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Updated: February 16, 2010 19:29 IST

Just desserts

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WINSOME: Tania Sachdev. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
The Hindu
WINSOME: Tania Sachdev. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

When it comes to cooking, chess pro Tania Sachdev says it's the thought that counts, not results

When Tania Sachdev enters Delhi's Bonsai restaurant, all eyes turn towards the chess diva. Some of the staff members mumble “Is she a model?” The youngster carries herself rather gracefully. “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. She declares her love for prawns. “There is nothing like the luxury of home-cooked food such as rajma-chawal, but when I go out, I love to try Italian and Oriental cuisine.”

Kitchen (mis)adventures

She 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!”

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. Such as Sanjana Jon's fashion show, where the proceeds went to HIV patients.”

Her slender 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.”