Evening Feast

Of all the beautiful memories that I have of my childhood, this one has never faded. Every evening as the clock struck 4, our faces would lit up with joy. Up and down, our trips to the balcony would begin. Looking out for the man with his red cart, we would wait patiently for our small evening treat. He arrives at 4 everyday doesn’t he?’ I impatiently asked. After no trace of him in the first five minutes, we would begin with our speculations on why he’s not was not here yet. Maybe he’s already paid a visit while we were asleep? The elder sister would muse. Just as we tried to decipher the mystery, a loud clear voice was heard from the compound –

Ice Creaaaam….

Here he comes! Followed by his singasong voice, we could also here the rumbling of his carts wheels as he rolled it towards our home. We would run balcony and the sight of him in his usual bright red shirt (i’ve never seen him replace his uniform with anything else) with his cart full of leaflets and posters and ofcourse varieties of frozen desserts would instantly bring a smile on our faces! Happily we would then wave our hands at him and call out in return ‘Ice Creaamm’ 😊

Rolling his cart further towards our balcony, he would ask whether we’d like a creamy helping of Vanilla or a chocolaty serving of Cornetto or a hearty treat of feast! 😊

Ice cream seller at Kolkata. Kwality Walls
Our Favourite!

Last Saturday, when I was out visiting all the different hawkers in and around our old home, I chanced upon him at Bow Baracks. Attending requests of a young child, the mere sight of him made me smile. He turned around as I called out and immediately recognized me. He asked – ‘Aap aate nai ho ice cream lene aaj kal? (You don’t come to buy ice creams anymore?) Not wanting in the least to tell him, I had to anyway inform that we had shifted to another place now.

Bharat has been distributing happiness to kids since 1995. Kids of Bow Barracks, B.B Ganguly Street, Robert Street and nearby areas would all know him and have fond memories of him delivering ice creams door to door.

In all these years, he seemed to have not changed at all! The same look of complacency was visible on his face. Of a cheerful disposition he also seemed to have a good sense of humour! For when I asked him if he enjoyed eating ice creams – He replied – ‘I eat them whenever I feel like! My fridge never run out of ice creams you know!’ πŸ˜„πŸ˜‰

Not wanting to be biased, he refrained from choosing a favourite of all the different available flavours. All are nice, he said!

Bharat has been working for Kwality since decades and is enrolled on a commission basis. For every Rs. 100 that he receives, he would earn Rs. 16.

Untouched by the current affairs, almost having nothing to do with IPL, or anything that was buzzing in the city, Bharat enjoys a life of simplicity and peace. Happy and content in his own company, his take on life is –

To live every moment to the fullest and be content with everything that we’re blessed with!

His positive and cheerful disposition also made me wonder if the tasks that we do and the products that we sell go on to become our second nature? He was as cool and composed as his ice creams.

Exotic flavours, nitrogenized versions, cold stone varieties and many more of the recent introductions can never compete with the humble orange candy that we relished on the sultry summer evenings of our childhood.

For turning our evenings into moments of reverie, for enlivening the dullest of occasions, for helping us meet our 2am dessert cravings, for adding joy to our post-dinner evening feasts; all with a warm smile and a cart; I’m grateful to you! 😊

– To the ice cream man with his red cart full of Chocobar, Vanilla, Butter Scotch, Chocolate, feast and life’s little happiness! πŸ˜‰

Ice cream seller at Kolkata's Bow Barracks
Bharat at Bow Barracks, with his cart full of happiness for everyone!

24 thoughts on “Evening Feast

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  1. You have touched upon the favourite of everyone’s childhood: Ice Cream! Your post brings forth the joy which Bharat has brought to you over the years with his ice creams. Am sure Bharat also would have been happy to have you buy an ice cream from him once again! A well written ‘cool’ post which will resonate with every one πŸ™‚
    Your series is going great with a lot of variety and that makes us look forward to your next… which hawker? what item? which locality? Thank you for the stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to know that you’re enjoying the series. 😊 At the beginning I was not too sure if this will have an audience or if anyone would take an interest in knowing the stories of hawkers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a such a warm read. A long time ago I remember these ice cream carts and the joy they brought to the kids. Now we don’t have such carts anymore. Loved to hear the tale of Bharat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rachna! 😊 How come you don’t see anymore carts? There are still many in Kolkata. The thought of not having them around scares me!

      Like

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