Ice-cream in a Thermos


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It is a dehydrating, hot day. Drops of water that fall on the pavement from my water bottle, disappear instantly. It’s one of those days when you ache to jump into the pool or sit in a cool airconditioned room with the blinds drawn. Merely seeing the Sun’s brilliance from indoors is also exhausting. Phew! I can do with an ice-cream (the crushed ice variety) that comes on a stick. Mango, lemon and orange.

My thoughts run back to my childhood. Where we lived, it was cold for most of the year. Sunny days in summer were lived and enjoyed to the fullest.

The summer sun was piercing in its intensity. We spent those lazy holidays with our friends, eating sugarcane, raw mangoes and water-melons.

Ice-cream shops were in a town 5 kms away, so our only chance to eat ice-creams was when the ice-cream vendor visited our small community; a rare occurence in our lives.

But the days he visited us were red-letter days. He arrived, with a square wooden box that was mounted on a bicycle. We would run home to pester our parents. Most adults also wanted to eat so we had a win-win there!

The ice-cream man parked on a small hillock, about 150 metres from our street.

To ensure that the ice creams did not melt before they were brought home, we carried one of those big thermos flasks with us.

With mouths watering, we would thrust the money into his hands and carefully put the ice creams into the flask. These were the stick variety and his specialty was a milk-ice cream, which truly tasted like a slice of heaven.

I still remember the yellow coloured thermos; we would sling it across our shoulders and run home.

Both adults and children devoured these ice creams, till the sticks were licked clean – our hearts happy and spirits cooled!

I come back to the here and now. I take matters into my hands; I walk down to the supermarket, pick up a lemon-vanilla stick ice-cream lolly and relive those days all over again.