Make mine lime flavoured by Satish Vasan

Autumn was always a busy time for cinemagoers and this year was no different. There were a couple of big blockbusters out (including a new James Bond feature) and the few cinema halls in town were full. Matinees were especially busy since the younger lads and ladies could attend and still make it home in a respectable time. And the hawkers ran a large trade during intermission. Borappa – or “Bora” as we all knew him – was always there with his icebox, bicycle and slurpies. Mango, vanilla, lime ice sticks were part of his standard fare and he had started to experiment nowadays with chocolate. We kids were a fussy lot and those new fangled flavours hadn’t quite taken off yet.
Ever since I can remember, Bora used to wait outside the oldest cinema in town, near the bus stop and once he had sold all his wares there, he would refill and rush to the second cinema close to the ice factory. The old factory was notorious in their supply and prices, but somehow small vendors like Bora kept the factory and each other going.
I always wondered why he didn’t expand his business and hire somebody to run a second icebox, but I guess he understood supply demand economics only too well.
On the job, Bora never shouted like the other hawkers, he was just always there with his soft and sometimes raspy voice. For the impecunious kids around, him Bora was a strict discipliniarian – no free samples and absolutely no credit. We always tried and he always politely demured and changed the topic to what we really wanted. For Bora was a walking encyclopedia of movies and actors. No one worked out how he managed to see all those movies, yet he knew pretty much all there was to know.
He knew his clientele well, which genres we we liked and would always suggest when similar movies were coming out. If he was so inclined, recommendations on which movie to be wary of were also given out. The censors in those days could be overzealous, which could have been bad for business. No matter, Bora would fill us in on what we missed as part of his sales ritual. If he thought it was appropriate for us, that is.
Before you tell us again about that expurgated fight scene in the latest Bond thriller, make mine lime flavoured. Shaken not stirred, thank you Bora.

Last modified onWednesday, 26 May 2021 19:46
(0 votes)
Read 524 times
Tagged under :