Krishnakumar and Appa Haja are inseparably bonded by love… and food. How the bond was forged is a story Krishnakumar loves to narrate. It’s strange how some people walk into our lives quite by chance and then stay there forever. Here is one such chance meeting which brought two men together who would value their friendship and love for food above everything else. Providence played its part in bringing Appa Haja into my life, says Krishnakumar.
The actor goes back to the eighties when he was living in an apartment in Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram. He soon became friends with the Mirza-Laila couple who came to live in the adjacent unit of the apartment.
“Laila aunty was an excellent cook and hence Mirza uncle used to quite often invite me in to partake of the delicious dishes”, says Krishnakumar. On one such occasion Mirza uncle invited a close relative who happened to be Appa Haja. That’s how it happened. A friendship that had its genesis years ago is still going strong. He recalls that he used to stay over in Haja’s house on his trips to Ernakulam. Haja’s father, Hamza was a jovial and loving soul who had the nickname “chanakurukkan” for those whom he loved. Though the meaning of the word is not quite clear, Hamza uncle apparently had the same loving name for his son’s friend too. Haja’s umma too was an excellent cook. The whiff and aroma of her pathiris and fish (veloori) curry is still fresh on Krishankumar’s palate.
The duo shared a special passion for long drives. Krishnakumar was sure to be with Haja during Ramadan, be it in Ernakulam or in the capital city. If by any chance both could not make it to a common meal or when they were at different locations for their shoots, the special Ramadan festival food would arrive at Krishnakumar’s home, courtesy of Haja.
The years have gone by, the friendship has become stronger, several Ramadans have also been shared with joy and now … the COVID! Ramadan came up this year too, but with the two friends were unable to share their camaraderie and their biryani. Though they could not meet in person, they greeted each other all the while remembering those happy times spent together in the warmth of Haja’s loving parents.
Krishnakumar hopes the happy times will be back again soon. On to Ramadan next!