With gleaming eyes, she casually asked” What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?”
To this, she got a reply—Tutee Frooti.
But she wasn’t convinced. “Oh! I didn’t ask you your favorite fruit drink; I wanted to know your most beloved ice cream flavor”, she annoyingly replied.
Yeah, that was precisely what was answered; only to realize a moment later, that among modern day offerings, Tutee Frooti has melted from the dollops; and has almost vanished from the menu cards!
The reply expected was something on the lines of—Dark Crusty Chocolate, Walnut Choco Delight, Almond Raisin Waffle, Strawberry Pistachio Marvel, Crushed Mango Treat, Pineapple Frost, Chunky Custard Apple Spectacle, Chickoo Joy, Creamy Blueberry Thunder etc…etc.
A crisp short reply like Tutee Frooti bewildered her. And she was forced to shun the reply, by mistaking it with a fruit drink like Frooti, may be. The interaction completely engulfed the intonation of semantic differences- wherein both were no doubt talking about ice creams, but on varied levels.
I was talking about the “nostalgic”, “nothing like it”, “ nothing to beat it” flavor of Tutee Frooti, relishing which many around me grew up, and she was referring to the upbeat, extravagant, irresistible, bizarre sounding flavors offered today. It was like past talking to the present; and therefore a communication gap was bound to occur!
The simple Tutee Frooti was sold by some simpleton ice cream hawker, by simply opening his cart lid- and Voila! That wonder got created; it was a treat to the eyes, fabulous to the tongue and even just holding that dollop gave a feeling of “the whole world being at one’s cold fingertips!”
Yes, cuisine worldwide has come of age, you may argue. There is a tremendous room for experimentation in the culinary domain today—so why ice creams be left behind?
And so we have all the fruits in the world being experimented upon to be added to these flavors. It’s a good way to start eating fruits; you end up eating them in frost format, rather than in the natural format!! But well, this is an artificial; superficial world after all, of which we are a part; so why ice creams be made an exception?
So be it. Now the exact percentage of the natural fruit content in these flavors is a different subject altogether. Better not touch upon it; else my Tutee Frooti dream will shatter….
“…..On a clear, sunny, lazy, hassle free Sunday, around quarter past noon, a distant sound of a bell used to be enough for the mouth to water. Racing down the street, the ice cream seller used to halt at his regular spots, and these sluggish feet which till then stayed dangling here and there, suddenly used to zoom past everything, reach upto the cart, asking shyly only one cherished flavor—Tutee Frooti- from amongst the limited treasures that were on offer. There wasn’t a plethora of flavors at any point- it was all kept SIMPLE.
It merely wasn’t the flavor which was relished and which is prized till date. It is the simplicity and the innocence of the whole experience which is possessed dearly.
Today, we don’t have ice cream carts; those tinkling sounds of cart bells have disappeared. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the sheer pleasure of enjoying an ice cream too has diminished.
An ice cream is an ice cream is an ice cream; no matter which time frame you are referring to—past or present.
The phenomenon remains the same; the joy remains the same; the experience has stayed status quo; only the simplicity has melted….
For me, the cherry on the top isn’t a raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, or blueberry—it is the simplicity, which was aplenty and abounds in the naïve Tutee Frooti.
No, I’m not lamenting; I’m merely commenting.
All said and done, melting moments are looked forward to anytime, anyplace, and in any form; it’ just that the taste buds keep yearning for Tutee Frooti; and heart keeps asking for simplicity……..