The busy city streets are already hijacked by the temporary stallwallas with plethora of thirst quenchers. The varieties range from cold kulfis buttermilk with a pinch of pickle to watermelon crushers and ice sticks. While the aerated drinks and bottled mangoes compete for their safe slot in the summer market, the tender coconut remains the secret favorite of all those who are haunted by the heavy heat.
With all these cold beverages in the market, i find an unusual crowd in front of murugan idly shop at Besant nagar today.Yes..It’s a jigarthanda store again. I still remember the first time i had a glass full of jigardanda.All thanks to my friends saran and Harini who forced me to have a gulp of it.If you are a first timer you will surely freak out a little after seeing its texture. All those who have not heard of it till now..it’s nothing but a full scoop of ice cream ,a couple of tablespoon nannari essence half cup milk and last and not the least one whole chunk of slimy algea.Did you say yuck?? Well i was also there with folded eyebrows and crossed fingers...(who eats sea algae...may be fish!!..)You may think twice to have it or not, unless otherwise you have a bunch of pals who can convince you to take the leap, as in my case. But once the first sip is over, world is not the same. With each sip you become cooler and cooler and all the flavors’ will be vying for supremacy. After that first glass full of heaven i gave a grateful look to both my buddies...the same look i gave my father two decades back when he bought me the first stick of sugar candy. (The one act that raised my father’s rank from dad to super dad.)
It’s not the taste of the drink that lures people here but the cool feeling you get after it.Have you ever swallowed a freezer before?( Don’t answer that) If you haven’t.. as the liquid trickled down your through you feel exactly the same. In the searing noon, this is the drink you were searching for to get you back to track all energized and hydrated and giving you strength to survive the Chennai heat.