Six decades ago, Ram Avtar Pandey, alias Mattha Pandey, would roam around the streets of Kanpur with a big thali full of laddus in his hands and a gamcha (fine cotton cloth) on his shoulders.

His laddus were so liked by everyone that they would wait for him eagerly in their neighbourhood knowing he would be passing their street with his delicious fare.

And guess what he named the laddus? Thaggu ke Laddu!

Ram Avtar came to Kanpur from his village Parauli in Uttar Pradesh with empty pockets. But he carried with him his wife’s delicious laddus, which would go on to change his fortunes.

Ram Avtaar revised his wife’s recipe to sell the laddus in the big city and earn his livelihood.

But what made him call himself a thug (cheater) considering he named his laddus, Thaggu ke Laddu?

“Our grandfather was the follower of Mahatma Gandhi and was a regular at his public meetings. He would get motivated by listening to the Mahatma’s speeches. Once, Gandhiji referred to sugar as white poison. His words put our grandfather in a dilemma. As a follower of Gandhi, he wondered how he would prepare laddu without sugar? So he decided to be true to his customers and named his product Thaggu ke Laddu, implying that he was a cheat because he was using sugar in his laddus.


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