The idleness of lazy summer afternoons always resulted in some or the other form of expression – either creative outlets in crayons and watercolours, or playing with light and air, sometimes the usual sibling fights, and many a time, some innovative snacks. Our old refrigerator, which is amazingly still functional, used to get a big layer of ice frosting all around the inner walls of the freezer. Every few weeks or so, the fridge would have to be switched off and cleaned after all the ice melted. But my brother and I found a way to have some fun; as a side effect of which our mother’s job of defrosting the fridge became much easier and less frequent.
We would scrape the ice with the sharp edge of steel bowls (katori) and add a splash of a summer drink concentrate to it, Roohafza and Rasna being our favourites. And there you go, a refreshing icy snack perfect for summer afternoons. This was probably our first taste of the ice-gola that we weren’t allowed to eat outside because of questionable hygiene. The stale old freezer frosting is much better!
We also made a couple of other inventions, like Bikaneri bhujiya with ketchup – a spicy attack on the taste buds, but equally enjoyable and unhealthy! Occasionally, when we had some more patience, we would make a “biscuit cake”, by layering the ubiquitous Parle-G biscuits with a mixture of cocoa powder or drinking chocolate, sugar and milk. We would have to wait for a few hours to chill and solidify it in the fridge, but this yummy treat was totally worth it!