When it comes to cooking, Tania Sachdev says it's the thought that counts!
As Tania Sachdev enters the Bonsai restaurant in Connaught Place, all eyes turn towards the chess diva. Some of the staff members mumble, is she a model? No fault of theirs. The youngster carries herself so gracefully that anybody could be in two minds. “Chess is a mental game but a healthy mind needs a healthy body. I work out a lot, which some of my mates don't. They believe in meditation. I also do, but not much. I was a hyperactive child and still love to do different things in my spare time,” says Tania.
Having grown up in Hauz Khas, Tania says she doesn't dine much in the Connaught Place area. It is more of a shopping destination for her. So the open space at the Oriental cuisine restaurant comes as a surprise to her. She declares her love for prawns. “There is nothing like the luxury of home-cooked food like rajma-chawal, but when I go out I love to try Italian and Oriental cuisine.”
She starts with Bonsai laksha soup and recalls her adventures in the kitchen. “I grew up in a house where women don't cook much. We always had a cook. Once I visited my brother in Singapore and tried to impress him by cooking rajma. It turned out to be a disaster as there was no connection between the rajma and the curry. But I didn't feel sorry, because it's the thought that counts!”
As the stir fried prawn with sauté vegetables makes an appearance, Tania is delighted. “I don't share my food!” Well, one is in no mood to enter her territory and is quite satisfied with young lotus stem salad.
A graduate in English, Tania loves to watch films in her free time. Once upon a time Salman Khan was her favourite. “It was during his Andaz Apna Apna days. My favourites keep changing After Wake Up Sid, I am all for Ranbir Kapoor.” She can't stand the country's fascination for cricket and watches the game only for Dhoni. “I like the way he handles pressure. It is a lesson for every sportsperson.”
Does she have ambitions in the glamour world? “Not at all. I am called to walk the ramp or a panel discussion just because I am doing fine on the chess circuit. I also associate myself with shows where some part of the income is meant for charity. Like Sanjana Jon's fashion show, where the proceeds went to HIV patients.”
Her figure doesn't suggest it, but Tania has a fascination for desserts. “I can't resist chocolate preparations.” In fact she loves to celebrate her victories with the calorie-rich stuff. “I can't forget the experience in France when I caused an upset in a tournament. I had blueberry cheese cake. After that I had it every day and achieved some amazing results.”