Gulati was also his empire’s best advertisement and brand ambassador.
Garam masala will not taste the same again. But the passing of spice giant MDH’s (Mahashian Di Hatti) patriarch, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, on Thursday in Delhi, at 97 is not a reason to mourn, but to take out the packet of haldi powder and whip up something in MDG-ji’s honour.
His well-pagdi-ed face adorned every packet of the pedigree house, providing both a guarantee of quality as well as grandparental comfort borne by his ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ demeanour.
Gulati took over the business from his father, Mahashay Chunni Lal Gulati — who had started the business in Sialkot, now in Pakistan, in 1919 — scaling it up to make MDH become India’s second-largest spice company.
Gulati was also his empire’s best advertisement and brand ambassador. Apart from the aforementioned face on every MDH pack, the man appeared in TV commercials — something that started when an actor for the ad failed to show up and Gulati filled in.
Being known as the ‘Spice King’ in a country where spices are king — and, on the flip side, the initial reason for India being colonised by 16th-17th-century Europeans hankering to cover their bland meals with palatable sauces — was a big honour that was well deserved.
This weekend, let us all sprinkle some extra black pepper and jeera powder to mark the passing of the flavour of a man.