Another hot afternoon finds me waiting at the bus stop looking up at the hot sky with not a cloud in sight. The simple joys of my school days come back to me as i try to make the most of my melting orange popsicle – my frail solace against the blazing sun. Orange against orange, the smaller one melting its way to defeat but not without giving me cool respite. Like most children i used to wait for the school bell to ring, so that i could go and get one. The ice candy man became our pit stop, for last minute chit-chat on the way home after school. Life has changed a lot from those carefree days, but some things stick with you – my love for orange ices being one of them.
One cold morning about a hundred and seven years ago, 11 year old Frank Epperson woke up to find that he had invented the Popsicle. Forgetful Frank had left his fruit flavoured soda outside on the porch with a stir stick in it. Overnight, the drink froze to the stick and Voilà! the Popsicle was born.
It’s a paradox that while the orange is a winter fruit, its this tangy burst of flavour and colour that you thirst for on a hot summers day. Take a thick bite of the ice (only the very brave can do that) and an electric sensation creeps up from your jaw to the temple – that’s the numbing pain of the “brain freeze”. Drawing from a wealth of personal experience, i’d say that this is the mind forgetting all else and focusing its attention on getting the most of Vitamin O. As the coolness spreads,you feel the oppressive heat of the day melting away.
As i board the bus juggling popsicle, mobile, purse and person – a golden trickle drips on to my shirt. As i knit my brows, a small voice inside me pipes up ‘what would life be without orange popsicles?’
and i think to myself ‘blue..very blue…’