People gathered and spoke in whispers all morning outside the closed shutter of Ghantewala sweet shop on Wednesday. It came as a shock to those in the area that a shop that has been in existence since 1790 and seemed as if it will continue to remain in business forever had actually closed.
The scene outside and the disbelief on faces of those watching display units being sold as scrap even as they asked around about what had happened was reminiscent of a funeral service. For heritage lovers as well as fans of the shop, it was the death of one of the icons of the city — a living reminder of the past that still had a connect with the present generation.
So iconic was Ghantewala of Chandni Chowk, that B.R Chopra included the shop in his set to film the finale of his 1954 comedy Chandni Chowk .
Sushant Jain, the current owner of the shop, said unavoidable personal circumstances led to the closure. He added that it was a very difficult decision for him as the shop was more than just a business for him.
Anubhav Sapra, who conducts the popular Delhi Food Walks, says the shop was a permanent stop on his walks and the sohan halwa was unique to old Delhi.
“When places like these shutdown, they take away a little bit from your best memories. A bit of India has been lost to the younger generation,” Mr. Sapra added.
Bhuvesh Sharma, a bangle shop owner in the area, said: “Whenever people come to ask me what business to start, I tell them to start a food business in the area. It is a pity that the shop lost its charm due to competition from across the road. We have lost a landmark.”
The entire idea of a visit to Ghantewala was to sit a while and relish the aroma. The next generation will never know what they missed out on, said Sanjay Bhargava, a trader in the area.