Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Candy Floss Man (Budhhi Ke Baal Wala)

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While I was out this afternoon, I saw a lone man on the footpath trying to sell candy floss. He would call out every time a child walked by, he would try to get the child’s attention but alas..not a single child stopped or even glanced his way. Most children preferred going to the big shop nearby. I saw one walk out with a packet of Choco pie and yet another with a packet of Lays chips. One child who did look at the candy floss seller was pulled away by his mother who muttered “it is not healthy !”

I remembered my childhood. I remembered a similar candy floss seller (or rather the “buddhi ke baal wala” as we called him) who would come to our street ringing a bell that he held in his hand, and all my cousins and I would wait eagerly for him. For us it was a great treat. I remember how instead of cold drinks, our mothers would serve Rooh Afza..sometimes mixed with cold water and if you’re lucky, an ice cube or two (yes a house with a fridge and ice was considered wealthy, neighbors coming around for ice was routine), and sometimes mixed with cold milk. And yes, the occasional “Gold Spot” (wonder if it is still available in the markets today..).

 The Lays, the Kurkures, The Choco Pies and the Pringles are all good for sure but sometimes my heart still yearns for the Budhhi ke baal, the kulfis and the simplicity of my childhood that seems to have died in today’s modern world.