If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Nov 1, 2007

The Big Chill !

Head down Hill Road and take a right turn at Bata's. It takes you into a little road that dead ends. And there on your left is the only structure in all of Bandra without a single window.
The Ice Factory. Whats the name of the road ? Ice factory lane.
And thats where you got perfect ice before there was Perfect Ice or Icelings. Now your Godrej was good enough for the odd ice cube for your evening chota peg or to chill the odd bottle of beer. But when you were having a party Kitty who had access to his fathers motorbike with a side car was deputed to pick up the ice at 7 oclock. Earlier and it wouldnt last the night. Later and the Kohli's would have taken the ice to freeze their unsold fish. So you drive up to the Ice factory and the platform is at the height of a tempo's tailgate. And the Bhaiyaa squatting there would take your order [ by weight ]. He'd then disappear into the building thru a door only a dog could possibly get thru,but not before a cold blast hit you even though you were 6ft away. He'd emerge with a giant pincer dragging a block of ice. Onto the weighing scale, and somehow it was always right. The weight you ordered and the weight he brought out. And when the ice reached home it was split into two lots. One for consumption, and one for chilling the various bottles in the basins and buckets. So the first lot was crushed into pieces that would fit into a glass and stocked in the deep freeze to await the opening bell. And the second lot would have sawdust thrown onto it to make it last as long as possible. And thru that short night the beer was chilled and the rum'n' cokes were cold and whisky on the rocks was a option.
And the only other time you visited the Ice factory was when someone died. Before there were morgues. And the notice in the Times of Indias obituaries would let everyone know that the funeral was at ten o'clock. So when getting the extra chairs from Jimmy Decorators ,a large tub would be ordered for the ice. Which went under the camp cot and froze the dearly departed' so that he'd never even dream of the fires of hell. And kept him from going bad in those hazy crazy days of summer, like he did when he was alive. And salt would be thrown onto the ice to keep the temperature really low. [ Ok Freezing mixtures to all you chemists ].
And the Bhaiyya at the Ice factory was 24 x7 . He still is. Though now he has ice cubes stacked in 5 kg. bags. And Jude's at Pali is competing with him for the party section of his buisness. And the morgue at Bhaba hospital works on electricity, not salt.


Anonymous said...

Just love your work. Good to see all the LF boys and girls get a mention now and then.....the good old AJS and its customised side car...an absolute piece of ingenious by HJ not only for carting ice but also carrying half the building kids to Juhu and back.
Keep them coming do not ever stop.

Karl said...

Clem this is a riot, it's so true eh !!! Brings back memories .... good memories I might add. Take care and keep typing.

Dhiraj Athanasius D'Souza said...

Hey Clement, Great reading. Throw in some pics. now to make us thoroughly homesick.

Anonymous said...

Just love your stuff. Great work! How about something on Bandra Fair? That should be good for more than 1.

Osvaldo said...

Thanks, I thoroughly enjoyed your stuff. Brought back lots of memories of 'good old innocent' times. Keep going.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Yo Clem, I'll say just this: I'm starting to believe you missed your true vocation. Your writing is that vivid and entertaining.

Anonymous said...

This writting is great. Very Nostalgic.
But have you forgotten when in the middle of the night you ran out of cash (as you spent it on Aunties{in Pali} Beer and went to the ice factory sent the ice man into the freezer and then collected tha large pieces burried under the Bhussa ( saw dust) an split.