No matter how old I get, on a hot summer's day in Calcutta, one of the few things that I love to have are ice-lollies. Remember the orange lollies in school that left an orange stain on our uniforms and our tongues? Yes, that.
And also the Bombay Chowpatty style lollies made of crushed ice stuffed into a glass with a stick and then covered with syrup? That too.
I tried to make them at home when I was young. We used to have trays of orange squash (with a little sugar, otherwise it will not freeze nicely) and odd bowls and glasses with old ice-cream sticks in them sitting in the fridge. My mother used to be complaining that half the kitchen napkins were ruined because I was forever making crushed ice (I would put the ice cubes in the cloth and hammer away at it with a pestle!) and making a mess! In fact, during our holidays, on hot summer afternoons, when the rest of the house was sleeping, ice-lollies provided a lot of fun, pleasure and entertainment as far as I was concerned!
I remember in Ranchi, my grandmother used to cut up watermelon, sprinkle a teeny bit of sugar on it and freeze. It was one of the most awesome things ever; fresh, natural and delicious. And that is still my favourite way to have watermelon.
It's 37 degrees Centigrade here today, right now. My cellphone tells me the real feel is 44 degrees. Time for an ice-lolly, don't you think?