At times it happens that fragrances and things dig up our past and bring a breeze of pleasure with itself. It takes us to a day when we rejoiced an event where the presence of a particular thing could have been subliminal, but was nevertheless very important. Something on similar lines happened with me a few days back when I bought a Cassata icecream for my husband.
Buying it reminded me of school time when me and my two elder sisters were living in Nainital. Money then was much more valuable. With a meagre ten rupees we could buy a chocolate or a cold drink to satiate ourselves. Our parents never believed in giving pocket money to kids. So the only money we could call our treasure was the one which we used to get from our relatives when they would visit our place. All three of us would watch out for our money and I remember counting mine every now and then. The money was not to be used in buying clothes etc as that would come under “parents’ responsibility” section. This money we would use when Maa would go for some hours to our Nani’s house, once in a month. Our Nani used to live on the hill opposite to our i.e. across the lake.
The moment Maa would leave, we three had only party on our minds. We would now collaborate to buy all sorts of junk food we wanted. It would usually include one Milky Bar, one packet of chips and one cold drink for each one of us. But sometimes we would go an extra mile and buy a Cassata icecream for each, that would cost much higher than our regular party products. My sisters used to give me a cloth bag or a “jhola“, and I would get the things. It was important to take the jhola as otherwise anyone in the neighborhood could see what’s inside. It was afterall a planned secret event.
By the end of the day, when Maa would return from Nani’s and Babba would return from bank, the house would be clean. Not even a speck of clue indicating the “crazy party” we three had, could be seen inside the house. Yet they would come to know! That was because the shopkeeper from whom we would get these things, Mr. Bhanu Pant, would tell our parents well before they could enter home that, “आज तो जम कर पार्टी हुई है ऊपर!” (today there has been a celebration at your house!).