Weekends are meant to lay back and relax. However, my weekends are generally no different from other days. Writers get no offs – they have to labor for hours to earn their bread! But sometimes our messy minds need a break to rejuvenate creativity. Therefore, last “blessed Saturday”, I partook in leisure and went into lazy mode.
Out of the blue, a divine voice whispered to me.
Before I could gather my senses, my mom demanded regardlessly “Get up you lazy punk. Drive us to the city!” (“us” stands for her and my younger sister). Now, mind this: when your mom asks you to do something, it’s not a request. It’s a draconian order, and disobeying it might result in severe degree of emotional atyachaar! Thank god I am still single.
“Where am I required to escort you?” I blurted in a slurred voice.
“New market” came the reply.
Now, those who are unaware of Bhopal’s topography, it’ll be a privilege to enlighten you that New Market is a well-known shopping area of Bhopal, where one feels no less than a conqueror after securing a parking spot!
I never understand this logic of ladies – and no one ever can. Why do they love to roam around the streets of New Market? Honestly, I have rarely seen them buy anything. I wonder if they do this to burn some calories?!
The list of my nay-hoes is endless, but for some reason you’ll always find me on my toes to visit New Market…and the reason is the very renowned Top ‘N Town joint (pronounced as Taap En Tawn in native Bhopali lingo).
They serve cold beverages & ICE-CREAM, and one needs no reasons to love it! 😍 But on a serious note, if ice-cream doesn’t melt in your mouth, you are contributing to the global warming.😏
So, the only reason that compels me to wander the aisles of New Market is the tingly treat of ice-cream. (that’s also because it makes you tolerate your companion’s window shopping and merciless bargaining!)
But visiting there, the biggest dilemma one faces is which flavor to savor, because they literally have dozens of them. However, they also offer hundreds of varieties of tubs and cups, but it’s more comfortable to guzzle cones while strolling around the streets.
When it comes to ice-cream, I have a sweet tooth for Butter Scotch and Choco dip; but this time, before even stepping out of my home, I made up my mind to try a cone of some desi flavor.
Though they had varieties of kulfis too, I decided to settle down for Paan flavour this time. Paan is a well-known desi chewy treat; and Paan walas can be spotted in every nook and corner waiting to stuff your mouth with betel leaves encapsulating other ingredients. However, Paan retains its popularity almost all over Asia, but at that moment it sounded more sort of Bhopali to me.
As the cone was handed on to me, the first thing I sensed was that it had a mixed scent of vanilla and betel leaves. It was light greenish and had colorful cherries, which were chewy just like a typical sweet Paan has. However, I would have enjoyed it more if it had a tinge of Gulkand too. While it’s a common ingredient in Paan flavored ice creams, as Mrs. Tarla Dalal told in one of her shows (my mom and I are still big fan of her appetizing recipes, which she bestowed to this world before departing), but my taste buds failed to identify if it was even there.
But still, an ice cream is an ice cream; it is meant to melt your heart and give you a brain freeze at the same time. (also, it’s really hot outside, and you need something cool to maintain equilibrium!!)
And as the say, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream – and that’s kind of the same thing.” 😊