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HomeDelhiDelhiwale: Summertime sensations | Latest News Delhi

Delhiwale: Summertime sensations | Latest News Delhi


Thanda paani trolleys have returned. So have street hawkers selling coconut slices and peeled cucumbers (neembu mar ke!). So have shikanji kiosks. So have stalls of (the early) mangoes. The peepal trees too have come out with new copper coloured leaves. The season of unforgiving heatwaves is almost upon us. Here are two cooling summertime stalls to mark the shift in time. One gives a dose of visual thrill, other gives a dose of aural thrill.

Sugarcane juice in Gurugram. (HT Photo)

The sugarcane juice stall in Gurugram’s Sadar Bazar, close to the discreet shortcut to Kamla Nehru Park, is virtually a monument—by the Millennium City’s standards. It has been standing on the same spot for a quarter of a century.

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Not as old as the stall, the formidable juicer (assembled in Old Delhi’s Lal Kuan) is a sight — it disturbingly recalls the tragicomic scene in Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times in which a man is stuck in a rolling machine. The juicer here is made of two metal rollers, which move against each other as the rotating wheel is activated. On getting an order, the machine man picks up a pair of ganna from the pile, inserting them into the barely perceptible gap between the rollers. The canes at once flatten. The juice trickles into the ice-filled pan, and is served in a tall glass (the photo is from the said stall, but from an earlier season).

Meanwhile, some distance away, the air is intermittently booming with… “paw! paw!”. Must be Jawahar, the only vendor in the bazar who produces this exact shrieking sound from his beloved “bhopu”. The elderly gent is currently hidden from view, perhaps traipsing around in one of the neighbouring streets. He sells Vita ice-cream, dragging his cart all day long through the old town (Jacobpura, Sadar Bazar, etc). He acquired the bhopu five years ago from Sai Chowk for 70, he told this reporter in an earlier encounter. The bhopu comprises of a plastic trumpet attached to a rubber ball, which when squeezed forces the trumpet to yell out “paw! paw! “.

These days most ice-cream vendors have given up such tricks to catch the attention of passers-by, though an occasional kulfi man might go about with a less intrusive option, the tiny brass bell.

Meanwhile, Jawahar, or whoever else is blowing that bhopu, is drifting away to far-off streets, for the sound is fast fading. Now, it is no longer heard.



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