I must have been around seven when I had a dream, a goal, a want- I wanted a hundred ice creams. I did not want to eat a hundred ice creams. I just wanted to have them. I wanted to own them. They'd be my hundred ice creams.
This was long back in a small town in rural India. There was no soft serve or ice cream as we know it. My ice cream dreams consisted of orange popsicles. You could get nice big ones that left your tongue and lips bright orange for fifty paisa. It might have been all sugar and artificial color but it was cold and it lasted a long way on the rickshaw ride back from school. It also left a lot of your friends really jealous – the ones that saw you eating it and the ones that saw your stained mouth hours later. Well, I wanted a hundred of them. It was my dream.
One fine day, a visiting aunt gave us fifty rupees. This was for my sibling and me to share. Usually, in such scenarios, the money went to my mom and was never seen again but today, due to some twist in fate, it had stayed with us. It was fifty rupees, which meant a hundred "fifty paisa", which meant a hundred ice creams.
It was not hard to convince to my younger siblings that a hundred ice cream was better than anything they ever wanted to buy (I was good at painting pictures and they were young and gullible). The problem however was finding a hundred ice creams. Most carts had some twenty orange popsicles at the most. So, we pulled in the neighborhood kids and went lane by lane and bought all the ice creams we could find. By evening we had a hundred orange paddle pops in the freezer. I counted them. Again and again. I had a hundred ice creams. I was the happiest seven-year old ever.
We ate a few and gave a few to the troops that helped find the ice cream carts. The rest stayed in the freezer and filled my dreams later at night. I think I smiled all night long. I smiled all the way to school and I smiled all the way home.
This indeed was long back in a small town in rural India. We never had twenty-four continuous hours of electricity. My seven year old want had not factored that fact into the plan. I came home to an orange puddle being cleaned in the kitchen.
I think there was some ass whooping. Some talk about money and about being sensible and not eating stuff off the street. I am not sure if it showed on my face but I smiled through all that. I really did not care. I had achieved my first dream in life. Even if it was just for a night, I had been the CEO of a hundred ice creams.
Image from: http://www.foodclipart.com/food_clipart_images/orange_popsicle_ice_cream_bar_0515-1010-2204-2829.html