharganj for the preparation.
Earlier, Lal used to set his stall in a different corner of Connaught Place but since 1980, he has been setting up his stall in the M block of Connaught place, near the Statesman House. Sanjay Lal starts serving at 10 every morning and stays there till 8 pm. It becomes quite challenging for him to juggle between the preparation of sweets and serving them all day long, especially in the scorching summers of Delhi.
The two years of lockdown took a toll on Sanjay Lal's business and he had to bear heavy losses. He started working again in November 2021. The prices of the sweets he sells are also very nominal. You can get a kulfi Rabri Faluda for just rupees 50, Rabri for rupees 40 for 100 grams, Rasgulla for just rupees 20 (2 pieces), Rasmalai for rupees 30 (2 pieces), Gulab Jamun rupees 20 (2 pieces).
Over the years, Lal has garnered an immense reputation and praise from his regular customers. People love to visit his stall not just to get the taste of sweets but also to meet the sweet man serving them.